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The Human Brain: It's a Wonder It Works, Oct. 23

October 14, 2008
N-91, 2008-09

NYU Psychologist Gary Marcus Talks on Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

The human mind, far from being a highly efficient computer, is in fact the product of a bumpy evolutionary path, serving as a marvelous storage facility, but operating as a shaky retrieval system, concludes New York University’s Gary Marcus in his new book Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). “Kluge”- a term popularized by computer pioneer Jackson Granholm- is “an ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole.”

Marcus, director of NYU’s Center for Child Language, will discuss at an Oct. 23 lecture how evolution has produced a complex, but overloaded, neurological system that utilizes “contextual memory”-that is, we retrieve material out of our memories by using context or clues that hint at what we are looking for.

MEDIA ONLY: Reporters interested in attending must RSVP to James Devitt at 212.998.6808 or, or Ken Brown at 212.998.9119 or

  • WHAT: Lecture-“Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind”
  • WHO: Gary Marcus, Professor of Psychology, NYU
  • WHEN: Thurs., Oct. 23, 7-9 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue [between 11th and 12th Streets]; Subway: L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6 (Union Square)

Cost is $20 ($10 for NYAS members, and NYU students, faculty, and staff, who must register as “non-member student” to get discount). To register, go to or call 212.998.7171. The event is the second of three on the role of neuroscience in everyday life. The series is co-sponsored by NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Office of the Dean of Sciences at NYU. The final event in the series is “Fearful Brains in an Anxious World” (Tues., Nov. 11, 7-9 p.m., New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center).

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Graduate School of Arts and Science, Events and Traditions, School of Professional Studies

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Ken Brown | (212) 998-9119


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