Cinema Paradiso

    Friday March 15, 2013 @ 9:30 PM

    1988, Italy and France, Giuseppe Tornatore, 121 min.

    Starring Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale and Antonella Attili

    Introduced by neuroscientist Moran Cerf

    Free with a $7 bar minimum


    • Alfredo: Life isn't like in the movies. Life... is much harder.
    • From the shooting script (by Giuseppe Tornatore ) The middle hole is camouflaged by the huge head of a roaring lion, all in plaster, and the lens of the projector can be glimpsed between its sharp teeth.
    • Moran Cerf will use the film as a neuroscientific demonstration of 'the illusion of free will.'

    About the Speaker

    Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist at the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery and the NYU Stern School of Business.

    His research uses methods from brain science to understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology.

    He has published works that address questions such as: "How are conscious percepts formed in our brain?"; "How can we control our emotions?"; "Which brain mechanisms determine if we find content interesting and engaging?". Most recently, his focus has been on the neural mechanisms that underlie decision-making, thereby offering a new perspective on predicting future choices and investigating how much free will we have in our decisions.

    In order to study the neural mechanisms of behavior, Dr. Cerf directly records the activity of individual nerve cells from the brains of patients undergoing neurosurgery. Using electrodes implanted deep inside patients' brains for clinical purposes, Dr. Cerf is able to study the ways in which thoughts and memories are formed in our brains. He holds multiple patents and his works have been published in wide-circulation journals such as Nature and Science, as well as Scientific American Mind and leading neuroscience journals.

    Dr. Cerf has lectured at numerous organizations and institutes, including NYU ITP, China’s AST (Art, Science, Technology), PopTech, DLD, Google Zeitgeist, SigGraph and more. His work has been featured in numerous media and cultural outlets, such as the BBC, Slate.Com, Wired, MSNBC, Gizmodo, New Scientist, the Venice Art Biennial, TED-Ed, and others.

    As a seasoned member of the story-telling community in New York and Los Angeles, Dr. Cerf's stories have appeared on NPR's “Unfictional”, WNYC Studio360 and the Moth, where he is a 12-time Story Slam winner and a two-time Grand-Slam champion.

    Dr. Cerf was identified as one of 2011's "People to Notice" by Israel's leading newspaper for his success in making scientific research accessible to the general public.

    Prior to his career in opening and studying brains, Dr. Cerf worked as a hacker for various security companies, breaking into banks and financial institutions for a living. He held positions as software developer, team leader, CTO, and security architect for several NASDAQ companies. He currently applies his knowledge in software and hardware hacking towards cracking the ultimate code of our brain. His adventures as a hacker and its application to everyday mysteries has been featured in radio and television programs.

    Dr. Cerf has had additional short-lived careers as a furniture-designer, a pilot, an inventor, a radio host, and a filmmaker.

    Additionally, he is the Alfred P. Sloan faculty at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, where he teaches an annual screenwriting class on science writing in film.

    Dr. Cerf has a PhD in neuroscience from Caltech, a BSc in Physics and an MA in Philosophy of Science from Tel Aviv University.

    He is right-handed.


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