Power of babies' brains is the subject for public talk at UO

Alison Gopnik

Are babies smarter than Einstein?

The latest research on the early workings of the human brain, particularly how babies learn, is the focus of a public talk Friday, Oct. 23, at the UO by Alison Gopnik, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Her public presentation "When, and why, children are smarter than we are" will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 100, the large lecture hall, of Willamette Hall, 1371 E. 13th Ave. The public is welcome. Admission is free.

Gopnik's research is internationally recognized. Gopnik is the author of four popular science books on early childhood development, and she is a contributing columnist on the topic in the Wall Street Journal. She also discussed her research in a 2011 TED talk that has been viewed more than two million times.

"Our research shows that even the youngest babies have learning abilities that are more powerful than those of the smartest scientists and most-advanced computers," says Gopnik, who also will deliver a research lecture on Thursday as part of the Institute of Neuroscience's ongoing weekly seminar series.

The public talk is being sponsored by the institute and departments of biology and psychology. UO biologist Cris Niell and UO psychologist Dare Baldwin are co-hosts during Gopnik's visit.