The mystery of the human brain

Course from 25 January to 15 February

We are all curious about the human brain and how it works, despite the fact that trying to fathom the workings of our own brains can at times seem impossible. Although we have powerful intuitions about the nature of consciousness, we have not yet reached a precise definition of what we are talking about when we use this term. And this lack of definition is, arguably, the main obstacle to the study of the mind.


Another question that always crops up is whether it is possible to improve the brain – and if that would be desirable. Transhumanism advocates the moral duty of improving the physical and cognitive capacities of the human species. It seeks to apply, in humans, new technologies that would make it possible to eliminate unwanted aspects of the human condition: suffering, illness, ageing...


This course, organized with La Central bookshop, address these topics from a bioethical perspective, seeking to weigh the risks and benefits of these challenges, and to take decisions both at the individual and social level.



Bernabé Robles, neurologist, Head of Neurology Service, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, and member of the Bioethics Committee of Catalonia.

Miquel Àngel Serra, Ph.D. in Biology from UAB, currently works at the European Commission Joint Research Centre.


Monday, 7 pm to 8:30 pm
25 January. Mind and brain. Can we define consciousness? Bernabé Robles
1 February. Challenges of neurology for the 21st century. Bernabé Robles
8 February. Transhumanism: transforming humans towards the post-human? Miquel Àngel Serra
15 February.  Human improvement: the scientific and bioethical panorama of emerging technologies. Miquel Àngel Serra