Syntax/Synapse: “How We See” with Joyce Carol Oates and Charles Gross

Tuesday October 24, 2017
07:30 pm

Tags: Event





Our Syntax/Synapse series continued with National Book Award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates (A Book of American Martyrs) and her husband, the neuroscientist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Princeton Charles Gross (Brain, Vision, Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience). They discussed how the brain perceives and interprets what we see, and how writers interpret their visual sense.


Syntax/Synapse is a series of programs and essays exploring the intersections between literature and neuroscience, presented in partnership with the Princeton Social Neuroscience Lab and YHouse. Syntax/Synapse is generously funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.



Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Her most recent publications are the novel A Book of American Martyrs (Feb 2017) and collection DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense (June 2017).


Charles G. Gross is a neuroscientist specializing in vision and the functions of the cerebral cortex, and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. He is the author of numerous academic papers, and the book Brain, Vision, Memory: Tales in the History of Neuroscience (MIT Press, 1998). In 2011 he was a biology instructor in the Prison University Project at San Quentin, California.