The Human Brain: the Prediction Machine (hosted by Central London Humanists)

The human brain tries to anticipate the future, giving rise to a range of human experiences, including the need to create and destroy gods.



Central London Humanists (CLH) are pleased to welcome Dr Steven Di Costa, a researcher in cognitive neuroscience, as he explains how the human brain tries to anticipate the future, and why this gives rise to a range of human experiences, including the need to create (and then destroy) gods and monsters. The event will take place online on Zoom on February 16, 2022, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

The human brain is constantly gathering data and trying to make sense of the world. We now have access to more information than ever before, but what good is all that information if we can’t use it to make good predictions?

Predictions keep us alive, give rise to imagination and drive innovation. Planning a trip, cooking a meal, even just taking a step, we are constantly anticipating what will happen when we interact with the world around us.

So how does the brain do it? And what happens when it goes wrong? Understanding our prediction machine can shed light on a range of human experiences: from fear and humour to spirituality and curiosity. It is our attempt to answer the inescapable question: what happens next?

Dr Steven Di Costa (he/him) is a researcher in cognitive neuroscience. After a varied undergraduate career in film studies, Japanese language, and psychology, he completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience. His doctoral thesis investigated the human sense of agency during voluntary movement, and his post-doctoral work is focused on the perception of temperature and pain.

The event is finished.


Feb 16 2022


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm