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Novelists, neuroscientists trade mental notes

No one can predict where the conversation will go when novelist Salman Rushdie talks about the creative process with Seana Coulson, a cognitive scientist who studies language with multiple meanings. But when two bright minds come together to explore a deep mystery from entirely different angles, you can expect sparks.

"Metaphors and the Mind" is a day-long symposium at Emory on Thursday, March 8, bringing together writers and neuroscientists to exchange their thoughts on language, creativity and the brain.

"We hope that everyone, both the scientists and the writers, will leave the symposium with new ideas about experiments they'd like to try," says Laura Otis, an Emory professor of English, who organized the symposium with Krish Sathian, a neurologist at Emory's School of Medicine. "We each have different kinds of knowledge, and we want to see how combining them can lead to new ways of looking at things."

Emory creative writing professors Rushdie, Jim Grimsley and Joseph Skibell will converse with three leading neuroscientists: Coulson from UC San Diego, Anjan Chatterjee from the University of Pennsylvania and David Kemmerer from Purdue. The symposium is hosted by Emory'Center for Mind, Brain and Culture and the Laney Graduate School'New Thinkers, New Leaders Program. It's free and open to the public.

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