Ajay started the seminar with the question "What makes humans special?" and then linked it to the predominance of the association cortical areas. After a quick run down of the developments in the field during the last couple of centuries, he reviewed the various cortical areas and the laminar and columnar architecture of the isocortex as well as the association fibers that connect the different areas together. He showed a short video of the work by Andrew Shwartz of the University of Pittsburgh demonstrating a monkey controlling a robotic arm by thoughts (brain machine interface via the pre-motor cortical electrode implants). Ajay then dealt with the functions of the individual association areas and shared about some of the work done by Giacomo Rizzolatti (mirror neurons), Rebecca Saxe (theory of mind) and some of the psychological tests conducted on humans and monkeys to assess working memory, planning etc. He closed the seminar with a brief overview of the various agnosias, apraxias and other remarkable syndromes that ensue when things go wrong.
During the seminar, the work of the great anatomist Szentagothai was brought up. Incidentally, 2012 is being dedicated in his honour by UNESCO. His obituary also provides insights into the life of this great scientist.