Michael C. Corballis

Science communicator, media commentator, brain expert.


An outstanding science communicator, Michael C. Corballis ONZM is a well-known media commentator and speaker on scientific topics to both general and scientific audiences. Born in Marton in 1936, Corballis (PhD (McGill), Hon LLD (Waterloo)), is professor emeritus of psychology at The University of Auckland. Prior to that, he taught at McGill University, Canada, from 1968 to 1978.


Professor Corballis has given numerous presentations around the world and he was the Sage Visiting Distinguished Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2011. He was President of the International Neuropsychological Society in 2009/10 – the first Southern Hemisphere President; is a Council Member of the Royal Society of New Zealand; and is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, the Association of Psychological Scientists and the New Zealand Psychological Society.


He has published widely in journals such as Nature, Science, Scientific American, American Scientist and Brain, as well as in specialist journals and general magazines and newspapers including NZ Geographic and The Times Literary Supplement. Reviewers have hailed his writing for telling ‘a captivating story’ (NY Times) and being both ‘informative and entertaining’ (American Scientist).


Michael Corballis is the author of From Hand to Mouth: The Origins of Language, The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought and Civilisation and Pieces of Mind: 21 Short Walks Around the Human Brain (2011). Pieces of Mind, based in part on his columns for New Zealand Geographic, was a finalist in the 2012 PANZ Book Design Awards, has been translated into three languages and has been published in three English language editions.