An Enlightening Conversation on Autism

An hour before a program titled “The Spectrum” began, featured participant David Amaral, Ph.D., complained that in the weeks leading up to the event, he had had trouble getting his hands on Snow Cake, a 2007 film in which Sigourney Weaver plays a high-functioning autistic woman. “I tried Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, and couldn’t find it anywhere,” said Amaral. “But I was eventually able to find the DVD on Amazon—and liked it very much.”

That’s high praise coming from one of the nation’s foremost researchers on autism. Amaral, UC Davis Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and the Beneto Foundation chair, and founding research director of the M.I.N.D. Institute, and Weaver, an acclaimed actress, film producer, and noted environmentalist, discussed autism to a sold-out audience at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan.

Rubin_SigourneyWeaver-4384

Lyn Hughes Photography, courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art.

Continue reading

Record Turnout for NYC Regional Brain Bee

Twelfth-grader Melissa Cao, from Long Island’s Bethpage High School, took home the grand prize after a close race with two other finalists at Saturday’s Regional Brain Bee at Columbia University in New York City. The local event is part of an annual international neuroscience competition. Winners advance into the national and then international competitions during the spring and summer months as part of Brain Awareness Week (BAW).

brain bee 2016 5 crop

Program moderator Carol Mason, Ph.D., awards Cao her first place prize. Photo credit: Jacqueline Silberbrush

Continue reading

Empowering Female Neuroscientists

MDierssen-1When Mara Dierssen started her career as a neuroscientist, she often encountered gender discrimination. Working in a male-dominated field, she had to combat stereotypes about passivity and leadership. Lacking a female role model, she now realizes that she was unaware of many of the scientific community’s “unwritten rules,” like how to receive funding for projects, do interviews, and publish findings.

Years later, Dierssen’s strong drive to succeed, intense passion for neuroscience, and work ethic have helped her become  a senior scientist at the Centre for Biomedical Research, president of the Spanish Society for Neuroscience, a member of the European Dana Alliance, as well as a mother of four children. Dierssen, who recently talked about gender and neuroscience in an interview with the Society for Neuroscience (SfN),  has become a role model for today’s young female neuroscientists, not only because of her achievements as a neuroscientist, but also through her dedication to public outreach and gender equality.

Continue reading

Get Ready for Brain Awareness Week 2016!

BAW2016Logo_withdateThe Brain Awareness Week (BAW) 2016 website has officially launched! Gearing up for BAW 2016, March 14-20, US partners can now order free publications and materials and international partners can access several new and spiffy downloadable materials (some available in multiple languages).

This year, our new Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain booklet debuts as a more condensed and updated version of the previous three Staying Sharp booklets. It answers questions such as “How do learning and memory change with age?”, and “When is memory loss a sign of dementia?”, and delves into topics such as memory formation, neuroplasticity, and living a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Continue reading

New Brainwave Series: Emotion

Can consciousness continue after the brain stops working? Why do we seem to let emotions outshine reason during the decision-making process? Which neural impulses trigger laughter?

Rubin Museum Brainwave 2016

Detail from White Tara with Long Life Deities; eastern Tibet; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art, gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; F1996.32.5 (HAR 542) | Copyright Taylor Walken/Corbis

Beginning in February, New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art will host its ninth annual Brainwave series, which aims to answer these questions and more. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 155 other followers

%d bloggers like this: