Dana Newsletter: December

Below is the content that appeared in the latest Dana email newsletter. You can sign up to receive this (and other Dana email alerts and/or print publications) by going here.

You Say You Want a Revolution?

by Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., and Patricia Morton, Ph.D.

From the frontlines of spinal cord research, the authors lean on lessons from the past, their own experience, and events still unfolding as they raise questions about the future of all scientific research. From Cerebrum, our online magazine of ideas.

See also: Q&A with Wise Young

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Dana’s Design a Brain Experiment Competition Is Back!

The January 16th deadline for the Dana Foundation’s annual Design a Brain Experiment Competition is only one month away. Get busy! We are excited to read all the creative ideas for brain experiments. Last year we received some incredible submissions, led by the winning proposal, “Investigating the implications of specific inhibition of ß-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease” from Gopika Hari of Cupertino High School in Cupertino, California.

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Teen Drug Use Down: National Study

The prevalence of illicit drug use among teens appears to be declining, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey conducted by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA Director and Dana Alliance member Nora Volkow recaps the survey results in this short video.

For more information on the survey, read the University of Michigan’s press release or visit the NIDA website.

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Valerie Purdie-Vaughns on Stereotype Threat and the Brain

With Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY in the news for all the wrong reasons last week, a lecture titled, “Race Matters, but Not How You Think it Does: How Stereotypes Affect How We Live, Work, Play and Pray,” couldn’t have been more timely. The event, sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, drew the attention of not only a reporter and videographer from the New York Times, but also of Mr. Zuckerman, who was seated in the front row at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.Purdie-Vaughns-250

The lecture featured one of the institute’s rising young stars: Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, the director of the university’s Laboratory of Intergroup Relations and the Social Mind and an associate professor of psychology. A few minutes into her presentation, it was clear that it was lecturer, as much as the lecture’s relevance to recent civil unrest throughout the nation’s cities that drew the sizable audience.

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Learning and the Brain Conference Registration

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There are only two more days to receive discounted registration for the next Learning and the Brain conference, “Making Lasting Memories: Using Brain Science to Boost Memory, Thinking and Learning.” It takes place February 12-14 in San Francisco and the Dana Foundation will have a table with free giveaways, so if you’re there, please stop by and say hello!

More on the conference from the Learning and the Brain website:

Neuroscientists are discovering strategies that make learning easier, more effective, and that can boost long-term memory, thinking and academic performance. By using mnemonics, movement, active learning, discussions, gestures and varied practices, teachers can improve their students’ ability to learn, reflect and remember. Discover how the “Science of Learning” can help boost student retention, recall and retrieval of information.

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