Brooklyn: Free Talk on Decision-Making

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Why might you decide to go to the Secret Science Club at the Bell House in Brooklyn on Tuesday, August 20? If you don’t go, you may never know; neuroscientist Anne Churchland is going to be on hand to discuss…wait for it…decision-making.

Secret Science Club explains:

At Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, neuroscientist Anne Churchland works at the cutting edge of research on decision-making. She asks:

  • How does your brain compile all the bits of sensory data it receives to make good (or even not so good) decisions?
  • What can new technologies and experiments tell us about how we think–even when our “thinking” is subconscious?
  • How does the brain handle multisensory input? Is one sense favored over others?
  • Why are simple decisions sometimes so complex? What might the neuroscience of decision-making tell us about anxiety, addiction, and other disorders?


Always an interesting topic, the Dana Foundation has published a number of blog posts and articles on decision-making, so if you’re unable to make it next week, but want to know more about the topic (or if you just want some additional background information), here are a few pieces:

  • Decisions, Decisions: Paul Glimcher Lecture: A recap of the 2012 James Arthur Lecture at the American Museum of Natural History given by NYU neuro economist and Dana Alliance member Paul Glimcher. Glimcher discussed how evolutionary biology impacts decision-making and whether natural selection pushes organisms toward the best possible traits.
  • The Deliberating Brain: Columbia’s Mind Brain Behavior Initiative: Columbia neurologist and Dana Alliance member Michael Shadlen discussed his research on how the brain weighs evidence to choose between alternatives.
  • Decision-Making: Beyond Dopamine: A Dana Foundation article looks into the complex calculations that lead to a decision, and the brain areas that help us make them.

Swinging synapses! Decode and dismantle your brain with neuroscientist Anne Churchland
Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues), Gowanus, Brooklyn.
Tuesday, August 20 at 8pm.  Bring ID: 21+

*Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

– Ann L. Whitman

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