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. Each season of Brainwave is headlined by an overarching theme for neuroscientists, celebrities, and other personalities to explore in unscripted, on-stage conversations. This year’s topic is emotion and will “illuminate how the mind shapes identity and emotions with insights from science, personal experiences, and spiritual traditions reflected in the Museum’s collection.”

The first event of the series will take place on February 3, featuring actress Parker Posey and neuroscientist Emma Seppälä. Their discussion will delve into the subjects of empathy and finding happiness in everyday life. Other guests include love guru Helen Fisher, psychologist Steven Pinker, and musician Questlove.

The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives is working in partnership with the Rubin, a Brain Awareness Week partner, for the event, “The Spectrum,” on February 8. Neuroscientist and Dana Alliance member David Amaral will share the stage with actress Sigourney Weaver to explore “the grey areas of where the autism spectrum begins and ends.”

Tickets for the events tend to sell out quickly, so be sure reserve a seat in advance! The series runs through April.

– Seimi Rurup

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