Dana Press Offers Cerebrum Anthology 2017

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When the cardboard cartons containing Cerebrum: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science 2018 arrived at our offices in midtown Manhattan a few weeks ago, pulling them out for the first time felt a bit like the birth of a new child. And like a newborn baby, each of the five anthology’s I’ve edited since coming to the Dana Foundation has its own look, personality, and distinct characteristics.

Let’s start with the look. The provocative cover is the work of J.F. Potevin, a French born, California-based artist whose work has appeared on the covers of Scientific American and Discover magazines. The cover also includes a complete list of contributors, many of them among the most distinguished neuroscientists in their research areas: Helen Mayberg on imaging, Beth Stevens on microglia, and Alvaro Pascual-Leone on deep brain stimulation, for example.

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Happy Brain Awareness Week!

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Seyitgazi Middle School students celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2017, organized by Eskişehir Osmangazi University in Turkey.

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This week folks all over the world will be taking part in activities organized by people who share our love for the brain (thanks partners!). Brain Awareness Week is a chance for all of us to celebrate and learn more about the organ that is responsible for everything we do.

Events are taking place in venues from concert halls to classrooms, public plazas to cozy bars. Find something near you: Search the Brain Awareness Week calendar, choose your country or city to narrow the choices and go! Currently there are more than 680 events on the calendar; more are often added during this week, some that take place later in the month. (See also specific calendars for UK events and the Be Brainy New York City events)

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Brain Awareness Week 2018

Guest post by Urooj Ansari, Social Media Chair at Be Brainy NYC

In 2012, Be Brainy NYC, the Greater NYC Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, held its first Brain Awareness Week. Launched by Ho Yu of Columbia University, the chapter was expanded by Heather McKellar of NYU, Paula Croxson of Mount Sinai, Kelley Remole of Columbia University, Ted Altschuler of Baruch College, and Heather Bowling, formerly of NYU. The earliest members, graduate school friends and colleagues from their respective institutions, met at the Dana Foundation’s office to organize their first events.

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Six years later, Be Brainy NYC is still true to its original mission of bringing brain science to the public. With a variety of events beginning next week, individuals from every age group and background imaginable will find activities in the city where they can learn about the squishy two-pound mass encased within their skulls.

One of the first events this year, and the newest one on the calendar, is the “Rap Guide to Consciousness.” With the use of hip hop comedy, “peer-reviewed rapper” Baba Brinkman will explore consciousness in an event for adults. The show will be held every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night through April at the Soho Playhouse.

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Free Public Event: To Tell the Truth!

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Image: Shutterstock

Truth and lying are complicated neurological behaviors. Although the role of the visual cortex and other areas of the brain are being identified, and their functions clarified, it is not likely that there is a “truth” center in the brain or a “lying” center. Scientists try to identify neurological correlates of truth-telling and lying in the laboratory, but it is not known if any findings of this type are operative in real life. This program will examine three important real-life aspects of truth and lying.

First, are we born with the ability to understand the concept of truth and lying? Victoria Talwar will discuss the childhood development of a sense of lying and truth-telling. Second, do our “minds” know what is true and what is false? Elizabeth Loftus will describe the phenomenon of so-called repressed memories and how it is possible for someone to be convinced they are telling the truth when they are not. Finally, what do we know about people who are consistent liars? Charles Dike will explore the nature of pathological lying and why some people lie seemingly without purpose.

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Honoring Our Colleague Dr. Barbara Rich

This week marks the one year anniversary of the loss of our colleague and friend, Barbara Rich, Ed.D., who led our communications department for more than twenty years. To honor her memory, we are pleased to announce that we are joining her daughter, Marla Hassner, in the endowment of a new “Barbara Rich Award for Social Justice” at her alma mater, the City College of New York (CCNY). This award will be given every spring to “an outstanding graduating senior at CCNY who (1) has demonstrated talent in the study and practical pursuit of social justice and (2) has demonstrated the potential to be a social justice leader in their career.”

A plaque bearing the names of the recipients will be displayed at the college’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. It will read:

Barbara Rich was a proud alumna of the City College of New York who, beginning as a student activist and continuing throughout her life, fought for social justice and equality, and defended the civil rights of all people. At CCNY she worked on the college newspaper and challenged those who would limit free speech and restrict personal freedom. She went on to earn her doctorate from Columbia University, but always considered herself first a City College graduate. After a lengthy career in academia, Dr. Rich served as Executive Vice President at the Dana Foundation. She was an educator, a communicator, a leader, and an unyielding advocate for a more equal and just society.

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