Neuroscience and Society: The Meditating Brain

AAAS and the Dana Foundation
Washington, DC
Thursday, September 28, 2017
From contemplation to prayer, forms of meditation exist in every society. Now, using up-to-date technologies, these ancient practices are being increasingly studied by neurologists. Although learning to meditate—to turn off all distractions—is no easy task, the advertised benefits claim it to be worthwhile. Such alleged benefits include the “calming” of neurotransmitters, beating addiction, and even building a bigger brain. Published studies argue that meditation can produce structural alterations in the brain and may even slow the progress of certain age-related atrophy. Similarly, some yoga advocates claim that the practice, which is explored as a treatment for major depressive disorders, expands mental faculties. Further, prayer, according to the Huffington Post, can help dissuade impulsive actions. Neuroimaging technologies are revealing changes in blood flow to areas of the brain, indicating more activity. This program will explore the neurological bases of these claims, if any, by explaining how the mind and body talk with one another during the acts of meditation, yoga, and prayer.

Practical Neuroscience for Everyday Life

New York, NY
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Neuroscience is the study of how our brains help us live, interact and respond to the world around us.  But how do we use the findings from the most current neuroscience research to improve our everyday lives? This is the topic of Professor Wendy Suzuki’s lecture. Suzuki’s lab studies the immediate as well as long-term beneficial effects of physical aerobic exercise on a wide range of brain and cognitive functions including mood, memory and attention.  She will describe studies from her lab as well as other labs that are currently studying the effects of physical exercise on brain function as well as the neurochemical pathways and mechanisms that may be underlying these effects.  You will leave the lecture with a clear understanding of the many brain benefits of physical exercise.

Towards a Cure for Childhood Brain Disorders: A Tale of Two Disease Models

American Brain Coalition, Society for Neuroscience, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Washington, DC
Tuesday, October 03, 2017
The neuroscience briefing series continues with an event that examines the use of neural stem cells and animal models to further our understanding of the cause of childhood brain disorders. Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom, MD, professor and a top autism researcher at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, will share the state of the science for autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental conditions, and his work to clarify the cellular and molecular hallmarks of this disease. The briefing will review autism’s burden to families and society, symptoms of the disorder, roles of genetic and environmental factors, recent advances in clinical diagnosis, and how animal models and human neural stem cells are helping scientists identify critical pathways to target for the development of new treatments. The briefing will also feature Dr. Jason Lunden, PhD, a recent post-doctoral researcher in Dr. DiCicco-Bloom’s laboratory now at the Hussman Institute for Autism, who is using his own experiences with autism to help investigate the disorder. Jason will share his perspective as someone with high-functioning autism and his journey towards a career in neuroscience research studying how brain circuitry affects behavior.

Gut Feelings: Gut-Brain Crosstalk and Its Importance for Feeding Behavior and Metabolism

Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach
New York, NY
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Heard about brain science discoveries in the news? Ever wonder how science creates the headlines? Curious about how research happens at Columbia University Medical Center? Here’s your chance for a behind-the-scenes introduction to how neuroscience research works. Bring your family and friends to Late Night Science, a seminar series with lab tours by graduate students of Columbia University Neuroscience Outreach (CUNO).

Music and Meaning – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience

Columbia University
New York, NY
Thursday, October 19, 2017
The extraordinary power of music to communicate complex emotions and thoughts has fascinated scholars for centuries. Music taps into cognitive mechanisms that govern our daily interactions with the world, such as expectations and violations of these expectations, and appears to have much in common with language. In addition, music plays social and ethical functions that can be understood from philosophical, historical, and cultural perspectives. Join Columbia University's Center for Science & Society for a discussion with three renowned scholars from the humanities and cognitive science who will show how these modes of inquiry bear on each other–and explain what makes music mean. Free and open to the public, but RSVP is required via EventBrite.

International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting

International Neuroethics Society
Washington, DC
Thursday, November 09, 2017 - Friday, November 10, 2017
Annual meeting of the International Neuroethics Society, an interdisciplinary group of scholars, scientists, clinicians and other professionals who share an interest in the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience. Free public program on Thursday, November 9 on "The Neuroscience of Truth and Lying."

Merging Minds & Technology: Transform Classrooms with Robotics, Brain Science, and Virtual/Maker Spaces

Learning & the Brain
Boston, MA
Friday, November 10, 2017 - Sunday, November 12, 2017
How can we create schools of the future, today? Rapid advances in brain and learning sciences, classroom design, emerging technologies such as VR, and socially-interactive robots are providing the answers and ideas for transforming today's schools and classrooms. Brain sciences and brain imaging are merging with virtual/augmented reality games and simulation to improve student engagement in learning. New socially-interactive robots for the classroom and intelligent agents are changing the way teachers teach and tutor students, and will change future careers and skills. And ideas from "the science of learning" and "hacking" are changing the physical structure of the classroom, learning spaces, instruction, assessment and the ways students learn.  Find out how you can transform your classrooms, your teaching, your assessments and student engagement with brain science, virtual reality, innovative design, and robotics.

Neuroscience 2017

Society for Neuroscience
Washington, DC
Saturday, November 11, 2017 - Wednesday, November 15, 2017
SfN’s 47th annual meeting, Neuroscience 2017, is the world’s largest neuroscience conference for scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system.

Chemical Neuroscience

The New York Academy of Sciences
New York, NY
Friday, November 17, 2017
Cutting-edge chemical biology tools are poised to increase our understanding of the human brain and pave the way for the development of interventions for neurological and psychiatric disease, as new biological targets emerge. This meeting will bring together world-class scientists from academia and industry to present research in synthetic neurobiology, structural biology, neuroimaging, and neuropharmacology.