February 21, 2003

Brain Awareness Events

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Vanderbilt’s annual series of Brain Awareness events kicks off Thursday, Feb. 27, with a program highlighting the latest research on Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Mahlon Delong of Emory University will discuss new treatments for this devastating movement disorder.

The goal of Brain Awareness is to teach the general public about how the brain works and the importance of brain research to understanding, treating, and ultimately curing brain-related diseases. The international Brain Awareness program was established in 1995 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of brain function, and the Society for Neuroscience, an international community of more than 25,000 brain researchers.

Upcoming events include:

Feb. 27 – “Parkinson’s Disease” – Dr. Mahlon Delong, Department of Neurology at Emory University, with an introduction by Dr. Robert Macdonald, professor and chair of Neurology, Vanderbilt University. Ariel Deutch, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt National Parkinson Foundation Center for Excellence, will make opening remarks. 7-8 p.m., Adventure Science Center (formerly Cumberland Science Museum).

March 1 – “Brain Blast! Family Fun at the Adventure Science Center” – Enjoy a variety of hands-on activities led by Vanderbilt neuroscience undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Brain Blast is free, but participants must pay the science center entry fee. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Adventure Science Center.

March 10 – “Adolescence, Alcohol, and the Brain” – Linda Spear, Ph.D., Department of Psychology at Binghamton University, with an introduction by Danny G. Winder, Ph.D., assistant professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Vanderbilt University. Spear will discuss how the brain is transformed during adolescence and what consequences this change might have on adolescent behavior, including the use and abuse of alcohol. 4-5 p.m., 241 MRL Building, Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University.

March 13 – “Music and the Brain” – Robert Zatorre, Ph.D., Department of Neuropsychology at Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University, with an introduction by David H. Zald, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychology, Vanderbilt University. Zatorre will discuss how the human brain allows us to perceive, understand, remember, and imagine music. 7-8 p.m., Turner Recital Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University.

March 18 – “Brain Awareness Keynote Address: Imaging the Addicted Brain” – Dr. Nora Volkow, associate laboratory director for Life Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory and newly named director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with an introduction by Randy Blakely, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Center for Molecular Neuroscience. John Gore, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science, will make opening remarks. Volkow will describe how state-of-the-art imaging technologies that allow us to view the living, working brain are expanding our knowledge about the brain under the influence of addictive substances. 4-5 p.m., 208 Light Hall, Vanderbilt University.

March 27 – “Understanding Reading through Neuroimaging” – Ken Pugh, Ph.D., senior scientist, Haskins Laboratories, Yale University, with an introduction by Douglas Fuchs, Ph.D., co-director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Research Program on Learning Accommodations for Individuals with Special Needs. Pugh will discuss what happens in the brain when children and adults learn to read, why there are reading disorders, and what can be done about them. 4-5 p.m., 241 MRL Building, Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt University.

Art Exhibit – “Featured Artworks by Herb Alpert” – Musician Herb Alpert paints and sculpts not in conjunction with his music but as a way to express himself in a completely different form. If what emerges finds its equivalent in the sound he produces, both art and music seem richer for it. Monthlong exhibit of featured artworks, Main Lobby Mezzanine Level, Vanderbilt University Hospital.

All Brain Awareness events are open to the public. For more information, call the Vanderbilt Brain Institute at 936-2637 or visit the Web site http://braininstitute.vanderbilt.edu.