10 What does your brain do when you memorize something? Find out at the monthly Brains and Behavior Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by Georgia State University, when biologist Mary Kennedy discusses the complex brain pathways that allow us to create memories. In her lab at the California Institute of Technology, Kennedy has identified and sequenced the structure of individual proteins critical for this pathway, and she is modeling how these molecules help form memories.
19–21 Chronic pain can be mentally and physically debilitating. Opioids effectively alleviate pain, but they can be highly addictive. Recently, however, pain researchers discovered a potential way around this problem: they found that implanting opioids under the skin reduced cravings. At the American Pain Society annual meeting, attendees will address new treatment options and explore the consequences of pain, such as the possibility of developing mood and sleep disorders or abnormal levels of certain brain hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin.
What do eating curry and suffering from a stroke have in common? Research shows that the curry spice turmeric may have beneficial effects on the brain after a stroke. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies recently developed a synthetic derivative of turmeric, which dramatically improved the neurological deficits in animal models of stroke and traumatic brain injury. Canada’s Stroke Month, sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation, aims to educate people of the signs and treatment for strokes and to promote healthy living as a way to reduce risk.
Eyes are not only windows to the soul; they are also windows to the brain. When information in light hits and enters the eye, however, it is highly distorted and the brain must sort out the confusion. At the New York Hall of Science’s exhibit Seeing the Light, visitors can use interactive computer displays to experience how humans see and perceive color and light and how optical illusions can fool the human eye.
Behind the Human Connection
Explore the neurobiology of the human bond through a museum exhibit, a lecture series and a scientific conference.
Communication has many faces. We can share our ideas, feelings and passions through written and spoken words, artis-tic expression, subtle gesture and touch. At the Liberty Science Center’s Communication exhibit, visitors can explore the origins of human language, as well as how the brain responds to a range of words and sounds and how we bond using different modes of self-expression.
Jersey City, N.J.
What motivates students to strive for an A? Why do people experience that midafternoon energy slump during the workday? As part of the University of California, San Diego, weekly seminar series, neurobiologist Larry Swanson will describe how neural networks can control our emotional and motivational behaviors. For instance, in recent work, Swanson mapped out pathways in the brain that regulate shifts in our emotions throughout the day.
La Jolla, Calif.