8 Most Holocaust survivors spend their lives trying to forget the horrors of the era, but neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel, who fled Austria in 1939 to escape the Nazis, went on to investigate how we remember. His groundbreaking research led to a new understanding of how memories are formed, eventually winning Kandel the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work. Now German filmmaker Petra Seeger has profiled Kandel’s life in an eloquent film called In Search of Memory.
New York City
21–24 Self-awareness, a goal in Buddhist practice, can now be linked to brain activity. Through discussions and lectures, participants in the Zen Brain retreat The Self and Selflessness in Neuroscience, Buddhism, and Philosophy at the Upaya Institute will explore the ways in which neuroscience has contributed to our grasp and practice of Buddhism.
Santa Fe, N.M.
18–20 We know that school makes us smarter, but now neuroscience can help explain why. The 25th Learning & the Brain conference will investigate the factors—such as socioeconomic status, gender and stress—that contribute to or conflict with intellectual growth and consider how educators can use this understanding to teach more effectively in the classroom. Neuroscientist Richard Nisbett of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor will speak about the best ways to boost IQ scores, and developmental molecular biologist John Medina of the University of Washington School of Medicine will discuss how stress affects memory and influences a student’s performance.
18–20 Prisoners are up to four times as likely to suffer from mental illness as the general population. Without effective rehabilitation techniques, many people become more mentally unstable behind bars. The Mental Health Issues and the Administration of Justice conference will explore the ways in which imprisonment threatens mental health and how psychological illness can affect criminal proceedings, sentencing and treatment of prisoners.
Auckland, New Zealand
25–26 Does the way a landscape is presented on a printed map or captured on film shape the way we perceive and remember it? The interdisciplinary conference Mapping, Memory and the City will bring together filmmakers, architects, and urban studies professionals to examine how printed maps, filmstrips and digital-mapping techniques are used to document geographic environments and how these maps mold public perception and memory of urban spaces.
Vivid photographs, 3-D sculptures of the brain and an exploration of aggression show us our inner mental machinery.
Through March 1
Have you ever wanted to see a brain up close and understand how its intricate structure works? Now you can at the Franklin Institute’s Body Worlds 2 and the Brain exhibition, a follow-up to the popular 2005 Body Worlds show. Using real (preserved) human brains, this special presentation meant for all ages reveals the most up-to-date ideas in neuroscience from new findings on brain development and function to brain disease and disorders.
February 27–May 16
Photographer William Eggleston captures familiar objects, such as a shopping cart, a bicycle or a woman’s hairstyle, with such striking colors that his work can alter a viewer’s perception of these and other everyday items. The Art Institute of Chicago’s retrospective of Eggleston’s work, William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video 1961–2008, challenges the mind to make sense of extraordinary presentations of the mundane.
February 28–May 20
Aggression: It’s an impulse that many of us are loathe to admit we possess, yet it manifests itself in everything from fighting in a war to pushing someone in a crowded hallway. On Aggression, an exhibition of various artists’ work at the Philoctetes Center, explores this powerful drive and its connection to gender roles, politics and military conflict.
New York City