Brain Awareness Week 2016


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We are so excited for our celebration of Brain Awareness Week, the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Brain Awareness Week is organized by the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs.

Here is a detailed breakdown of all the fun stuff going on next week:

UPDATE: Rescheduled, New Date TBD

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, PhD

Dr. Nicolelis leads a research laboratory at Duke University that explores a diverse array of studies, including neuronal population coding and neuroprosthetics. The Nicolelis lab is also studying many psychiatric and neurological disorders, including Parkinsons disease, through a unique integrative approach. Their approach will be applied to integrate molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral data in the same animal, yielding a more comprehensive understanding of the neurophysiology of such disorders.

Dr. Nicolelis led a team of 150 scientists who designed the famous brain-controlled exoskeleton that enabled a paraplegic man to kick off the 2014 World Cup. Dr. Nicolelis has also appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, has given two TEDTalks (1 and 2) and a TedMed Talk, and has been interviewed in a podcast in Scientific American.

There will be free Rebecca’s catering and T-Shirt giveaways at this event!

Here is the design for the 2016 Brain Awareness Week T-Shirt:


Tuesday, March 22nd


“How Human Brains Give Rise To Language”
Dr. Iris Berent, 52nd Robert D. Klein Lecturer
3:00 PM in Raytheon Amphitheater

Dr. Berent’s research studies the human capacity for language from a broad interdisciplinary perspective. Dr. Berent’s research integrates a diverse set of methods (behavioral, neural, and genetic), languages (spoken and signed), and research populations (adults, children, and infants). She has numerous publications in premier scientific journals, includingProceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Congition, and Language. Her work has been funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Professer Berent has been a Professor of Psychology at Northeastern since 2008. Professor Berent has presented at top academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad, including Harvard, Yale, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, Cambridge, Oxford, and University College London.  She is also committed to disseminating her research findings to broader public audiences, for example by speaking to Boston-area parents of children with dyslexia.


Tabling for Brain Awareness Week
3:30-6:30 PM in the Curry Crossroads

Stop by for some fun brain awareness-related activities and more giveaways! We are bringing back the classic “drunk goggles” and other fun things to encourage learning about the brain.


Wednesday, March 23rd

Samaritans Hope Suicide Prevention Presentation
6:40 PM in 325 Behrakis

Representatives from Samaritans Hope, a 24/7 resource for suicide prevention, will be coming to share their experiences with mental health. Samaritans Hope focuses on suicide prevention and minimizing the stigma of mental illness. To learn more about Samaritans Hope and the resources they provide, visit their website.


Thursday, March 24th

Dr. Sandeep Robert Datta
Datta Laboratory, Harvard Medical School
6:30 PM in 320 Behrakis

The Datta Laboratory at Harvard Medical School studies how the brain is wired to extract information from the environment and convert that information into action. The main hypothesis of the laboratory is that studying the neural circuits that underlie stimulus-driven innate behaviors will provide insight as to how information is converted into action. The Datta lab focuses on characterizing olfactory circuits that enable animals to detect and innately respond to scents from food, predators, and mates. More information can be found on the lab website.


Friday, March 25th

Tabling for Brain Awareness Week
1:15-3:00 PM in the Curry Crossroads

Stop by for some fun brain awareness-related activities and more giveaways! We are bringing back the classic “drunk goggles” and other fun things to encourage learning about the brain.