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July 09, 2015

Drug Addiction and Incarceration

Capitol Hill Briefing, in Washington, DC: An overwhelming majority of felony incarcerations involve substance abuse, costing states and the federal government tens of billions of dollars. What is the correlation between drug addiction and crime, what are leading scientists working on to address this problem, and are there policy solutions to remediate this issue? Panel includes Charles O’Brien, PhD, Vice-Chair of Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Prestigious Center for Studies in Addiction, and Joshua Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center. Opening remarks by The Honorable Chaka Fattah (D-PA), moderator Erin Heath of AAAS.

June 18, 2015

From Birth to Two: the Neuroscience of Infant Development

From birth to two years old is marked by great cognitive, emotional, social and physical development in children, and the brain is growing at a rapid pace. Research has enabled professionals and parents to identify developmental milestones for assessing a child’s progress across time. Although children develop according to a predictable sequence of steps, they do not necessarily proceed through them in the same way or at the same time. Every child’s development is unique, influenced by genetics, prenatal development, the care he/she receives after birth, and the experiences prompted by his or her environment. So there is a wide range of what may be considered 'normal' development. Leading scientists will review both basic and clinical research and discuss factors that influence child development from birth to two-years old, helping us understand what to look for, how to interpret what we observe, and what, if anything, can be done to intervene if something goes “wrong.” Please join us as we delve into the world of infant mental development, with Lisa Freund, Pat Levitt, Lisa Shulman, and Mark Frankel. The Neuroscience & Society series is a partnership between The Dana Foundation and the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

June 09, 2015

Optogenetics: Controlling the Brain with Light

Capitol Hill Briefing, in Washington, DC: Highlighted as one of the “big ideas” of the past decade by the journal Science, optogenetics involves the use of light to control neurons, and it has opened up a realm of possibilities for better understanding the brain. Panel includes Edward Boyden, Brian Chow, and Dayu Lin.

March 18, 2015

Tangled up in Blue: The Complexity of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain constitutes a serious health, social and economic issue worldwide. A 2011 Institute of Medicine Report noted that more than 100 million Americans meet the criteria for a chronic pain diagnosis, which leads to more than 500 billion dollars in direct and indirect medical costs annually. This event reports on recent findings from neuroscience and medicine that are influencing views on pain management and helping guide decisions on treatments, better approaches to educating health professionals, and in policymaking.

October 28, 2014

The Science of Illusion

By studying this disconnect between perception and reality, scientists can learn about brain function and its relevance to mental health, decision making, and the way we view ourselves and others. This video starts with a performance by illusionist Alain Nu, followed by a discussion aming Nu, psychiatrist and author Richard Restak, and Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde, scientists who study various aspects of visual, sensory, and cognitive neuroscience. The event was held at AAAS in Washington, DC, on Oct. 28, 2014.

September 18, 2014

Stressing about Stress

Scientists Janice Kiecolt-Glaser of Ohio State and David Shurtleff of NIH help us better understand what our mind and body experience—good and bad—when we encounter stressful situations during an evening at AAAS in Washington, DC, on Sept. 18, 2014.

July 07, 2014

FENS 2014 Neuroethics Press Conference

Press conference on the neuroethics of "Recording and Manipulating the Brain: How Far Can We Go? How Far Should We Go?" at the 9th FENS Forum of Neuroscience, Milan, Italy, July 7, 2014.

May 06, 2014

Smells Delicious and Good to Eat: How Your Brain Distinguishes Tastes and Aromas

Why do we prefer certain tastes and aromas over others? How do taste and aroma interact with each other? A neuroscientist from the Monell Institute and experts in wine, food, and fragrance spoke at a AAAS/Dana Science & Society event on May 6, 2014, in Washington, DC.

March 11, 2014

Wake up, I'm Speaking: The Neuroscience of Sleep and Dreaming

It seems that everybody, from comedians, to poets, to world leaders, have something to say about sleep. So why not scientists? Sleep, or the lack of it, is the focus of considerable research in the United States, where sleep disorders and sleep deprivation have been associated with poor cognitive performance, behavioral problems, accidents, ill health and other factors that adversely affect quality of life. When we do sleep, we also dream; in fact, during a typical lifetime, people spend an average of six years dreaming. Sleep, dreaming, and the impact of medicine and society were the subject of a AAAS/Dana Public event in Washington, DC on March 11, 2014.

October 24, 2013

The Arts and the Brain: What Does Your Brain See? What Does Your Brain Hear?

When you listen to music or look at a painting, your brain is busy. Recent advances in neuroimaging allow a more sophisticated understanding of the brain processes underlying sound and vision. These topics were addressed in an AAAS/Dana public event on October 24, 2013 in Washington, DC.

September 19, 2013

Neuroenhancement: Building an Improved Human Body and Mind

Human enhancement embraces the idea that science and technology can be used to restore or expand cognitive and physical human capacities. It has received considerable public attention lately with the return of injured soldiers and the demand for prosthetic devices and with controversies surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs. These and other topics were covered in a public event on September 19, 2013 in Washington, DC, sponsored by the AAAS and the Dana Foundation.

June 06, 2013

What Are They Thinking? Exploring the Adolescent Brain

Advances in brain research have enabled scientists to learn more about how the adolescent brain functions, from the everyday behavior of teenagers to how they cope with the challenges of disease, learning problems and social cues. These topics were covered in a public event on June 12, 2013 in Washington, DC, sponsored by the AAAS and the Dana Foundation.

April 25, 2013

Neuroscience and the Law

Advances in brain research have implications for the legal system, where they raise issues for the law, from matters relating to the admissibility of evidence to decisions about criminal culpability. This was the theme of the Neuroscience and Law event held on April 25 in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Dana Foundation, AAAS, The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law and Neuroscience and the International Neuroethics Society.

June 13, 2012

The Aging Brain: What's New in Brain Research, Treatment, and Policy

As researchers home in on biomarkers for the progress of dementia, how should treatment and policy change? A webcast of the inaugural event in the Neuroscience and Society Series, presented by the AAAS and the Dana Foundation.