Science Pub Hillsboro: Communication and the Brain
Between the Ears: How Normal and Diseased Brains Process Communication Sounds
With Elena Mahrt, Graduate Student and PhD Zoology Candidate at WSU-Vancouver & Christine Portfors, PhD, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Education and Professor at WSU-Vancouver
Doors Open at 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation
With over 6,000 different spoken languages around the world, speech is one of our defining features as humans. But for 6 - 8 million Americans with a language impairment, daily life is more challenging. The first steps towards helping individuals with language impairments is to understand how the brain processes complex sounds. Auditory neuroscientists Dr. Christine Portfors and Elena Mahrt use mice and bats as model organisms to study how normal and diseased brains interpret communication sounds. Their work can inform future research on what is different in the brains of humans with language impairments and how to improve their quality of life.
Dr. Christine Portfors has been a faculty member in the School of Biological Sciences at WSU Vancouver since 2001. She is also the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. She started studying bats during her graduate work at York University in Canada and has continued to be fascinated by how the brain processes complex sounds such as echolocation and communication sounds. Her lab at WSU Vancouver focuses on understanding how the brain processes speech-like sounds and how these processes are affected by disease and disorders. In addition to being a scientist, Christine is passionate about engaging students of all ages in the joy of scientific discovery.
Elena Mahrt received her Bachelors in Biology in 2010 at WSU Vancouver, where she first started working with colonies of mice and bats in Dr. Portfors’ lab. Her fascination with these highly social animals led to her PhD dissertation on the vocal communication mechanisms of the mouse. In addition to her interest in animal communication and neuroscience, Elena is passionate about science communication and public speaking.
Science Pub Hillsboro is a monthly event open to anyone aged 21+ (or minor with adult). No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!
$5.00 suggested cover charge. Tell your friends. We hope to see you there!
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Whether you choose to rocket through the galaxy, dive beneath the waves, or race through snow-capped mountains, an assortment of incredible adventures awaits in this multi-sensory ride experience.
From the soaring and breathtaking cliffs of Norway to the calm and inspiring immensity of the Mojave Desert, from a child's daunting first day of school to the exciting world of skydiving and base jumping, Adrenaline Rush explores the psychological and physiological forces behind risk taking and the physics involved in high-risk activities.
Adrenaline Rush examines why the human mind and body crave danger as viewers experience breathtaking views of skydiving over the Florida Keys and a 4,265-foot jump from a legendary Norwegian cliff. The film also follows skydivers as they prepare to undertake a unique scientific experiment: trying to fly the parachute imagined in 1485 by Leonardo da Vinci, the first parachute design ever recorded.
Duration: 40 mins. | Rating: Ages 8+
Venture on a spectacular journey through the most dramatic continent on earth: Africa. The story of this enchanted land is told through its relationship to water. Water crafts wild Africa, conjuring up life wherever it journeys… travelling above the plains on seasonal winds, cascading along raging rivers or sheltering coral cities.
Travel to fantastic places, meet amazing creatures and uncover the fascinating secrets of this amazing place. Learn how spectacular thermal geysers help turn thousands of flamingos pink, and create the perfect conditions for them to breed; why the heat beating down on waterless dunes in the Namib Desert forces a lizard to dance; and why it snows on the equator.
It’s an adventure where you will truly believe the real world is more extraordinary and awe-inspiring than any fiction.
Duration: 40 mins. | Rating: All Ages
Prehistoric Planet: Walking with Dinosaurs | 3D
Join narrator Benedict Cumberbatch on an extraordinary journey back in time to the Alaska of 70 million years ago. Through the latest in CGI technology, BBC Earth invites you to witness the most authentic dinosaur experience ever to be presented on the Giant Screen.
The adventure begins with a herd of large, plant-eating dinosaurs – Pachyrhinosaurus. The film follows their youngsters through the seasons and the challenges of growing up and establishing themselves in this prehistoric world. From the moment they hatch, they face predators, extremes of weather and natural disasters as they fight for survival.
Huge bone beds, found in Alaska and Alberta, reveal that pachyrhinosaurs roamed in vast herds. They very likely undertook epic migrations and had complex social lives, just as animals in large herds do today. Following them on their migrations, we encounter various other species they likely met and interacted with, including the fierce Nanuqsaurus, the top predator of the day.
For this immersive Giant Screen experience, the bodies and movements of the different Cretaceous era species have been precisely recreated from the fossil evidence. Their behaviour is derived from both palaeontology and a detailed knowledge of the behaviour of modern animals, giving these animated creatures an amazing degree of realism.
With its ambitious CGI visuals, Prehistoric Planet: Walking With Dinosaurs reveals the story behind the lives of the dinosaurs and the challenges they faced during a constant battle of survival in the ancient world.
Duration: 40 mins. | Rating: All Ages
Starry Nights Live!
Learn about the interesting stories of the constellations and others in this live presentation in OMSI's Kendall Planetarium. It is not just stars everyone can see in the night sky—planets, constellations, zodiac, shooting stars and satellites are all there if you know when and where to look. Navigate by the stars and discover how you can become a backyard astronomer. Topics will change monthly and graphics will be programmed accordingly. All shows are hosted and narrated live by OMSI planetarium staff.
During this 45-minute long guided tour, you will get to peer through a periscope, touch a torpedo, climb in a bunk in the crew's quarters, and much more. You will learn how a submarine works and get a glimpse into how a crew of 85 lived and worked within the Blueback's hull for months at a time.
Approx. 45 mins. | Ages 3 and above.
Perfect Little Planet
Imagine the ultimate space vacation! Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes – a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best known Dwarf Planet. Dive over the ice cliffs of Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms of Jupiter. And walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? A solar system journey for space travelers of all ages.
Journey To Space | 3D
A celebration of space exploration, Journey to Space is a tribute to international cooperation in space research and a vision toward our near-term future beyond Earth’s orbit – a manned mission to Mars within a generation. Beautifully and inspiringly chronicling our history in space – including the shuttle program, MIR, the International Space Station and the Hubble telescope – Journey to Space recognizes these milestones in the context of our future in the cosmos, what we’ve learned, and how to apply this knowledge to deep space missions. The film takes audiences on a behind-the-scenes tour of the international effort to send astronauts to Mars within the next 20 years, culminating in a virtual voyage to the Red Planet. Dazzling and meticulous computer imagery depicts the new machines that will soon enter into our lexicon – Orion, Olympus, SLS rockets – spacecraft, habitats, landers, and vehicles necessary to achieve interplanetary travel, touchdown and colonization.
Journey to Space taps into the same human fervor and fascination that makes science fiction so popular, our unquenchable drive to explore and discover what lies beyond. This film, though, is not fiction. Mars is the next step in what will be an unending human odyssey to explore the cosmos. Journey to Space is about the next chapter, a vision certain to inspire today’s young explorers and dreamers. It is time to take the next great leap into space. It is time for our species, in the words of Carl Sagan, to “set sail across the cosmic ocean.” Next stop… Mars!
Duration: 40 mins. | Rating: All Ages
Presented by Toyota and Boeing, Journey to Space is an immersive film produced by K2 Communications and Giant Screen Films in association with the Giant Dome Theater Consortium. Additional production support and consultation was provided by The Smithsonian Institute, The Kennedy Space Center, the California Science Center and NASA.
OMSI's presentation of Journey to Space is supported by the Portland Metro Toyota Dealers Association.
Included in General Admission | The Earth Science Hall also houses the Paleo Lab, where staff and volunteers excavate real dinosaur and ancient Oregon fossils from plaster casts in a setting open to the public.
Included in General Admission | Discover the hair-raising effects of static electricity with the Van de Graff Generator and view some of the first phonographs ever made at the Physics Lab.
Included in General Admission | The Vernier Technology Lab features engaging, in-depth units on different aspects of technology, including Security, Biomedical, Robots and Computers, Communications, and Household Technology. The units rotate frequently, so that every time you visit OMSI you'll find something new to do in the lab!