Science Pub Eugene
|Date: Nov. 8, 2012||Time: 7:00pm||Located at: Cozmic: 199 W. 8th Ave., Eugene|
|Who is this for: All Ages||Cost: $5 suggested cover charge. No RSVP or tickets required.|
"Minds, Brains and Worms: the Biological Basis of Thought"
It's been said that the brain works just the way you think. But what is thinking and how does the brain do it? There are more neuronal connections in the human brain than there are stars in the Milky Way, so neuroscientists use simple organisms to search for universal principles of brain function. One such organism is the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which has only 302 neurons and about 7,000 connections. Despite its simple brain, this species exhibits many intelligent behaviors including learning, memory, spatial navigation, and economical decision making. Using examples from laboratories across the world, including his own, Dr. Shawn Lockery will explain how neuroscientists analyze the function of simple brains, to better to understand our own.
Shawn Lockery, PhD, is Professor of Biology and Director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon. He obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and did his postdoctoral research in computational neuroscience at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. An electrophysiologist by training, his research focuses on the neuronal basis of behavior in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. He is also co-founder of NemaMetrix LLC, which develops microfluidic devices for drug screens to combat neglected tropical diseases in resource-limited countries. Recent awards include an NIH Challenge Grant and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.