Faculty members present panel discussion on harnessing the power of the brain

Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D.

Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D.

Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, hosted a panel discussion titled, “Harnessing Brain Power: When Brains do Amazing Things and When They Do Stupid Things,” as part of the presidential installation of Timothy D. Sands, the 16th president of Virginia Tech.

The panel – which included several faculty members from the institute – presented recent research findings about the brain.

Professor Warren Bickel described what happens when our brain’s output causes us to undertake risky, self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse.

Stephen LaConte, an assistant professor, discussed how the human brain can work with computers and other machines to improve performance and provide feedback to improve health.

Pearl Chiu, also an assistant professor, presented on how the human brain mediates interpersonal relationships and how brain injuries may affect those processes.