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Michael Fox, PhD, Associate Professor, and Rosalyn Moran, PhD, Assistant Professor
Brain School: The Stuff of Brains and How They Process Information
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute will host Brain School as part of Brain Awareness Week on the evenings of Monday, March 11 through Thursday, March 14, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Dr. Fox’s presentation will provide a general overview of the human brain, from its structural organization to its cellular makeup, including neurons, glial cells, the brain’s circulatory system, and the "matrix” or mortar that forms the scaffolding for the various cell types in the brain. Students will also learn how individual neurons chemically communicate with their partners through synapses, the concept of neural circuits, and how information is transferred in the brain.
Dr. Moran’s presentation will outline how multiple scales of “wet-ware”—from “grandmother cells” to the brain at rest—support the software that our brains run to allow us to experience cognition and to carry out behaviors. Her talk will consider how neuroscience spans multiple empirical domains, from monitoring the electrical activity of individual nerve cells to imaging the structure and changes in blood flow in a living brain, with examples of how these disciplines intersect. Key to information processing is the site where one nerve cell communicates with another at the synapse, where learning results in changes and new information from the environment becomes instantiated. Dr. Moran will also highlight different ways of modulating synaptic information processing with reference to human memory and attention.
Brain School is free, yet preregistration is required as space is limited.