March 1, 2012

Vanderbilt hosts "Brain Blast" fun for kids and adults, Saturday, March 3

“Brain Blast,” a half day of free, hands-on activities for children and adults will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks, 719 Thompson Lane.

Vanderbilt neuroscience undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members will lead the activities in the first floor conference room, located at Entrance D. Among other “mind-stretchers,” participants will learn how DNA, zebrafish and even cow eyes help scientists understand the brain.

“Brain Blast” is a highlight of Vanderbilt University’s annual Brain Awareness Month, sponsored by the Vanderbilt Brain Institute to raise awareness about brain disorders and neuroscience research. Six “Brainstorm” events, which also are free and open to the public, are listed below.

"What neuroimaging reveals about reading and language development," by Ken Pugh, Ph.D., 4:10 p.m., Thursday, March 1, at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, One Magnolia Circle (formerly MRL building), Room 241. Pugh directs the Yale Reading Center and is an expert on reading disabilities, including dyslexia.

"Potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease," by Paul Newhouse, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Center for Cognitive Medicine, 7 p.m., Monday, March 5, in the 1st Floor Conference Room at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks (Entrance D). A reception will follow his talk.

"How endocannabinoids modify “synaptic plasticity” in the brain," by Pablo Castillo, M.D., Ph.D., 4:10 p.m., Wednesday, March 7, in room 1220, Medical Research Building III. Castillo is professor of Neuroscience at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

“Cognitive Neuroscience and the Future of Punishment,” by University of Notre Dame law professor O. Carter Snead, J.D., noon, Tuesday, March 13, in Vanderbilt Law School’s Flynn Auditorium. Lunch will be provided.

"Molecular mechanisms of memory formation," by Farah Lubin, Ph.D., 4:10 p.m., Monday, March 26, in room 241 of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, One Magnolia Circle. Lubin is assistant professor of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"What intracranial recordings reveal about human cognition," by Robert Knight, M.D., 4:10 p.m., Wednesday, March 28, in room 1220, Medical Research Building III. Knight is the Evan Rauch Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley.

For more information, contact Beth Sims at or 936-3705.