OHSU Brain Awareness lecture series
7 p.m. Mondays: May 7, May 14, May 21
Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, Portland
This season’s lectures will explore the critical influence nourishing the brain has on our daily abilities, from academic performance to good decision making. Top researchers in neuroscience discuss the brain’s complex biology and the profound impact choosing the right – and wrong – fuels has on behavior.
Hosted by the OHSU Brain Institute, the Brain Awareness lecture series began in 2000.
Trade Food for Thought to Power 86 million Neurons (May 7)
The human brain is a remarkable organ. Seven times larger than they should be for the size of our bodies, our brain uses 25 percent of all the energy the body requires each day. Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Ph.D., an associate professor and associate director for communications for the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, explains how one technological innovation – cooking – supercharged the human brain. Cooking enabled us to develop cognitive abilities that outstrip other animals, enabling us to efficiently gather a massive number of neurons through our caloric intake.
The ‘Secret Sauce’ to Honing the Mind (May 14)
Executive function skills – self-control, perseverance, creativity – are more predictive of success than IQ. What supports and what hinders these skills? Adele Diamond, Ph.D., professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, asserts that play and movement are crucial factors in nourishing the brain and allowing it to develop.
Anxiety and Learning Problems: Could it be the Fats you Eat? (May 21)
An essential nutrient our brains need for developing and maintaining our mental muscle and moods has been systematically removed from the modern diet – for convenience and “health food.” Without it, we can’t think, focus or control ourselves as well. Bita Moghaddam, Ph.D., professor and chair of behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine, will relate how brain food matters for young and old.