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Brown Institute for Brain Science marks decade of research impact
Date:10/7/2010

that addictive drugs hijack memory-making mechanisms in brain reward centers in ways that cause persistent drug craving and contribute to relapse in substance abusers.

The most recent example of basic research producing a direct clinical application is in the lab of Justin Fallon, professor of neuroscience and an institute member. His underlying interest in the proteins that govern interactions at the junction of nerve and muscle cells has yielded a potential treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In parallel, his research into synaptic junctions has also led to insights into the fight against autism.

By focusing on fundamental research, Donoghue said, institute researchers expect to encounter more such instances in which they gain insight into multiple disorders that share common mechanisms.

The Future of the Brain

At the Oct. 13-14 symposium, The Future of the Brain, panel speakers hailing from academe and industry will discuss frontiers of research and its impact on understanding brain function, treating brain disorders, and creating brain-like machines. On Oct. 13, neuroscientist, primatologist, and author Robert Sapolksy will deliver the Future of the Brain keynote public lecture titled "Humans: Are we just another primate? Are we just a bunch of neurons?"

"Innovating the Brain" panels on that day will include industry experts such as Tim Denison, from Medtronic Inc., and Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc., discussing the future prospects for turning basic scientific knowledge of the brain into useful applications as well as using technology to restore lost brain functions.

Scientific panels on Oct. 14 will feature experts such as Mike Ehlers of Pfizer, debating the horizon of neurotechnology, vision research, and neurological disease. Bioengineer Kwabena Boahen of Stanford University will discuss efforts to make computer processors that mimic neural circuitry.

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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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