Neuroscience and Society

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Expert comment from the University of Pennsylvania
Neuroscience and Society


Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has a satellite-
uplink facility with live-shot capability and an ISDN line.

Video of the presentations given at the Penn Media Seminar on Neuroscience and Society, Sept. 19, 2008, at the Penn Club of New York, is available at http://www.sas.upenn.edu/home/media/neuro.html.

Presenters at the Penn Media Seminar on Neuroscience and Society:

Neuroscience and the Real World
Dr. Martha Farah, professor of natural sciences at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences and director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Penn, is an expert on the interface between cognitive neuroscience and what she calls "the real world," including new applications of neuroscience beyond the lab, in the home, office, classroom, courtroom and battlefield.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

What can and can’t be claimed from a picture of the brain?
Dr. Geoffrey K. Aguirre, assistant professor of neurology and member of the Center for Functional Neuroimaging at Penn, can discuss his work on cognitive neuroscience and behavioral neurology, primarily using the technique of functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

Cosmetic Neurology: Are Better Brains Better?
Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, a professor of neurology at Penn and faculty member of Penn’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, he speaks to the science, medicine and ethics of the emerging field of cosmetic neurology, which promises the potential for enhanced cognitive and emotional states in human beings.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

What does it mean to be human?
Dr. Susan Schneider, an assistant professor of philosophy and an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at Penn, can discuss her new book, “Science Fiction and Philosophy,” which uses science fiction as a springboard into neuroethics, transhumanism, the nature of thought and personal identity.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

The brain’s source of violent and criminal behavior
Dr. Adrian Raine, a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor with dual appointments as a professor of criminology and as a professor of psychiatry, is a world-renowned expert in the neurobiological causes of antisocial and violent behavior in children and adults as well as the potential for preventing future crime and the neuroethical implications of this effort.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu or
Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

Criminal and legal responsibility as neuroscience advances
Dr. Stephen J. Morse, professor of law and a professor of psychology and law in psychiatry at the Penn Law School, is an expert in criminal and mental health law. He can speak to the question of individual responsibility in criminal and civil law, as well as neuroscience and its impact on the criminal law's theory of responsibility.
Media contact: Jeanne Leong at 215-573-8151 or jleong@upenn.edu


Additional expert comment on neuroscience-related issues from the University of Pennsylvania:

Ethical issues in neuroscience
Dr. Jonathan Moreno, Penn Integrates Knowledge professor with dual appointment as a professor of medical ethics and a professor of History and Sociology of Science, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. A frequent source for the media, he has published “Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense,” “Ethical Guidelines for Innovative Surgery,” and “Is There an Ethicist in the House? On the Cutting Edge of Bioethics.”
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Ethical issues of human subject research and dementia
Jason Karlawish, associate professor of medicine, senior fellow of the Center for Bioethics and of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, fellow of the Institute on Aging, associate director of the Penn Memory Center and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center's Education and Information Transfer Core at the University of Pennsylvania, focuses on ethical issues in human subjects research and the care of persons with dementia.
Media contact: Karen Kreeger at 215-349-5658 or karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu

The technology and efficacy of lie detection
Dr. Daniel D. Langleben, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center, is an expert on the ability of brain scans and fMRI to tell whether someone is lying or telling the truth. He speaks regularly to the media regarding all manners of lie detection.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

Molecular mechanism of human memory storage and sleep regulation
Ted Abel, professor of biology and director of Penn’s Biological Basis of Behavior Program, investigates the molecular mechanisms and synaptic plasticity thought to underlie human memory storage, sleep regulation and a wide array of mental disorders from Alzheimer’s to depression.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Human memory and human perception of time
H. Branch Coslett, associate professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, studies the architecture and neural bases for human cognition, attention, and human perception of time, as well as the understanding and treatment of clinical disorders such as neglect.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

The neural mechanism of memory
Michael Kahana, professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn and member of the Computational Memory Lab, studies human memory and its neural mechanisms, especially episodic memory, spatial memory, and recognition memory by combining approaches from traditional experimental psychology, computational modeling and experimental neuroscience.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Human perception of space and the senses
Russell Epstein, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, focuses on how the brain processes human sensory perception and how it represents space, allowing us to navigate our way through the world.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Meditation, attention and focus
Amishi Jha, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, is an expert in the components that provide working memory and attention in humans, particularly the positive effect of meditation on human attention and focus.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Understanding and treating addiction
Anna Rose Childress, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the director of the Brain- Behavioral Vulnerabilities Division at the Center for the Study of Addictions, is an expert in the motivations for drug use and relapse, with an emphasis on understanding and treating cravings.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

Brain injury and speeding rehabilitation
Roy Hamilton, a neurologist and instructor in cognitive neurology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and director of the School’s Medicine Pipeline Program, a multi-tiered neuroscience education program for inner-city high schools students in Philadelphia, focuses on how the brain reorganizes itself in response to injury, and whether or not it is possible to enhance the brain's potential for reorganization in order to speed rehabilitation.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

New brain treatments for addictive disorders
Charles O'Brien, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and creator of the Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment, is an expert on clinical psychopharmacology, mechanisms of drug dependence and new pharmacological treatment of addictive disorders.
Media contact: Kim Guenther at 215-662-6183 or kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu

Brain imaging, fMRI, and social cognition related to autism
Robert Schultz, chair of the Regional Autism Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and member of Penn’s Biological Basis of Behavior Program, is a clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist and neuroimaging specialist focused on structural and functional MRI techniques to study social cognition and face perception in persons with autism and related disorders.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Brain basis of memory and language using fMRI
Sharon Thompson, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn, focuses on the neural bases of memory and language in humans with focus on the role of the frontal lobes in the semantic retrieval of information using fMRI.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

The cognitive mechanisms governing spiritual, social and individual beliefs
Andrew Newberg, associate professor in the Department of Radiology and Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, co-founder of Penn’s Center for Spirituality and the Mind and author of Why We Believe What We Believe, correlates a wide range of human beliefs with specific perceptual, social, and biological factors and performs research with Franciscan nuns, atheists, and evangelicals speaking in tongues.
Media contact: Olivia Fermano at 215-349-5653 or olivia.fermano@uphs.upenn.edu

Understanding, prevention and treatment of brain disease
Nancy Bonini, professor in the Department of Biology at Penn and researcher with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, her lab studies the molecular genetics, prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative and brain disorders such as Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Modeling of the brain as a computational system
Nabil H. Farhat, professor of electrical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn, studies the qualitative theory of nonlinear dynamics, bifurcation and chaos and its application to the modeling and understanding of brain dynamics during cognition, learning, intricate motor control and other higher-level functions.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu

Neuroeconomics and decision making
Joseph Kable, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn, is a neuroeconomist who draws on concepts from social and cognitive neuroscience, experimental economics and personality psychology to study how people make decisions, as well as the underlying psychological and neural mechanisms of choice.
Media contact: Jordan Reese at 215-573-6604 or jreese@upenn.edu


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