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THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF BETTER BRAINS: Harnessing the Power of Neuroplasticity

Thursday, May 31, 2018
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

What if your brain at 77 were as plastic as it was at 7? What if you could learn Mandarin with the ease of a toddler or play Rachmaninoff without breaking a sweat? A growing understanding of neuroplasticity suggests these fantasies could one day become reality. Neuroplasticity may also be the key to solving diseases like Alzheimer’s, depression, and autism. This program will guide you through the intricate neural pathways inside our skulls, as leading neuroscientists discuss their most recent findings and both the tantalizing possibilities and pitfalls for our future cognitive selves.

The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation. 


Guy McKhannNeurosurgeon, Neuroscientist

Guy McKhann has over 20 years of experience as a neurosurgeon/neuroscientist at Columbia University/New York Presbyterian Hospital, combining clinical skill and compassionate care to maximize patient outcomes.

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Alvaro Pascual-LeoneNeuroscientist

Alvaro Pascual-Leone is Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and chief of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is an associate dean for clinical and translational research and a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.

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Nim TottenhamDevelopmental Psychologist

Nim Tottenham, PhD is an associate professor of Psychology at Columbia University and director of the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research examines brain development underlying emotional behavior in humans.

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Carla ShatzNeuroscientist

Carla Shatz has broken new ground for women in neuroscience. At Harvard Medical School, she was the first woman to receive a PhD in Neurobiology and the first woman to chair the department. Her research aims to understand how early developing brain circuits are transformed into adult connections during developmental critical periods.

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About Gerald W. Lynch Theater

The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is proud to have hosted the World Science Festival, the Lincoln Center Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, New York City Opera, Mummenschanz, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, Inside the Actor’s Studio, Comedy Central Presents, the American Justice Summit, and the 2013 NYC Mayoral Democratic Debates. We are home to premiere galas, conferences, international competitions, and graduations. The Theater is a member of CUNY Stages, a consortium of 16 performing arts centers located on CUNY campuses across New York City and the CUNY Dance Initiative. For more information, and a schedule of events, please visit www.GeraldWLynchTheater.com.