DATE: Thursday, June 11, 2009
TIME: 7:00 PM-8:30 PM
VENUE: NYU Kimmel Center, Rosenthal Pavilion
MODERATOR: Brooke Gladstone
PARTICIPANTS: John Donoghue, John-Dylan Haynes, Frank Tong, Paul Root Wolpe

So you thought nobody could know what you’re thinking? Well, you’re right. For now. But fMRI brain research, identifying patterns linked to thoughts, is moving forward at a pace that’s surprising even experts. Host Brooke Gladstone joins leading neuroscientists for a state-of-the-art tour through research that’s closing in on an ability to make our thoughts visible. The program will also explore related research on brain controlled prostheses and the newly emerging field of neuroethics.

  • Share This:


Host & Managing Editor, On the Media

Brooke Gladstone is the Host and Managing Editor of NPR’s On the Media from WNYC. She’s also an accomplished print journalist with works appearing in the London Observer, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and many other leading publications.



Professor John Donoghue was the founding chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at Brown, a position he held for thirteen years. He is currently the director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science, which unites more than one hundred Brown faculty members to support interdisciplinary research on the nervous system. Dr. Donoghue received a Jacob Javits award from the NIH and won Germany’s Zulch Prize in 2007 for his research. He has received a number of awards related to his work on BrainGate, including 2004 Innovation Award for Neuroscience from Discover Magazine. Professor Donoghue is also a co-founder of Cyberkinetics, a startup company developing neurotechnologies for humans with paralysis and nervous system injuries. He has served on panels for the NIH, NSF, NASA and other federal agencies and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering.

Computational Neuroscientist

John-Dylan Haynes is a leading expert investigating neural correlates of consciousness and volitional processing, and has developed groundbreaking methods for decoding or “reading out” a person’s mental states from their brain activity. He is Professor for Theory and Analysis of Large Scale Brain Signals at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin.

2-23-09 -  Environmental photos of Vanderbilt Psychology researchers & co-authors, Frank Tong and Stephenie Harrison in Wilson Hall where they discovered that early visual areas play an important role in visual working memory.(Vanderbilt University / Steve Green)
Cognitive Neuroscientist

Frank Tong is a cognitive neuroscientist and an associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University. He uses functional brain imaging and neural decoding methods to predict what people are seeing or thinking from their patterns of brain activity. His lab has revealed how the visual areas of the brain reflect the contents of what a person consciously perceives, pays attention to, or actively holds in memory. Dr. Tong received his PhD from Harvard University in 1999, the McDonnell-Pew Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cognitive Neuroscience in 1999, the Robert K. Root Preceptorship Award from Princeton University in 2003, the Scientific American 50 Award in 2005 for innovative work on neural decoding, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s Young Investigator Award in 2006, the Chancellor’s Award for Research from Vanderbilt University in 2008, and the Vision Sciences Society’s Young Investigator Award in 2009.


Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Research Professor of Jewish Bioethics, Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. Dr. Wolpe also serves as the first Chief of Bioethics for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he is responsible for formulating policy on bioethical issues and safeguarding research subjects. Wolpe’s expertise and research interests are in the area of Neuroethics.