SfN Promotes Brain Awareness On Capitol Hill
Brain plasticity was the focus of discussion for U.S. Congress members and their staff attending “It’s Nature AND Nurture: How Your Brain Shapes Your Experiences and Your Experiences Shape Your Brain,” an overview of how genetics and experience interact across the lifespan to continually shape the human brain.
The event, hosted by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chairs of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus, was held on Capitol Hill on September 25, and cosponsored by the Society for Neuroscience, the American Brain Coalition, and the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus. The goal was to raise awareness about growing understanding about brain function, and to underscore the importance of scientific research.
Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) attended the event along with dozens of Hill aides and advocates for the brain.
Attendees heard dynamic presentations from neuroscientists John Morrison, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Adam Gazzaley, of the University of California, San Francisco. Benjamin Walker, of Georgetown University School of Medicine, displayed several brains for attendees to touch, including a human brain, as well as sheep, cow, and monkey brains for visual representations of a variety of brain structures.
After the remarks, the audience participated in activities illustrating how the brain changes in response to experiences, and researchers answered questions regarding the future of brain science.