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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Just as intense concentration allows a sharp mind to perform at its peak, a research institute that concentrates pre-eminent scientists from 11 academic departments can push back the frontiers of knowledge in a complex research area: the human brain.

That broad-based collaborative approach has allowed the Brown Institute for Brain Science to make major contributions to the field since it was founded as the Brain Science Program in 1999.

The community of more than 100 scientists will mark its first decade by welcoming top colleagues from around the country Oct. 13-14, 2010, to speak at a celebratory symposium, The Future of the Brain. Symposium sessions are open to the public without charge, but advance registration is required.

"Brain scientists at Brown University have had a profound impact on what we know about how we see, think, remember, move, and learn," said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons. "They have achieved these things not only because of their individual excellence, but also because they are part of a thriving community of researchers with complementary expertise, common goals and interests."

In the last decade, for example, Brown scientists affiliated with the institute have:

  • invented and refined a brain-computer interface "BrainGate" that people with paralysis have used to control machines with their thoughts;
  • discovered a new type of light-detecting cell in the eye; and
  • advanced physical theories of how the brain changes to enable learning and memory.

"The fundamental research we do on the brain and the entire nervous system often produces findings that we can translate into new technologies and treatments for disease," said John Donoghue, professor of neuroscience and the institute's director.

With $60 million in funding (including a $15-million endowment) and a dedicated staff, the institute is a catalyst among 11
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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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