Learning & the Brain – again!

Seems I cannot stay away from the Learning & the Brain conference 🙂 This cycle the conference will be held three times in three different locations – the first is this weekend in Cambridge, MA, with the second one to be held in California during February and the last one to take place in May in Washington, D.C.

What’s different for me this time round is I volunteered to preside over a morning session. This entails introducing two speakers, making sure their talks begin and end on time, and assisting with fielding questions. About two weeks ago the bios of the speakers were emailed, and from their vitae I put together two brief intros, which are not to exceed a minute each.

Having enjoyed Ken Kosik’s talk last April, I am looking forward to introducing him at 8:30 this morning for his session The Adult Brain & Memory. Following him will be Aaron Nelson talking about The Aging Brain: Optimizing and Protecting Memory. I’ll definitely write about their talks within the next few days! Meanwhile, here are their intros.

Dr Kenneth Kosik
Dr Kosik is co-Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute and the Harriman Chair in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research focuses on “both the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity and its impairment in neurodegeneration.”

Besides touching down at Case Western, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Harvard, MIT, and Tuft’s, here’s a possibly little known fact about Ken Kosik – he was the Medical Advisor on the 2001 film Blue Diner, about a woman who loses the ability to speak in her native tongue.

It took just my first encounter with Ken, at this past April’s Learning & the Brain conference, to show that unlike the character in the film, he has an impressive command of the field and is fluent in both Sicence-speak and equally adept at demystifying it in plain English. When Ken was finished with his April session, the words “compassionate scientist” popped to mind to describe hiim.

Please welcome Ken Kosik.

Aaron Nelson
Dr Nelson is Chief of Psychology and Neuropsychology at Brigham and Woman’s Hopsital in Boston, and author of the Harvard Medical School Guide to Achieving Optimal Memory, plus a more recent pamphlet entitled Improving Memory – Understanding age-related memory loss. He is also an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

There is another Aaron Nelson, who is one of the athletic trainers of the Phoenix Suns basketball team. As far as I know, they are not related, but our Aaron Nelson is also involved in sports, as the neuropsychology consultant to the Boston Bruins hockey team.

Aaron is co-founder of the Brigham Behavioral Neurology Group, now known as the Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Please welcome Aaron Nelson.


View from the 15th floor, 6:15 a.m.
Fenway Park is in the midst of all those lights.


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