Press Contact: John Sullivan (202) 707-9216, Sophia P. Glezos (NIMH) (301) 443-4536

February 12, 1993

The Library of Congress Cohosts Fourth 'Decade of the Brain' Lecture with the National Institute of Mental Health March 18

The Library of Congress and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will cosponsor another in the popular series of "Decade of the Brain" symposia on Thursday, March 18, at the Library. "The Brain in Process: Developmental Neurobiology" is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, Madison Building. Advance registration is requested due to limited seating. Please call John Sullivan at the above number for reservations.

The symposium is the fourth in the Decade of the Brain Lecture Series and will focus on the process of brain development, from the earliest stages in utero through early childhood. This scientific research is considered very important in understanding not only the normal functioning of human biological systems but also how disease or external influences can disrupt optimum development of the human brain.

Guest speakers for the symposium are: David H. Hubel, M.D., a professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and a Nobel Laureate whose revolutionary work on the visual cortex became a model for neurobiological research; Carla J. Shatz, Ph.D., a neurobiologist in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, whose work in the cellular biology of the brain reinforces the concept that newborns need sensory stimulation to develop properly; and Paula Tallal, Ph.D., professor and codirector, at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences at Rutgers University, who will describe cognitive and developmental brain disabilities.

The symposium for interested non-specialists will include various topics of "developmental neurobiology," such as critical periods for synaptic connections in the brain; the opportunities that the human brain's resiliency - neuroplasticity - offers for reversing neurological abnormalities; and the links between neurobiology and behavioral sciences, such as cognitive psychology. The current available data also suggest implications for public health and educational policy.

There will be a question and answer period with the guest panelists following the symposium.

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PR 93-024
2/25/93
ISSN 0731-3527

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