CNS collaboration on neurocriminology

CNS faculty Roy Hamilton and Adrian Raine filmed a segment of Nova yesterday, featuring their research using non-invasive brain stimulation to shift people toward more ethical behavior.  Here they are with producer and cameraman over at Goddard!

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“What makes addiction a brain disease?”

This is the title of a WHYY report this week, featuring Penn scientists Chuck O’Brien and Daniel Langleben.  For more on this timely topic, be sure to attend the CNS Public Talk next month by Alan Leshner, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who coined the phrase [...]

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CNS’s Diana Robertson one of the nation’s top business profs!

Poets and Quants, a business school news site, named our own Diana Robertson among the 50 top business professors nationwide!  A specialist in business ethics, who incorporates neuroimaging into her research, she has also won numerous teaching awards within Penn.  Read about her here:

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Michael Gazzaniga at Penn!

One of the fathers of cognitive neuroscience will be here on Tues, October 23rd, delivering the annual Philomathean Oration at 7:30 (free but tickets required) and joining us for lunch and conversation at the CNS at noon that day.

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Drugs, the Brain and Society

This year’s talk series focuses on drug policy as it has been informed (or not informed, as the case may be!) by neuroscience.  Is the “brain to blame” for addicts’ behavior? Is vaping a kinder, gentler substitute for smoking, or a new scourge?  Should we take a fresh look at [...]

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NSO Preceptorial – “Brave Neuro World” with Martha Farah

Martha Farah will be offering her preceptorial, "Brave Neuro World," once again during New Student Orientation (NSO). Preceptorials are non-credit seminars led by faculty and the goal of Preceptorials is learning for learning's sake. Brave Neuro World: How Will Neuroscience Change Life in the 21st Century? Description: New developments in [...]

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CNS faculty collaborate on crime and brain

Adrian Raine and Roy Hamilton, along with grad student Olivia Choy, have just published a study in Journal of Neuroscience entitled "Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex Reduces Intentions to Commit Aggression: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Stratified, Parallel-Group Trial.”  You can read veteran science writer Sharon Begley’s report here: and read the [...]

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CNS Undergraduate Fellow applies science to policy

Julia Pan, one of the outstanding Penn undergrads who participated in our Undergraduate Fellows program last year, has been actively applying her education in neuroscience and cognitive science to real world problems, including in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office.  Read about her exciting work here. To read more about the CNS [...]

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2018 SCAN Retreat Recap

Each year, the CNS hosts a half-day retreat for all current and past students in the SCAN program. The 4th Annual SCAN Retreat took place earlier this February. Students and alumni came together for lunch, followed by a series of student presentations in which a few students gave brief overviews of the [...]

Eric Kandel on his life in neuroscience and the arts

Join us on April 17 when Eric Kandel speaks about his life, from his Jewish roots in Vienna to his Nobel Prize winning neuroscience research in the US, with reflections on the relation between science and the arts.  Hosted by the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic studies with co-sponsorship from [...]

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Allyson Mackey receives APS award!

The Association for Psychological Science has named our own Professor Mackey a “Rising Star” for her work on early experience and brain development.  You can hear about her fascinating and important work at the final CNS monthly talk this year.  The year’s theme is Brain Development and Society - see [...]

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Critical Analysis of fMRI – suicide prediction

CNS Associate Directors, Geoff Aguirre and Stephen Morse, led a fascinating seminar today on Critical Analysis of fMRI.  A large gathering of scholars discussed the new paper by Just et al (2017) and its findings in the use of fMRI for prediction of suicide, as well as ethical considerations into [...]

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The Neuroscience of Socioeconomic Status

In this new review, published in the journal Neuron, Dr. Farah explains the concept of socioeconomic status and its possible neural and behavioral correlates in the brain.  After summarizing the substantial body of work that has shown evidence for associations between SES and brain structure and function, Dr. Farah discusses [...]

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NIH announces its latest call for neuroethics grant proposals

Part of NIH’s support for the BRAIN initiative has been devoted to working on the ethical, legal and social implications of neuroscience.  For the coming year, they have announced RFA-MH-18-500, aimed at supporting research on the ethics of brain science and neurotechnology, which will be "both complementary and integrative with the [...]

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CNS faculty team up to test brain training!

Joe Kable, Caryn Lerman and colleagues report the first randomized, controlled trial test of Lumosity brain training.  They found neither improved cognition nor enhanced brain activity.  Read their J of Neurosci article here and a good open access write-up at UPI here.

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CNS announces new fellowship opportunities for undergrads!

The Center for Neuroscience & Society at Penn is seeking applications from rising Penn sophomores, juniors and seniors for its first class of CNS Undergraduate Fellows for 2017-18! Selected fellows will participate in a series of seminars, projects, and activities exploring the intersection of neuroscience and society, such as the [...]

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CNS Undergraduate Fellows Program

The Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania is seeking applications from rising Penn juniors and seniors for its new group of CNS Undergraduate Fellows for 2018-19. This program is intended for students from any School or department who have identified an interest in exploring the intersection [...]

Predicting Mens Rea with fMRI

Penn’s own Stephen Morse helped develop a novel method for discriminating criminal acts committed with knowledge versus recklessly, in collaboration with a team from the MacArthur Network on Law and Neuroscience.  Read it here:

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PIK Professor Michael Platt joins CNS

PIK Professor Michael Platt, a social neuroscientist who has just joined the faculty of the CNS, spoke recently on the neuroscience of political forecasting with another Penn PIK professor, Barbara Mellers. See and hear more here.

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2017 SCAN Retreat Recap

Each year, the CNS hosts a half-day retreat for all current and past students in the SCAN program. The 3rd Annual SCAN Retreat took place earlier this February. Students and alumni came together for lunch, followed by a series of student presentations in which a few students gave brief overviews of [...]

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Two new SCAN electives will be offered Spring 2017

PSYC 557-301 Neuroscience, Ethics & Law, taught by Martha Farah, will explore how the neuroscience of decision-making and emotion impacts our understanding of ethics and the law. PSYC 449-301 Neuroscience for PolicyMakers, taught by Hilary Gerstein, will discuss the neuroscience behind some of the most relevant issues in public science [...]

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Neuroscience and music this Saturday, Dec 3

Penn’s own Mike Kaplan will provide the neuroscience, brilliant jazz guitarist Pat Martino and others the music…  According to Mike, Martino had "an impressive career in the sixties and seventies, almost died in 1980 when a hemorrhage necessitated the removal of most of his left temporal lobe. He went on to [...]

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New Associate Director for Education at CNS

We are thrilled to announce a new position at the CNS, and a new person to fill it:  Dr. Hilary Gerstein comes to us from the Society for Neuroscience in DC, where she worked to inform the public, including lawmakers and their Capitol Hill staff, about neuroscience.  Her own neuroscience [...]

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NYT Op Ed on “DIY” Brain Stimulation

CNS Visiting Scholar Anna Wexler explained the phenomenon of DIY brain stimulation in Sunday’s New York Times. Her piece, called “Zapping Their Brains at Home,” also corrected the widespread assumption that DIY users are all foolhardy and reckless, describing the ways in which they have sought guidance from the scientific [...]

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Visit the CNS!

The CNS has hosted visitors for periods ranging from a few weeks to a year.  Would you like to visit us too?  Starting in January of 2017 we will have beautiful new light-filled office space for up to 3 visitors in the National Historic Landmark Goddard Labs building, designed by [...]

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