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NIH Record

NIH Observes Brain Awareness Week

Noninvasive technology has become the scientist's window into the brain and how it functions. Neuroimaging, the theme of this year's Brain Awareness Week symposia at NIH, enables researchers and physicians to get a 3-dimensional picture of brain structure and activity, a valuable tool in understanding normal brain function as well as in diagnosing and treating disease or injury. Brain Awareness Week is a nationwide effort to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research.

NIH is sponsoring morning and evening symposia on Tuesday, Mar. 16, showcasing what scientists are learning about the brain from neuroimaging advances. "Neuroimaging: Glimpses into the Working Brain," will feature both the history and future of imaging technology. Speakers will describe how physicians and scientists can use PET, MRI and other neuroimaging techniques to see images inside the brain while humans think, learn, remember, and experience. The symposia are free, and no registration is required.

In the morning session, scientists will discuss how neuroimaging allows glimpses into the brain during development and aging, and into the neurobiology of drug addiction. This session will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Featured speakers include: Dr. Marcus Raichle, Washington University School of Medicine; Dr. Bruce Rosen, Massachusetts General Hospital; Dr. Nora Volkow, Brookhaven National Laboratories; and Dr. Marilyn Albert, Massachusetts General Hospital.

The evening portion of "Glimpses into the Working Brain," designed for educators and the public, will highlight advances in understanding memory, perception and other cognitive abilities, and in elucidating the correlation between brain structure and function and mental illness. This session will begin at 7 p.m., also in Masur Auditorium. Featured speakers are Dr. Steven E. Hyman, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Dr. Ursula Bellugi, Salk Institute. Dr. Alan I. Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will give introductory remarks.

NIDA is coordinating this year's NIH Brain Awareness Activities in cosponsorship with 10 other institutes.

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