RIT Gannett Project’s ‘Visionaries in Motion V’ Features Popular Neuroscientist Feb. 2

Sebastian Seung will explain his theory of brain ‘connectomics’

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Sebastian Seung

Sebastian Seung has spent many years of his life researching the connection between the brain and who we are. When he comes to Rochester Institute of Technology next month, he will reveal to his audience just how close he is to uncovering and understanding this connection.

Seung, professor of computational neuroscience and physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the next speaker for RIT’s Caroline Werner Gannett Project’s “Visionaries in Motion V” series, and he will address the RIT and Rochester communities at 8 p.m. Feb. 2 in Webb Auditorium.

Seung’s research has spanned the fields of neuroscience, physics and bioinformatics. He is currently mapping out a new model of the brain that focuses on the connections between each neuron that he calls our “connectomes.” According to Seung, these connectomes are as individual as our genetic makeup and understanding them could open up a new way of understanding the brain and the mind. New interdisciplinary research into the neurology, neuroanatomy and various contexts of brain science is featured in his new book, The Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are. Copies will be available Barnes & Noble at RIT and at the talk.

“In light of the recent road to recovery for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the new thinking of today’s scientists regarding autism, Seung has become an internationally visible member of the scientific community. He explores fresh neuroscience territory, futuristic technologies and various challenges in his new book,” says Mary Lynn Broe, RIT’s Caroline Werner Gannett Professor of Humanities.

Sueng is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and has been a Sloan Research Fellow, a Packard Fellow and a McKnight Scholar. His work has been cited in The New York Times, Technology Review and The Economist, and is available in a widely viewed Technology, Entertainment, Design—commonly called TED—video.

Founded and directed by Broe, the Gannett Project’s “Visionaries in Motion” series explores new connections across technologies, social sciences and humanities, increasing opportunities for interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration both on campus and in the Greater Rochester community. In 2009, the series was selected by City Newspaper’s Critics’ Pick for “Best Lecture Series in Rochester.”

All Gannett Project talks are free and open to the public. For more information about the Caroline Werner Gannett Project and about Seung, go to www.cwgp.org.