Experts will highlight cutting-edge social, cognitive, and neuroscientific scholarship.
The College will host a gathering of world-renowned researchers for the Dartmouth Symposium on the Young Mind and Brain on Sept. 19, highlighting cutting-edge neuroscientific scholarship on the development of the young brain and the way the development affects behavior.
The speakers will share the latest research on topics such as emotional development during adolescence, vulnerability to substance abuse, brain mechanisms underlying illnesses like autism and ADHD, and the effects of neurobiological, chemical, environmental, social, and technological forces.
“As a pioneer in cognitive neuroscience and a leader in the psychological and brain sciences situated on a premier liberal arts campus, Dartmouth is uniquely positioned to bring together experts to translate and to disseminate the latest findings on the young mind and brain,” says Jay Hull, associate dean of faculty for the social sciences.
Hull, a professor of psychological and brain sciences, says the symposium will highlight some of the most exciting work around development of the young mind and brain.
David Bucci, chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, says Dartmouth, where cognitive neuroscience was born as a field of study in the 1990s, brings an important liberal arts perspective to this work, while at the same time, integrates neuroscientific efforts across clinical and medical research and engineering.
“Critically, no other institution has embraced a focused collaboration between basic and applied brain science, social science, and the humanities in pursuit of deep, applicable knowledge of the young mind,” Bucci says.
Duane Compton, dean of the Geisel School of Medicine, says the symposium illustrates the potential of interdisciplinary collaborations across the professional schools and within the College.
“One of the greatest challenges at the intersection of medicine and the social sciences is trying to understand how the brain develops and functions to control behavior,” says Compton, who is also a professor of biochemistry and cell biology. “I’m excited to see the cross-institutional collaborations building at Dartmouth to tackle that challenge and to sponsor this outstanding symposium.”
Much of the research into the cognitive functions of the brain has focused on adults, Bucci says, in part because the rapid neurological changes during development make research on the young mind very difficult.
“During adolescence, there is impulse control and language development, social development, environmental and social pressures, significant biomolecular changes, and there are those hormones swirling around,” says Bucci, the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
“And now they are being bombarded with information and technology. We have to ask what that is doing to the brain, and what’s it doing permanently?”
The study of this profoundly influential phase of human cognitive development is critical, Bucci says. “It would not be overstating it to say we are studying the future of the human mind.”
The eight researchers slated to speak:
The Dartmouth Symposium on the Young Mind and Brain, which is open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Hanover Inn in Hanover. For more information or to register, visit the symposium website.
The meeting is sponsored by the Lincoln Filene Professorship with the support of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, as well as the departments of Molecular and Systems Biology and Psychiatry at Geisel and the Department of Neurology at Geisel and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.