TEDxJacksonville: Introducing the Speakers

October 18, 2014 2 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

TEDxJacksonville has picked an incredible group of people to speak at the TEDxJacksonville event.

The Dynamic Future of Neuroscience

Dr. Spring Behrouz received her PhD in Neuroscience from Michigan State University with an emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. She continued research on biochemical pathways involved in these neurodegenerative disorders during post-doctoral work at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

She is the founder and President of NeuroInitiative, a company dedicated to harnessing the recent advances in computing technology for the betterment of biological and health sciences. The company’s current project focuses on computer simulation of biological interactions inside a virtual neuron in order to elucidate treatment targets for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Why did you apply to give a Talk at TEDxJacksonville?
Throughout my career as a neuroscientist, I have learned and (un)learned very interesting information about the organ that truly makes each of us unique; the brain. There is very little that is more intriguing or empowering than knowing how to influence the way our brains function. I hope to inspire a spark of interest and curiosity about the brain, its neurons and neuroplasticity in the audience with this TEDx talk.
What is your favorite TED Talk?

Stuart Firestein talked in 2013 about "The Pursuit of Ignorance" and the importance of what we don't know. Science is going past the light of known facts and exploring the complete darkness of the unknown.

What does (un)knowing mean to you?
Unknowing is not the lack of knowledge, but the conscious decision to consider alternatives to what you believe to be true. Some of the best discoveries have been made because of individuals who decided that the current explanations, no matter how well accepted, did not make sense and looked for alternative hypotheses.

What do you wish the world (or the city of Jacksonville) could (un)know?
Most people believe that our mental capabilities are unchangeable in adulthood. I would like the world to (un)know this notion by understanding that the brain's complex neural networks which determine our thoughts, actions and identity are shaped through a process known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain cell's ability to change and adapt both functionally and structurally as a result of experience. Considering this notion will empower us to push the boundaries of our capabilities by modifying our neural experiences. This can be useful in a variety of circumstances, including improving memory, recovering from injury and even mastering new skills.

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