Bacon and Eggheads

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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.

Understanding the plastic brain


Bryan Kolb, University of Lethridge

Although once considered a static organ, the brain continually rewires its structure and function to adapt to very different environmental, cultural, and developmental conditions. Consider, for example, the very different demands on the brain of an airline pilot, lawyer, musician, and pipe fitter. Each has a complex set of skills that require different brain circuits for their performance. Brain changes occur in response to an amazing array of factors including thoughts, drugs, hormones, prenatal events, injury and disease. This talk will examine the latest research on the “rules” that govern these experience-driven changes and how this understanding can be used to design better treatments and public policies for child development, brain injury, addiction and ageing.

Dr. Bryan Kolb is Acting Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge and Associate Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research program in the Experience-Based Brain Development program. His specialty is the cerebral cortex and how its organization changes in response to a wide range of experiential factors including hormones, experience, stress, drugs, learning, and injury, and how these changes are related to behaviour. Author of five books and about 300 articles and chapters, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Killam Fellow of the Canada Council.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate
--the Speaker of the House of Commons
--Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Date: Thursday May 8, 2008 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Place: Room 200, West Block, Parliament Hill
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $15
Registration: Please register by contacting Donna Boag, PAGSE Coordinator: 613-991-6369,
Registration Deadline: Monday May 5th