See, Hear, Touch Mental Health Research

Eden Barragan
Eden Barragan of the Neuroscience Graduate Group displays a model of her favorite study subject: the brain. She works in the Gray Lab, led by John Gray, assistant professor of neurology, Center for Neuroscience.

See, Hear, Touch Mental Health Research

The Center for Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, presents its annual NeuroFest, 12:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14, inviting the public to put their mind and senses to work learning about research into better treatments and cures for mental disorders.

The free program, “Healthy Brain, Healthy Mind: Progress in Mental Health Research,” will include presentations by four UC Davis faculty members, and, new this year, a “NeuroBlitz” with Center for Neuroscience trainees, giving brief talks.

Not to mention more than a dozen learning stations and hands-on experiences for all ages. Here is a sampling of the booths:

  • Interactive — “Neurons Under a Microscope,” “Brain Zoo,” “Genes: One Size Does Not Fit All” and “Work Your Body, Work Your Brain”)
  • Darkroom NeuroActivities — “Small-o-Vision and Lack of Vision” and “The Norms of Waveforms”
  • Kids Room NeuroActivities — “Perception Deception,” “The Misadventures of Humpty Dumpty!” and “Neurogenesis: Let’s Make a Neuron!”

The faculty presentations:

  • “Dopamine, Schizophrenia and Decision Making” — Randy O'Reilly, professor of psychology and computer science, Center for Neuroscience
  • “Fishing for Brain Functions in the Evolutionary Gene Pool” — Megan Dennis, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine, School of Medicine
  • “Reversing Synapse Dysfunction in Neuropsychiatric Disease” — John Gray, assistant professor neurology, Center for Neuroscience
  • “From Dead Heads to Depression Meds: How Psychedelics Are Impacting Modern Medicine” — David Olson, assistant professor of chemistry, and biochemistry and molecular biology

This is the center’s sixth annual NeuroFest; it is held in conjunction with Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign scheduled from March 16 to 22 this year.

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