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Communications and Marketing

Lake Forest College presents 15th annual Brain Awareness Week

Hidden biases, how gender affects mental health, and a look at how infants link language and cognition will be explored during the 15th annual Brain Awareness Week at Lake Forest College, November 12–17.

Highlights of the week include:

  • 27th Volwiler Distinguished Scientist Lecture, “Blind Spot: Hidden Biases in Good People,” by Harvard University Professor of Social Ethics Mahzarin Banaji, 4–6 p.m. on Monday in Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel.
  • Brain, Gender, and Mental Health,” by Lise Eliot, professor of neuroscience at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 4:15–5:15 p.m. on Tuesday in the Lillard Science Center, Room 044.
  • “How (and How Early) Do Infants Link Language and Cognition?” by Northwestern University Psychology Professor Sandra Waxman, 4:15–5:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Lillard Science Center, Room 044.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the award-winning 2012 coming-of-age drama starring Emma Watson. Based on Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 novel of the same name, the film features a socially awkward teen who watches life from the sidelines until two charismatic students become his mentors, 7:30–10 p.m. Friday in McCormick Auditorium. A faculty discussion panel will bookend the movie.

An important component of Brain Awareness Week—educational outreach presentations by Lake Forest College students—will cover a variety of topics, including cognition, spinocerebellar ataxia, poetry about brain illnesses, sleep, dementias, drugs and the brain, language, and Alzheimer’s disease. The talks will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday; 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, and 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday in the Mohr Student Center Balcony and other locations.

Over the past 15 years, Brain Awareness Week has established itself as a major academic highpoint in the community each fall. “Everything will be centered on learning about the brain, which is extremely important: If we want to know ourselves as humans, it’s important to understand how our brains work,” said Yoan Ganev’19, one of the student organizers.

Danielle Sychowski ’19 believes Brain Awareness Week showcases Lake Forest College’s liberal arts education “by incorporating English, mathematics, philosophy, pharmacology, ethics, and other traditionally non-science related fields into how the brain works,” she said. “While a very academic-based event, Brain Awareness Week also brings in fun ways to learn through film, magic, and mind-tricks.”

The sixth annual Robert B. Glassman Memorial Brain, Mind, and Behavior Symposium, in honor of the late professor of psychology who played a leading role in developing the popular neuroscience major at the College, will take place on Thursday. The symposium will feature poster presentations by more than 50 students and alumni from 5 to 6:40 p.m. in Calvin Duran Hall followed by interdisciplinary faculty talks on the mathematics of clinical trials, improving quality of life in the presence of neurological conditions, Descartes and the philosophical origins of neuroscience, racial minorities’’ perception of whites’ smiles, and love and danger on the brain, from 6:50 to 8:30 p.m. in Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel.

Brain Awareness Week will wrap up with “Mind Mysteries of Chris Carter,” one of the country’s best-known mentalists, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, in the Mohr Student Center.

All events are free and open to the public. Lake Forest College is located at 555 N. Sheridan Road in Lake Forest. For more information, visit lakeforest.edu/communityevents.