2015 Summer Workshop for Teachers

Neuroanatomy, Brain Imaging and Cognition - July 20 - 24, 2015

The Teachers' Workshop is an annual program specifically designed to provide both new and experienced teachers a dynamic setting in which they can gain new insight into modern biology, and the opportunity to develop and integrate new curriculum material into their science classes. The one-week workshop combines lectures and related hands-on laboratory courses and culminates in a session on science curriculum development for grades 8-12. The workshop is offered in the summer (one week in July) to high school science teachers from the greater Boston area. It is sponsored by CBMM and the Department of Biology at MIT and is funded by the NSF. See eligibility requirements below. Space is limited to 16 participants.

The dates of the 2015 CBMM Teachers’ workshop were July 20 - 24. The topic was "Neuroanatomy, Brain Imaging and Cognition".

The 2015 workshop focused on current brain research. Distinguished speakers from leading academic laboratories discussed novel approaches and findings ranging from optogenetics to sleep, updates from autism research, and brain modifications in response to stress and disease. The laboratory component of this workshop covered (among other things) mammalian brain anatomy and dissection, eye gaze tracking tools in autism, electrophysiology experiments with live cockroaches, and hands-on demonstration of neuroimaging methods and data analysis including fMRI and MEG. The teachers were encouraged to view the following TED talks (some of which are by our speakers) prior to attending the workshop:

Talks included:

  • Prof. Ed Boyden, MIT Media Lab, and Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences - "Tools for Mapping and Repairing the Brain"
  • Prof. Nancy Kanwisher, McGovern Institute and Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences - “Brain functional specialization”
  • Prof. Mark F. Bear, Picower Institute for Learning & Memory, and Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences - “How life experiences modify the brain”
  • Neuroimaging, Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center - McGovern Institute for Brain Research
  • Prof. Matthew Frosch, Director of the Neuropathology Service, MGH - "Brain anatomy and disease”

Laboratory activities included:

  • Sheep brain Dissection – Dr. Sonal Jhaveri
  • Eye tracking – Dr. Matthew Peterson (Kanwisher lab)
  • Electrophysiology- Dr. Carmen Varela & Praneeth Namburi
  • Brain Imaging: fMRI, MEG
  • NIRS - Dr. Lindsey Powell
  • Curriculum development - Dr. Mandana Sassanfar