Science Meets Music

Science Meets Music: “Tagging and Controlling Active Neurons”

Apr 10,
  • Time:
  • Location: The Benjamin School

Understanding how animals behave, perceive, and learn is a core question in neuroscience. However, identifying neural correlates of these behaviors has been challenging because of its complexity and the limited availability of tools that show direct causality. We developed novel techniques that can mark neuronal population that are active only when animals sense, perceive, or behave. Once we label those neurons, we can also control activity of the labeled neurons such that we can control animal’s behaviors and feelings. With the help of these techniques, it becomes possible to think about creating artificial memory or controlling emotions.

Dr. Hyungbae Kwon

Hyungbae Kwon studies mechanisms of synapse formation during early brain development and has created novel optogenetic approaches that enable
us to better understand sensation, cognition, and behavior. He will discuss novel techniques that can mark neuronal populations that are active only when the brain senses, perceives, or behaves, and will explore possible impacts on memory and emotion. His work earned him the prestigious Pioneer Award from the NIH in 2018, one of only ten scientists nationally to do so. He has been a research group leader at MPFI since 2012.

Seoyoung Kwon, violin

Seoyoung Kwon, daughter of Hyungbae Kwon, will join her father as the musical guest for the evening. Seoyoung is a senior at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach Florida. She has served as the concertmaster of the DSOA Philharmonic and String Orchestra has been a part of the FMEA All-State Orchestra for the past several years and has earned superior ratings in the Florida Federation of Music Clubs competition. She will attend Johns Hopkins University to study biomedical engineering.

Carina Inoue, piano

Carina Inoue holds a Graduate Diploma New England Conservatory and a master’s degree and a Professional Performance Certificate in Collaborative Piano from Lynn University. She has worked with the Luzerne Music Festival and in the Preparatory Division and the Continuing Education Program, and the Choir department directed by Erica Washburn at New England Conservatory.