Events / CNI Seminar: Nicole Rust

CNI Seminar: Nicole Rust

April 2, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

111 Levin Building

Nicole Rust
Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania


On the Grand Plan for brain and mind research


Why have we been learning so much about the brain and mind for so many decades, but our ability to understand and treat its dysfunction continues to be so frustrated? While there are important exceptions, the translational arm of brain and mind research has encountered many roadblocks, especially in its attempts to understand and treat neurodegenerative disorders (like Alzheimer’s disease) and neuropsychiatric disorders (like depression). Are we on the right track and there’s just an immense amount to figure out? Or might we be learning the wrong types of things? The goal of this talk is to inspire high-level conversation around that “Why?” question. The answers inform the Grand Plan — a description, in broad strokes, of how we (as a community of brain and mind researchers of all types) plan to get from where we are now to societal benefits, including treatments for brain and mental disorders. In this talk, we will zoom out for a high-level glimpse of how the different arms of brain and mind research connect. We’ll discuss the intellectual frameworks driving brain and mind research forward, and their alignment with the end-goal of developing treatments. Ultimately, I’ll argue that brain and mind research is shifting in a way that we can be optimistic will be more impactful. However, the shift will require us to rethink how we approach the brain and mind entirely — including our basic conceptualizations of causality and control.


A pizza lunch willl be served.