Homecoming 2015


TIER Talks
presented by M&T Bank

Saturday, Oct. 10 from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m.
Watters Theater, Fine Arts Building


"Making Waves: Mind-Blowing Breakthroughs in Neuroscience"

The quest to understand the brain is almost as old as humankind itself. How do people think and reason? Are certain people prone to addiction or depression? If so, how and why? What are the mechanisms in the brain that reward self-defeating behaviors, and how can they be changed? While questions such as these have boggled minds for generations, research into the pathways inside the brain offer hope and new insights.

Join us for TIER Talks presented by M&T Bank where Binghamton alumni and faculty experts will present "Making Waves: Mind-Blowing Breakthroughs in Neuroscience." Topics will include using the brain to control addictive behavior, potentially stave off dementia, regulate our mood and even protect our national security. This dynamic speaker event will be held in Watters Theater on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 2:15 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Our distinguished panel:
Steve Treistman '67Steve Treistman '67, professor of neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico

Brain Crave: Quenching the Thirst That Drives Addiction
Whether it's shopping, sex, alcohol or drugs, addiction is rampant and on the rise. Why is it so difficult to resist temptation? Why does "Never again" all too easily morph into "Just one more time ?" For years, we've embraced the theory of genetic predisposition (i.e., my genes made me do it.) Until now. Join me as I share with you the latest breakthroughs in the world of neuroscience. Exciting new breakthroughs that could alter the landscape of the brain and ultimately quench the craving that drives addictive behavior.


Christopher BishopChristopher Bishop, professor of psychology

Brain Gain: Use It Or Lose It
Older doesn't necessarily mean wiser. Sadly, as our life expectancy reaches new highs, so does our chance of being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. The good news is, instead of being at the mercy of our genes and ever-changing environment, we can wise up by taking preventive measures to increase our brain resiliency. I'm going to walk you through my "use it or lose" strategy. You'll be introduced to the latest research and techniques that will protect, strengthen and take charge of your most valuable asset...your brain!


Brandon GibbBrandon Gibb, professor of psychology at Binghamton
The Eyes Have It
Shakespeare once said, "The eyes are the window to your soul." Little did he realize that centuries later, these words would speak volumes of truth in the world of neuroscience. Indeed, the latest cutting-edge research reveals that a person's eyes can provide direct insight into their emotional life. The slightest change in pupil diameter and/or eye movement may predict who is at risk for depression and anxiety. Researchers, therapists and app developers have already jumped onto this visual bandwagon. They are in the process of creating apps that "train your brain" by helping you refocus your attention, which then helps to regulate your mood. The wave of the future is here. I will show you how we intend to ride it.


Sarah LaszloSarah Laszlo, assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at Binghamton
Brain Hacking: Mission Possible
In 2014, an hacker from the Chaos Computer Club stole a fingerprint from a German Defense Minister by taking a high-resolution photograph of her finger, without her knowledge, at a public press conference. The day has come when biometrics, such as fingerprints, are no longer considered secure enough to protect the most dangerous, secretive or critical information. Enter, The Brainprint Project, led by Drs. Sarah Laszlo and Zhanpeng Jin. Imposters beware! These neuroscientists have developed a 100-percent accurate method of identifying individuals on the basis of their unique brain activity. Get ready to enter the world of Brainprint, with applications ranging from protecting our national security to easing the suffering of individuals diagnosed with PTSD, and beyond.


TIER Talks, introduced at Homecoming 2014 (see video of "Rethinking Success"), engages alumni and faculty who are thought leaders to provide you with insights into hot topics in a manner that both informs and energizes you. Audiences come away from TIER Talks with a deeper knowledge of a topic and a desire to understand more about themselves and the world around them.



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Last Updated: 9/16/15