Friday March 18, 4:30 —5:45 PM at the Loft, Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

Brain Awareness!

How do our brains perceive smell? In this Café, led by graduate students in the Northwestern Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (NUIN), we explore how smells can be made up of different chemical components and how they are recognized by the brain. We will also conduct our own Jr Science Café experiment exploring how our ability to smell affects our ability to taste.

            … part of the fun!

Saturday March 19, 11—12:30 PM at Boocoo, 1823 Church St. 

How Do Our Brains Learn to Read and Do Math?

With Prof James Booth and friends (SoC Comm Sciences & Disorders)

 Writing and math are recent cultural inventions, as we have only been using them for about 5000 years. Because this is too recent for evolution to have changed the brain (yes, it takes longer than 5,000 years), it is amazing that most people learn to read and calculate by early childhood. In order to try to answer how we do this, we use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to measure activity in the brain. How does the brain change to allow us to learn to read and calculate? 

Most people can effortlessly rhyme LAKE with CAKE and add 5 + 4 to = 9. But some people have great difficulty doing this, so we will also discuss how the brain is different in children with learning disabilities.

  Wednesday, March 16,  6:30—8:00 pm,  The Firehouse Grill, 750 Chicago Ave.  

Archaeology and the Roots of Civilization 

Gil Stein, Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Chicago  

The digs at Tell Zeidan: Prof Stein’s archaeological project in current day Samaria seeks clues about the dawn of urban civilization. He and his team have found new views of the beginning of complexities from this first urban literate civilization. Come and find out what the story is behind this 7,000 year old civilization  through the multiple layers of dirt.