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Terrence Sejnowski to Give the 2014 Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture, June 12, 2014

Professor, Scientist and Advisor to NIH Director Will Discuss "The BRAIN Initiative: Connecting the Dots"

Dr. Terrence Sejnowski
Dr. Terrence Sejnowski

Terrence Sejnowski, PhD, will give the 2014 Joseph Leiter NLM/Medical Library Association (MLA) Lecture on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 1:00 pm (ET) in the Lister Hill Center Auditorium at the National Library of Medicine (Building 38A, first floor), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The lecture will also be recorded and broadcast live on the Web at: http://videocast.nih.gov.

Dr. Sejnowski is a pioneer in computational neuroscience and his goal is to understand the principles that link brain to behavior. He is interested in the hippocampus, believed to play a major role in learning and memory; and the cerebral cortex, which holds our knowledge of the world and how to interact with it. His laboratory uses both experimental and modeling techniques to study the biophysical properties of synapses and neurons and the population dynamics of large networks of neurons. New computational models and new analytical tools have been developed to understand how the brain represents the world and how new representations are formed through learning algorithms for changing the synaptic strengths of connections between neurons. By studying how the resulting computer simulations can perform operations that resemble the activities of the hippocampus, Dr. Sejnowski hopes to gain new knowledge of how the human brain is capable of learning and storing memories. This knowledge ultimately may provide medical specialists with critical clues to combating Alzheimer's disease and other disorders that rob people of the critical ability to remember faces, names, places and events.

Terrence Sejnowski is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and holds the Francis Crick Chair at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is also a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, where he is co-director of the Institute for Neural Computation and co-director of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center. He has published over 400 scientific papers and 12 books, including The Computational Brain, with Patricia Churchland. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, one of only 13 living persons to be a member of all 3 national academies. Dr. Sejnowski was instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative that was announced from the White House on April 2, 2013, and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH for the BRAIN Initiative.

The Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture was established in 1983 to stimulate intellectual liaison between the MLA and the NLM. Leiter was a major contributor in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute and a leader at NLM as a champion of medical librarians and an informatics pioneer. He served as NLM Associate Director for Library Operations from 1965 to 1983.

Directions to NLM and details about visiting NLM and the NIH campus are available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/psd/ref/guide/rrdirect.html. Visitors enter the NIH campus through the NIH Gateway Center, the central location for registering and orienting visitors, and must provide one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo ID—driver's license, passport, green card, etc.). The NIH Gateway Center is accessible from NIH Gateway Drive and is near the exit of the Metro system Medical Center stop (Red Line). All visitors are encouraged to use Metro or other public transportation, if possible.

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice. NLM is the world's largest medical library, with nearly 22 million items in its collection. A leader in information innovation, it is the developer of electronic information services used by scientists, health professionals and the public around the world.

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