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Courses and Workshops

Sackler Brain Bench: Neuroscience of Sports: Your Brain in Action

Mondays, September 16, 2013—October 21, 2013

Sackler Brain Bench Image

What happens in the brain when we watch and play sports? What is the impact of concussions, and how do our brains recover? From the psychology of sports fans to the cognitive benefits of team sports to understanding the impact of repetitive brain injury, this course will give participants a practical understanding of the latest research in the neuroscience of sports. Go beyond the headlines with experts and get hands-on experience in the lab with activities that dig into the latest scientific studies. This course is offered in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian / The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell.

Course co-directors

  • James M. Noble, MD, MS,  Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center
  • Kenneth R. Perrine, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Neuropsychologist at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Each of the course's five sessions features a separate topic, with discussions led by experts in the field:

Monday, September 16—Injury and your brain at risk

Participants will gain a basic understanding of:

  • the nature and prevalence of traumatic brain injury in professional, collegiate and high school sports
  • the factors and events driving recent media attention as well as the push for more stringent guidelines and regulations
  • what symptoms professionals look for in diagnosing a concussion, and the importance of a quick on-site assessment in sports

 

Panelists

  • James M. Noble, MD, MS,  Assistant Professor of Neurology in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center (moderator)
  • Stephan Anthony Mayer, MD, FCCM, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery and Division Head of Neurocritical Care at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center
  • William N. Levine, MD, Vice Chairman and Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Shoulder Service and Director of Shoulder, Elbow and Sports Medicine at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center and Head Team Physician for Columbia University
  • Jim Gosset, ATC, Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer at Columbia University

September 23—Repair and Recovery: Much left to learn

Participants will learn about:

  • the long-term effects of concussions for both athletes and non-athletes
  • current research regarding post-concussion recovery
  • factors contributing to evaluating when someone who has sustained a concussion can return to work/school/sports activities

Participants will further gain the tools to:

  • participate in the discussion of whether or not repetitive brain trauma is a risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders
  • differentiate, at a basic level, between injured and healthy brain-tissue samples.

Speakers

  • Kenneth R. Perrine, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Neuropsychologist at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Gregory A. Petsko, PhD, Arthur J. Mahon Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College
  • John F. Crary, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Medical Center

September 30—Playing: Look at what the amazing brain can do

Participants will learn about:

  • what happens in the brain as we watch and play sports
  • how the brain processes various types of stimuli, and about basic differences between automatic versus deliberative brain patterns
  • individual differences in brain responses in relation to sports, with a focus on differences in cognitive processing ability between elite athletes and non-professionals, and between brain injury patterns in males versus females

Speakers

  • Sameer A. Sheth, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Neurosurgeon at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Philip E. Stieg, PhD, MD, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center

October 7—Watching: The spectacle of sports and why we watch

Participants will gain a basic understanding of:

  • human neuroanatomy and the sympathetic nervous system as they relate to watching sports and sports fanaticism
  • the physiology of excitement and exhilaration behind sports-spectating

Speakers

  • Bruce Leuchter, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Clinical Neuropsychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and Psychiatrist at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center
  • Gita Johar, PhD, MBA, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business and Senior Vice Dean, Columbia Business School

October 21—Brain health across the lifespan

Participants will be able to partake in the debate on:

  • whether and how social and physical activities, nutrition, and other lifestyle modifications can be effective in boosting cognitive function and brain resilience
  • to what degree such lifestyle decisions may affect long-term brain health

Speakers

  • Yaakov Stern, PhD, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 
  • Richard Isaacson, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Program at Weill Cornell Medical College and Neurologist at NYP/Weill Cornell Medical Center

The Museum greatly acknowledges The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc. for its support to establish The Sackler Brain Bench, part of the Museum’s Sackler Educational Laboratory for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins, in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins.