About the Evening with Neuroscience

The brain is amazing. Rather, your brain is amazing.

Most of us take for granted that the brain and its 86 billion neurons quietly goes about the business of being "you" without much fuss. It senses the environment, coordinates movement, processes thoughts, stores and recalls memories, and replays that song over and over and over again.

The Evening with Neuroscience is a celebration of that remarkable brain in your head. This event is an opportunity for the public to engage directly with brain researchers. We invite neuroscientists, psychologists, and clinicians to discuss up-and-coming research, dispel myths, answer your questions, and share a few brainy laughs with the public.

So, come join us for an informal, casual, and fun opportunity to learn about neuroscience. EVERYONE is invited - no neuroscience background needed! So, strike up a conversation, ask a question, and learn more about the "mush between your ears!"

Evening with Neuroscience 2014

The first ever Evening with Neuroscience was a big hit. More than 300 people came out to hear from a panel of University of Washington neuroscientists. In fact, the Q&A session was popular enough that it went over the planned time - and we still had to turn some participants away! You can listen to an audio recording of last year's event here.

Lead the discussion

The Evening with Neuroscience is your event. After all, the whole purpose of the evening is connect neuroscientists with the public. So, have your say. What stories would you like to hear? What should the panel discuss?

Meet the Panel

Beth Buffalo

Professor, PhD, Physiology & Biophysics

Our research is aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms that support learning and memory. Using neurophysiological techniques, we record simultaneously from multiple electrodes in the hippocampus and surrounding cortex in awake, behaving monkeys. We investigate how changes in neuronal activity correlate with the monkey's ability to learn and remember. We are particularly interested in the activity of neuronal networks that underlie learning and memory processes. We use spectral analysis techniques to investigate the role of oscillatory activity and neuronal synchronization in cognition.

Horacio de la Iglesia

Professor, PhD, Biology

Research in our laboratory is guided to understand the neural basis of behavior. Specifically, we are interested in biological timing, which can be studied at different levels of organization, using different approaches and throughout the phylogenetic tree. Virtually all living species have biological clocks that generate and control the daily cyclic variations in physiology and behavior, such us rhythms in locomotor activity, temperature and hormonal secretion. In mammals, the master control of these so-called circadian rhythms is exerted by a biological clock located within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain. We use behavioral, physiological and molecular techniques in order to understand how the SCN generates and orchestrates this array of circadian rhythms.

Adrienne Fairhall

Professor, PhD, Physiology & Biophysics

Many neurons transform complex time-varying inputs into a string of output pulses. One can think of this transformation as the computation that the neuron performs upon its input. We seek methods to characterise this computation, working both from experimental data and from simple neural model dynamical systems. As biological systems must respond to signals which arise in widely different contexts, many systems employ adaptation to refine the neural computation taking into account the local context. We study this process and how it helps the system to efficiently process information in a variety of sensory systems, including the retina, somatosensory cortex and the visual motion detection of the fly.

Gwen Garden

Professor, MD/PhD, Department of Neurology

We examine molecular pathways that modulate microglia behavior and response patterns. We have focused on specific transcriptional regulators induced by oxidative stress as well as genes known to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and microRNAs with demonstrated roles in modulating the behavior of macrophages. The overarching goal of this research program is to identify potential therapeutic targets that could modify the inflammatory response to neural injury by promoting microglia to adopt the neuroprotective as opposed to neurotoxic pattern of response to neural injury. We also study Polyglutamine Neurodegeneration and a mouse model of Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7.

David Gire

Professor, PhD, Department of Psychology

Our brains utilize noisy, fluctuating sensory signals from the surrounding environment to guide valuable behaviors such as finding food or avoiding danger. Precise coding of relevant information in spatial and temporal patterns of neural activity is a key element of this function, with efficient coding adapted to both the statistical structure of sensory input as well as the changing behavioral demands of a given situation. This coding is achieved through complex circuits of synaptic interactions between populations of neurons and occurs as an animal explores and actively samples its environment. A mechanistic understanding of neural coding during active sensing and behavior is an important step towards the development of targeted therapeutics for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. We seek to define the neural circuit operations that support complex and flexible behavioral responses to natural sensory stimuli. We study the olfactory system of rodents as a model for sensory information processing and connect neural activity to behavior by employing a variety of techniques including electrophysiology, multiphoton imaging, optogenetics, and automated behavioral analysis.

Ric Robinson

Professor, PhD, Biological Structure

The goal of my research is to understand the cerebellum does and how it does it. The cerebellum affects every movement. To study the cerebellum I use three techniques. 1) I record the activity of single eye movement-related neurons in the cerebellums of alert monkeys while they make eye movements. 2) I measure movement abnormalities caused by small, temporary lesions of the cerebellum. And 3) I trace the anatomical connections between the cerebellum to the rest of the brain. Together these approaches provide an increasing clear picture of how the cerebellum processes the inputs it receives to improve movements.


Hogness auditorium is located in the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Building at the University of Washington. The room is accessible from several parking lots and bus lines.

Finding the room

Because the Health Sciences Building can be confusing to navigate, we will place many signs to direct participants to the auditorium. Signs will be placed to guide everyone from bus stops, parking lots, upper campus, and from every entrance of the Health Sciences Building.

Click here to see a map of the Health Sciences Building.

Bus Routes

Many bus routes stop directly in front of the Health Sciences Building. When using the Metro Transit trip planner, use "UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON MEDICAL CENTER" as your trip destination. Additionally, Google Maps Transit can help you plan your trip.

Driving directions

Click here for driving directions to Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Building at the University of Washington.

  • From I-5: Take the NE 45th Street exit to the University of Washington.
  • Go east on NE 45th to 15th Avenue NE, turn right.
  • To Park in E12 and E15 lots:
    • At NE Pacific Street, turn left and stay in the left-hand lane.
    • Continue east and at the first left turn option (the road makes a "Y" at a traffic-lighted intersection) turn left onto NE Pacific Place.
    • Continue a short distance to Montlake Blvd. Cross Montlake Blvd. and enter at the front of Husky Stadium.
    • Turn right again and proceed to Gatehouse No. 8 to purchase a parking permit and obtain directions.
  • To Park in S1 lot:
    • At NE Pacific Street, continue straight on 15th Avenue.
    • 15th Avenue will curve left. Stop at Gatehouse No. 6 and proceed to the S-1 parking garage.

Parking at UW

Parking is available at S1, E12, and E15 parking lots. Visitors MUST make parking arrangements at any one of the gatehouses upon entering campus or by contacting UW Commuter Services.