An 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 submitted prior to the event, and share a few brainy laughs with the public. After an hour of discussion, we will open up the floor to audience questions and discussion with the panelists. EVERYONE is invited to participate.

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!"

Because this event is free to all, we rely in donations and support from our audience. There will be opportunities to donate to Grey Matters at the event, or purchase sweatshirts, T-shirts, mugs, and posters featuring artwork from talented undergraduate artists. All proceeds go to covering the costs of EWN and publication costs for our quarterly journal. We will provide more information on items for purchase as the date gets closer.

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

Susan Ferguson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Principal Investigator, Seattle Children's Research Institute

The overall goal of my research program is to use a multi-level approach, combining molecular biology, anatomy and behavioral neuroscience, to map the neural circuits that regulate the development of behaviors that are associated with drug reward and addiction, as well as in the processes that underlie decision-making, motivation and impulsivity. To accomplish these goals, we employ novel molecular and genetic tools for measuring and controlling neuronal activity. These tools allow us isolate the role of subcomponents of this complex circuitry in rodent models of addiction, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related psychiatric illnesses.

Gabe Murphy, PhD

Associate Investigator, Allen Institute for Brain Science

The mammalian visual system readily distinguishes subtle differences in the characteristics of visual cues; our goal is to understand how. In particular, to determine how particular synapses, cells, and circuits organize and extract the information that enables visually-guided behavior. To achieve this goal we characterize the selectivity with which cortical and subcortical neurons respond to visual stimuli and the degree to which those responses vary as a function of behavioral state and/or task. Parallel efforts characterize the physiological properties that underlie neuronal response properties - i.e., neurons’ intrinsic biophysical characteristics, the probability and specificity with which they are connected to one another, and the strength and dynamics of signaling between synaptically-coupled neurons. This insight, and assaying the effects of manipulating signals within and/or between neurons, enables us to both form and test hypotheses about how the structure of the nervous system gives rise to its function.

Ric Robinson, PhD

Professor, Biological Structure

The goal of my research is to understand the what 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 increasingly clear picture of how the cerebellum processes the inputs it receives to improve movements.

Anitha Pasupathy, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Biological Structure and NPRC

We gather most information about the world through our eyes effortlessly and our brains rapidly make sense of these patterns of light. While this task seems natural to us, it is an amazing feat of computation that no engineer or modern computer has been able to approach. To discover the neural basis of this amazing capacity, we use single cell neurophysiological studies in awake monkeys as well as behavioral manipulations and computational modeling to investigate how the information reaching our eyes is represented in the neural activity patterns in the brain. Finally, we investigate how these representations are transformed in successive stages and how they inform behavior.

Ludo Max, PhD

Professor, Speech and Hearing Sciences

Director, Laboratory for Speech Physiology and Motor Control

My lab conducts research on the neural and sensorimotor processes underlying the control of orofacial and laryngeal movements involved in speech production as well as on human voluntary movements in general. The two major research programs that form the main focus of the laboratory are designed to examine (a) the sensorimotor control and organization of articulatory and phonatory actions contributing to typical speech production, and (b) the neuromotor and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying stuttering. Experimental questions are addressed through the combined use of a variety of available analysis procedures and techniques such as, for example, kinematic and electromyographic analyses of orofacial and limb movements, mechanical perturbations of such movements, electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity, and acoustic analyses of the speech output.

Nino Ramirez, PhD

Professor, Neurological Surgery

Director, Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Dr. Ramirez has a general research interest in the neural control of rhythmic activity. He studies neural mechanisms involved in the generation of respiratory rhythms, neocortical activity, and epilepsy. He is also interested in the neuronal mechanisms underlying erratic breathing in Rett syndrome, familial dysautonomia, congenital hypoventilation syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and pediatric epilepsy, as well as burst firing in dopaminergic neurons, possibly linked to ADHD. Dr. Ramirez’s current work is focused on hypoxic effects on mammalian respiratory neural networks. His work is supported by multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards.


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.