Science on Tap explores Beauty of the Brain

Thursday, April 23, 2015
by: Rene Abadie

HAMMOND – The human brain – how it develops and how its function is sometimes manipulated -- will be discussed at Southeastern Louisiana University's next Science on Tap seminar, scheduled Tuesday, May 5.

The informal presentation – which will focus on the importance of the brain in life – presented by Southeastern Associate Professor of Biological Sciences John O'Reilly, will be held at 7 p.m. at Tope lá Catering, 113 East Thomas St., in Hammond. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation is free and open to all ages.

"The human brain weighs about three pounds, but only a small part of it, the brainstem, is necessary for survival or life itself," said O'Reilly, a specialist in neurophysiology. "But all of our joys and sorrows, intellect and reason, and even the pathologies of 'mind' are directly related to the physiology of the brain itself."

Nature and humans have discovered numerous ways to manipulate brain function – some good, some bad – that can be explained at the cellular and molecular level, he explained. His talk will examine how the brain develops and works at the cellular level to understand the actions of neuropharmacology, neuropathology and neurotoxicology.

"We'll also talk about some famous cases that demonstrate the role of specific areas of the brain," O'Reilly said. "My conclusion is the brain is indeed beautiful, but can be not quite so beautiful when normal function is disrupted."

The Science on Tap lecture series is sponsored by the Southeastern Department of Biological Sciences. For more information on future presentations, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 985-549-3740.


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