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Memorial Lecture Series

Forty-Forth George Gamow Memorial Lecture

Dr. Joy Hirsch

Director of the fMRI Research Center at Columbia University

"Dialogues Within the Specialized Brain"

Free and open to the public

Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.
Macky Auditorium
Boulder Campus

Joy Hirsch is a professor of Functional Neuroradiology, Neuroscience, and Psychology at Columbia University in New York City. She is also the Director of the Program for Imaging & Cognitive Sciences, PICS, a university-wide core imaging facility to study brain and mind. Her Imaging Center aims to apply advanced and developing imaging technologies including functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, to observe both the structures of the brain and their internal connections as well as to investigate fundamental processes that underlie brain-driven functions.
Hirsch’s research focuses on the investigation of the brain circuitry that underlies cognition, perception, and action. She studies conscious and subconscious neural processes that mediate emotion and cognition in healthy individuals and in patients with psychiatric, neurological, and developmental disorders.

Her research on language was the first to show that the mechanisms involved in acquiring a second language occur in a part of the brain separate from parts used in learning a primary language. She and her group have also pioneered studies of obesity and eating disorders, autism, vision, and inter-brain communications.

“Functional imaging is really a bridge between the brain and the mind that neuroscientists have dreamed of,” says Hirsch. “It has revolutionized and revitalized neuroscience.”

Hirsch received her Doctorate in Psychology from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, she was a professor at Yale University School of Medicine in the Neuroscience program and the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and then founded the first fMRI laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City prior to being recruited to Columbia University as Director of the mind and brain imaging program.