Press enter after choosing selection
Graphic for events post

Media

Nerd Nite #68 - The Brain "Wants" What The Brain Wants

Tue, 08/18/2020 - 8:37am

Over the course of evolution our brains have become excellent at detecting rewards (e.g. food or a potential mate) in our environment and in turn generating motivation to obtain that reward. While this system was originally necessary for survival, it can easily become maladaptive in a world where access to rewards (such as high-calorie food, drugs and alcohol, gambling) are present in abundance. Unfortunately, this reward detection system can become hypersentitive in some individuals, in turn causing excessive desire and craving each time they come across a reward cue in their world. This talk addresses how and why this reward system can become dysregulated in some individuals. Answering these questions will help scientists discover new treatment options for individuals living with addiction or psychiatric disorder. 

About Erin Naffziger:

Erin is a PhD Candidate in Biopsychology at the University of Michigan studying how the brain creates the psychological processes: desire and craving. She wants to know how motivation is generated in the brain and how it may become dysregulated in mental illnesses. When she’s not playing with rats or using lasers to activate the brain, she enjoys true crime podcasts and hanging out with her elderly cat.

Graphic for events post

Media

Exploring the Mind | 7 Ways Children's Storytelling Skills Impact Literacy Development

Wed, 05/27/2020 - 8:39am

Join Assistant Professor Nicole Gardner-Neblett of the University of Michigan for her presentation on the importance of storytelling in the development of literacy skills, and learn some strategies for supporting young children as storytellers.

Did you know that by the time a child is two or three years old they can tell a simple story? These early storytelling skills can help children develop a strong foundation for building later reading and writing skills. Research suggests that opportunities to practice telling stories helps children develop stronger language skills and a better understanding of how stories are structured. This presentation reviews seven ways that young children's storytelling skills can impact their literacy development. 

Nicole Gardner-Neblett, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist whose work focuses on the individual and contextual factors that promote children’s language and literacy development. She adopts a strengths-based approach to understanding children’s development and identifying effective practices to transform the early learning experiences of young children. In particular, Dr. Gardner-Neblett’s work examines the oral narrative, or storytelling, skills of African American children and the implications for literacy development and educational practice.

Graphic for events post

Media

Author Event | William D. Lopez: Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid

Mon, 03/02/2020 - 12:26pm

In Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid, local author William D. Lopez examines the lasting damage done by this daylong act of collaborative immigration enforcement in Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Exploring the chaos of enforcement through the lens of community health, Lopez discusses deportation's rippling negative effects on families, communities, and individuals. Focusing on those left behind, Lopez reveals their efforts to cope with trauma, avoid homelessness, handle worsening health, and keep their families together as they attempt to deal with a deportation machine that is militarized, traumatic and implicitly racist. 

This event was part of the 2020 Washtenaw Reads. For more information about Washtenaw Reads and previous years' reads, visit wread.org.

Graphic for events post

Media

Artificial Intelligence, Personalized Technology, and Mental Health

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 8:42am

AI and personalized technologies are transforming everyday life. They facilitate individualized information delivery, offer personalized monitoring strategies, and opportunities for specific therapy. They enable innovative tools and health-focused applications that empower individuals, their friends and families, to track and learn their emotional patterns in order to strengthen support systems. Join us for an evening of AI to engage with University of Michigan experts as they discuss the implications of using AI for mental health care:

  • How will AI and personalized technologies fit into the mental health care system? 
  • Who benefits? How? 
  • How do we measure outcomes? 

Graphic for events post

Media

Graphic for events post

Media

Kick the Sugar Craving

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 12:30pm

Join health coach Jennifer Sprague to learn about sugar cravings, what sugar does to the body, and why it's so hard to cut sugar out of your diet. She provides tips for getting unstuck when it comes to sugar.

Graphic for events post

Media

Exploring the Mind | Adversity Resilience and the Developing Brain

Fri, 08/09/2019 - 11:52am

Join Dr. Christopher Monk, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience & CHGD Research Professor at the University of Michigan, as he characterizes the developmental risks of childhood adversity and discusses the social and biological mechanisms that may explain the striking degree of resilience found in the adolescent brain.

Childhood adversity, such as growing up in poverty or experiencing parental neglect, is associated with a host of negative outcomes, including depression and low educational attainment. Although it is understood that these types of adversity alter the brain and increase the risk for problems, it is not known what forms of adversity are most pernicious and how they affect the brain. In the presentation, Dr. Monk describes a study comprised predominantly of adolescents from low-income backgrounds who have been followed since birth. Using brain imaging methods, Dr. Monk shows how two specific and chronic forms of adversity, violence exposure and social deprivation, impact brain development in different ways.  At the same time, the adolescents show a striking degree of resilience, despite the challenging circumstances. 

Dr. Monk is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. He is also a Research Professor in the Survey Research Center at ISR and the Center for Human Growth and Development. Dr. Monk received his PhD in Child Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. He then went on to the NIMH Intramural Research Program where he was a postdoc and later a fellow. His research program involves two active and related lines of research. In the first line, he is examining how poverty-related stressors and the developmental timing of those stressors impact brain development, stress hormone regulation and anxiety as well as depression symptoms during adolescence. For the second line of research, he is investigating how effective treatments for anxiety (cognitive behavioral therapy or medication) alter brain function and how these brain alterations relate to clinical outcome in children and adolescents.

Graphic for events post

Media

Author Event | Cecile Richards Discusses Her Book "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead"

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 11:48am

Cecile Richards has been an activist since she was taken to the principal’s office in seventh grade for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. Richards had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, where her civil rights attorney father and activist mother taught their kids to be troublemakers. She had a front-row seat to observe the rise of women in American politics and watched her mother, Ann, transform from a housewife to an electrifying force in the Democratic party.

As a young woman, Richards worked as a labor organizer alongside women earning minimum wage, and learned that those in power don’t give it up without a fight. She experienced first-hand the misogyny, sexism, fake news, and the ever-looming threat of violence that constantly confront women who challenge authority.

Now, after years of advocacy, resistance, and progressive leadership, she shares her “truly inspiring” (Redbook) story for the first time—from the joy and heartbreak of activism to the challenges of raising kids, having a life, and making change, all the while garnering a reputation as “the most badass feminist EVER” (Teen Vogue).

Graphic for events post

Media

Bright Nights Community Forum | What is Neuroscience and How Can it Change Psychiatry?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:19am

As we understand the brain better, we should be able to improve our diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disease. In fact, ideally, neuroscience should lead us to be able to fully understand and possibly even repair brain circuits important for mental health conditions. But how likely are we to achieve that ideal?  What stands in our way?

Through science and technology, we have discovered a great deal about the brain. However, emotional systems and psychiatric disease are incredibly complex. Modern neuroscience has focused its efforts and advances on the brains of experimental animals, but we are still far from moving these highly precise interventions onto humans. The question remains: how do we translate this advanced work into solutions for individuals with mental illness?

Dr. Brendon Watson, Assistant Professor for the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, gives a brief overview presentation of our current standing in neuroscience in relation to psychiatric practices, and shares where he believes we are going. Dr. Watson speaks about the tension between theory and practice within research and the importance of moving towards non-invasive procedures.

Graphic for events post

Media

Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum | Health Equity

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 2:57pm

Join local and national experts to learn about health inequities, including a discussion on climate change, mental health, and the role of public health in addressing these inequities. 

Natalie Sampson, PhD, MPH,  (Assistant Professor, University of Michigan-Dearborn), Ellen Rabinowitz (Health Officer, Washtenaw County Health Department), Dr. Felicia Brabec (Washtenaw County Commissioner, District 4), and Dr. Paul Fleming (Assistant Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan)

Sustainable Ann Arbor is an annual series presented by the City of Ann Arbor and hosted by the Ann Arbor District Library. The series includes four events held monthly through April, each with a focus on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s Sustainability Framework.