Brain research poised to dramatically advance global society

FAIRFAX, Va., May 21, 2007 -- World-renowned scientists will convene at George Mason University on May 21 and 22 to call for a 10-year intellectual revolution the "decade of the mind." The proceedings that will be published after this historic gathering will make the case for a $4 billion public research initiative dedicated to reaching the next level of understanding the human brain--the yet-to-be-discovered inner workings of the mind. The symposium also will outline the dramatic implications the decade will have on the global economy and health care.

"We are at the 'tipping point' of making enormous advances in public health, particularly in managing diseases that affect the mind, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, autism and schizophrenia," said Jim Olds, director of Mason's Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. "We at Mason are honored to be hosting this gathering of the world's leading researchers in brain study who together will outline the vision for the 'Decade of the Mind' that we will present to federal policymakers."

The two-day symposium will include nine sessions, each featuring one aspect of brain research, and will be moderated by scientists from the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study. The symposium will be anchored by a plenary session including the nine panelists. Moderated by New York Times science writer George Johnson, the session will provide an open forum for the scientists to discuss their groundbreaking research in areas such as neuroscience, neurobiology, computer science, psychology, robotics and economics. The panel will also explain the urgent need to continue the study of the human mind and the benefits this research could bring to society.

"It is our intention to cover a lot of ground in two days because we need to capture the magnitude of the impact of what we are proposing to Congress," said Olds. "A 10-year focus to bring the enormous promise of brain research will launch an intelle

Contact: Jim Greif
George Mason University

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