Speaker: Amber Hopkins

Topic: 2020, Aaron Schurger, Agency, Amber Hopkins, BrainStorm, BrainStorm Finalist, BrainStorm Neuroscience Pitch Competition, Consciousness, Consequences, INTENTIONAL BINDING, Mind Science Foundation, Neuroscience, Perception, Sensory Outcome, Tian Lan

THE PROJECT: Amber Hopkins and Aaron Schurger (Chapman University) and Tian Lan (California Institute of Technology) are researching intentional binding, or how the brain perceives action and its sensory outcome as being much closer together in time. That gap between what we perceive is happening and what our brain makes of that observation translates into a feeling of control over actions—our sense of agency. Understanding this mechanism can help explain how our brains process experiences and translates them into our feelings of authorship over intentional actions and their external consequences. ABOUT BRAINSTORM: Mind Science’s BrainStorm Neuroscience Pitch Competition funding helps early-career researchers team with senior primary investigators in powerful labs to work on pilot studies that will help them obtain grants for further research, while honing their skills in translating complex neuroscience for a general public. The top prize is $30,000, with each runner up team receiving $15,000. This year would have been the third annual BrainStorm competition at the Pearl Brewery’s Pearl Stable Auditorium, with the audience listening to pitches, then deciding how to distribute the $60,000 pot of prize money to the three research teams. Instead, our Board of Trustees viewed video pitches, and so generously gave their time and thoughtful feedback to vote on how to allocate funding. We are incredibly grateful for their endless dedication, superb vision, and important role in this funding decision. ABOUT MIND SCIENCE: Mind Science is a 501.c.3 private operating foundation, established in 1958 by oilman and philanthropist Tom Slick (1916 – 1962), with a mission to fund scientific research and education about the vast potential of the human mind, for the betterment of humankind. Mind Science focuses on funding early-career neuroscience researchers and providing life-enriching learning opportunities about the mind and brain. We believe science never stops (even, and especially, now). Visit www.mindscience.org to learn more.

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