Brain Awareness Week—March 2011

See Also » Brain Awareness Week Poster—March 2011

Dr. John Boughter, Jr. at White Station Middle School

On March 10, 2011 Dr. Boughter visited White Station Middle School and gave brain awareness lectures to seven, 7th grade science classes throughout the day, each of which was a combined class of Mrs. Ruthie Bradley and Ms. Donna Budynas. He discussed basic brain and nervous system anatomy, development and function. Part of the presentation was on brain trauma (concussion) and sports, in order to reflect the topic of the symposium sponsored by the Neuroscience Institute. Each ~ 40 minute presentation was accompanied by a "show and tell" with a real human brain.

How Pain and Stress in Infancy Shape Our Perceptions and Consciousness

  • Professor Matthew Ennis, Ph.D. Chairman, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
  • Professor K .J. S. Anand, MMBS, D.Phil., Division Chief, Critical Care Medicine LeBonheur Children's Hospital and St. Jude Children's Hospital
  • Moderator: Professor William Armstrong, Ph.D., Director, Neuroscience Institute
  • Organized by: Paul Herron, Ph.D., Anatomy and Neurobiology

Data from both animal and human studies presented by these expert speakers show that pain sensation develops very early in life, even in utero, whereas historically neonates were thought relatively insensitive to pain. Indeed, studies show that newborns actually have a lower threshold for pain, and that exposure during an early, critical period of development can permanently alter their pain perception in the adult by changing the way neural pathways and circuits in the brain are organized.

These studies presented were a revelation since it has been commonly thought that neonates had little capacity to feel or remember pain. These speakers presented compelling data that the opposite is true, and will lead to better pain management for surgery in premature and early neonates, as well as for other potentially painful procedures such as immunizations.

Brain Awareness Week

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