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Male and female brains: A distinction that makes a difference (encore)

- This encore event is a production of the Atlanta Science Tavern.
- Each $11 admission includes a self-serve dinner and a $1 WePay transaction fee.
- We'll post the dinner menu as soon as it's finalized.
- You have to pay in advance in order to RSVP.
- Dinner service starts at 6:30 pm.
- The presentation will begin around 7:00.

__________
Male and female brains: A distinction that makes a difference

Bradley Cooke
Assistant Professor, Neuroscience Institute
Georgia State University

We have known for more than forty years that the brains of humans and other animals are sexually dimorphic. That is, there are reliable differences in the average size, shape, and connectivity of male and female brains. While the existence of neural sex differences is beyond dispute, their significance is controversial. What do neural sex differences mean for social norms, mental health, and the perennial argument about “nature vs. nurture”?

This Science Tavern presentation will focus on the neuroscience of sex differences. The speaker will describe how sex differences in the brain are typically studied and how the factors that influence their development have been identified. Gonadal hormones such as testosterone and estrogen play a major role in establishing sex differences. Yet at the same time, sex-typical experiences are also important in the development of male and female brains. That is, both hormones and hormone-driven experience seem to be necessary for the normal development and expression of sex-typical brains and behaviors.

Many complex psychiatric conditions, such as drug abuse, anxiety, and depression, vary by sex in terms of their prevalence, age-of-onset, and severity. Thus, while sex differences are intrinsically interesting, they may also provide clues about the origins of mental illness and potential treatments. The final part of the talk will focus on Dr. Cooke’s research at Georgia State University in which he and his students have sought to identify factors that influence the sex-specific prevalence of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. He will describe their efforts to develop a model of adverse early experience and its impact on anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in the laboratory rat.

About our speaker
Brad Cooke received his B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Vassar College, and a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from University of California, Berkeley. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, he joined the Neuroscience faculty at Georgia State in 2008. In 2013, Brad received the prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. This grant will fund his research for the next five years. 

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  • Linda T.

    Good talk - really interesting.
    Thank you

    1 · July 27, 2014

  • Jonathan M.

    This was an excellent meet up. Thank you for putting it together.

    3 · July 27, 2014

  • Michelle

    Awesome. Thank you so much for putting this together.

    2 · July 27, 2014

  • Michelle

    Awesome. Thank you so much for putting this together.

    1 · July 27, 2014

  • Marc M.

    Sorry for not posting the menu sooner:

    wraps - Chicken Curry, Tantalizing Tuna, Very Vegetarian
    salads - quinoa, mixed green
    hummus & pita chips
    tortilla chips & salsa
    cut fruit
    genuinely home-made cookies
    soft drinks - Coke, Diet Coke, iced tea and lemonade

    You may want to bring a take-home container to help us with leftovers.

    July 26, 2014

    • Allison B.

      We'll have Sprite available, also!

      July 26, 2014

  • Hunter

    So... what *is* the dinner menu?

    July 26, 2014

  • Jennie

    Oh, I do hope hope there will be another opportunity for this lecture...there is so much interest here for this particular topic, fingers crossed!!

    2 · July 18, 2014

  • Jeri W.

    Someone took the available open spot. Please notify me of any other cancellations. Thanks.

    July 17, 2014

    • Marc M.

      Jeri - The Meetup system automatically sends out emails to all people waiting for a spot, when one becomes available. The first person to respond is the one who is able to claim that spot. At least that's how I understand the system works. I can't say that it's the fairest way of handling things, but Meetup doesn't really provide us with any options. This is the first encore of this talk (i.e. the second time it's been presented). It's possible that we will come back to it again, although I don't want to do that to the disadvantage of new and interesting topics that we haven't covered yet. - Marc

      July 17, 2014

  • Jeri W.

    Yes, I would like to attend this program.

    July 17, 2014

  • Jeri W.

    what is cvv/cvc codes

    July 7, 2014

    • Marc M.

      Jeri - These are 3-digit codes on the back of your credit cards that merchants usually request to confirm that you indeed have physical possession of the card that you want to pay with. - Marc

      1 · July 7, 2014

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