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Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture - Two Brains Are Better Than One: How Small Brains Make Big Decisions

Date: 11/28/2012

Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Location: Cowles Auditorium Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Cost: Free


The Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholars Lecture Series acknowledges and honors the scholarly accomplishments and leadership of distinguished women faculty at the University of Minnesota and offers a forum for them to share their insights and ideas with a campus and community audience.

The Fall 2012 lecture features Professor Karen Mesce from the Department of Entomology. Professor Mesce’s lecture "Two Brains Are Better Than One: How Small Brains Make Big Decisions,” presents an overview of her original and imaginative, almost playful, approach to understanding how neuronal networks develop and function. One might call her research “art in scientific communication.” Her work has revolutionized thinking about the plasticity of the nervous system--capturing functional changes of individual invertebrate neurons (in teal-colored caterpillars, OCD honey bees and leeches—ewww!!) under hormonal or neurotransmitter control in a visually compelling context. Karen's research on neuromodulators has helped to drive investigation about how decision-making processes are carried through to result in physiologically appropriate responses in simple model organisms. A gifted communicator of this work, one of her papers published in the Journal of Neuroscience begins by asking the reader to envision the decision-making parallels between a human choosing a restaurant and a leech deciding whether to swim or crawl.

Dessert reception follows the lecture in the Humphrey School Atrium.

Free and open to the public, but please RSVP online at z.umn.edu/ada2012.


  • Name: Women's Center
  • E-mail: women@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-625-9837
  • Sponsored by: Womens Center, University Libraries, Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Reservation Information:

RSVP online at z.umn.edu/ada2012.

More information: http://diversity.umn.edu/women

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the Women's Center, women@umn.edu, 612-625-9837.

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