Instant Expert: Understanding your brain

Instant Expert: Understanding your brain

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£99 – £149

Date and time

Location

The Knowledge Centre at The British Library

96 Euston Road

London

NW1 2DB

United Kingdom

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Refund policy

A one-day masterclass for anyone interested in how your brain works, whatever your age or background, to learn directly from the experts.

About this event

New Scientist presents ...

Instant Expert: Understanding your brain

Your brain is the most complex organ in your body. It produces every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience of the world.

At this event, six expert speakers will guide you on a tour of the most fascinating object in the known universe. On the way you’ll learn how our brains learn language, how they store memories and why they need to sleep. You’ll look at the mystery of consciousness and how our brains cause emotions and empathy to arise.

Hosted by a New Scientist journalist, our one-day masterclass offers the chance to learn directly from the experts in the fascinating fields of cosmology and relativity.

Topics covered will include:

  • Perception
  • Sleep
  • Language
  • Consciousness
  • Memory
  • Altered mental states

Talks and speakers:

Psychedelics – revealing the brain

David Erritzoe, Imperial College London

Humans have used drugs to change their consciousness for thousands of years, but it is only in recent times that psychedelics have been seriously researched. Today, scientists like David are focusing not on just what the altered states can tell us about the workings of the brain, but also on psychedelic drugs’ potential as a therapeutic for treating a host of mental health conditions from addiction to depression.

Seeing ourselves

Manos Tsarikis, Royal Holloway, University of London

How do our brains perceive our own bodies? Interoception is the name given to brain’s perception of the body’s state, transmitted from receptors on all the internal organs. In this talk, Manos will show the ways in which we can understand how our sense of self, crucially dependent on the experience of our body, is generated, maintained or altered in the human mind. The evidence of his research shows the close interaction between different aspects of self-representation, and raises intriguing possibilities for understanding identity, body-image disorders, as well as informing our cultural practices of representing and portraying the self.

Language shaped by the mind

Jennifer Culbertson, Centre for Language Evolution, University of Edinburgh

Animals have basic systems of communication, but humans have much more complex ways of expressing ourselves. The languages we use to do this vary in in many ways, and yet there are universal properties shared across many languages. What can these things tell us about how our minds shape the languages we speak? 

What is the point of sleeping?

Julie Seibt , Surrey Sleep Research Centre

Humans, like all mammals, have evolved to spend about a third of their lives unconscious. This talk will look at why our brains need time off, what happens in our heads when we’re under the covers and what we can do to sleep better.

Consciousness

Anil Seth, University of Sussex

How do conscious experiences relate to the cells and molecules and atoms inside brains and bodies? Why should physical matter give rise to an inner life at all? Anil Seth believes that science can explain consciousness, but only if we stop treating it as a single mystery. In this talk he will argue that, if we break consciousness down into its various related properties and address each in turn, we will find that the deeper mystery of consciousness itself begins to fade away.

Memory and forgetting

Expert speaker TBC soon

The ability to store memories and re-live each moment in detail is a fundamental part of our identity. But in our brains, remembering is a reconstructive process rather than a literal act of reproduction, in which recollections of past events are assembled at the time of recall under the influence of varied biases and pressures, some of which have little to do with the event. This talk will explain how our brains remember, and how they forget.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in the the brain and neuroscience, whatever your age or background. Whether you're a scientist, a student or simply a fascinated human being, Instant Expert: Understanding your brain offers the chance to learn directly from the experts at our one-day masterclass.

Benefits of attending:

  • Become an expert in one day
  • Informal set-up, meet like minded people
  • Open your mind, be inspired
  • Unique chance to ask your burning questions to our experts

What's included in your ticket:

  • In-depth and engaging talks from six leading scientists
  • Ask-an-expert Brain Question Time session
  • Your chance to meet our six speakers and New Scientist host
  • Buffet lunch, plus morning and afternoon refreshments
  • Exclusive Instant Expert certificate
  • Exclusive on-the-day New Scientist subscription deal, book and merchandise offers

Booking information:

The event will be held in The Knowledge Centre at The British Library.
Doors will open at 9:15am, with talks commencing at 10am sharp. The event will finish at 5pm.
We require the name of each person attending - please ensure this is provided at the time of booking. If you need to change the name of an attendee, please notify us as soon as possible: live@newscientist.com
Eventbrite will email you your ticket(s) immediately after purchase. Please remember to bring your ticket(s) with you as you'll need it to gain entry. We can scan tickets from a print out, or off the screen of a phone / tablet / smartwatch.
The ticket price includes a buffet lunch, as well as morning and afternoon refreshments.
The schedule / exact running order for the day will be confirmed closer to the event, and will be emailed to all ticket holders.
Should you require details about disabled access, please contact us at: live@newscientist.com
Tickets are non-transferable to any other New Scientist event.
All tickets are non-refundable. If the event is sold out and you can no longer make it then we may be able to offer your ticket(s) to someone on the event waitlist and provide you with a refund. Please email us at live@newscientist.com asap to notify us. We will deal with all such requests in the order received, although we offer no guarantee that we will be able to sell you ticket onto someone on the waitlist.
New Scientist reserves the right to alter the event and its line-up, or cancel the event. In the unlikely event of cancellation, all tickets will be fully refunded. New Scientist Ltd will not be liable for any additional expenses incurred by ticket holders in relation to the event.
Tickets are subject to availability and are only available in advance through Eventbrite.
A limited number of discounted early bird tickets priced at £129 have been made available, saving £20 on the full ticket price of £149. Tickets can be purchased by following the green "Buy" button at the top of this page, if still available.

COVID-19 measures

Please be assured that New Scientist are committed to providing a safe and secure environment at all our in person events. Covid passes are no longer mandatory for indoor events but we ask that you take a lateral flow before you attend and that you do not attend the event if you have any COVID symptoms.

Face coverings

In England, face coverings are not mandatory but you are welcome to use wear one whilst you are at the event.

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