BME on the Brain (Intro to #SfN14 Blogging)

(adapted from a previous post on Medium in the collection Collaborative Coverage of SfN 2014 by PLOS Neuro Community Bloggers)

I am where I am today, a neuroscience-oriented BME grad student, because of one of my father’s (and my) favorite movies: The Empire Strikes Back. (If you haven’t seen it, I’m about to say some spoilers, so skip this paragraph!) The struggle between good and evil resonates for any young child, but that’s not what caught my attention. After Luke escapes Darth Vader sans left hand, the close of the movie shows Luke having a prosthetic hand attached that looks and behaves exactly like his original hand. When I saw that, I said to myself, “I want to invent that someday”, and a biomedical engineer was born.

I’m part of a relatively small community of neuroscientists: those who study neural mechanisms of motor control. There’s probably just a few hundred of us altogether. In the lab I work in, we are focused on understanding the nature of dystonia and trying to improve the lives of children with dystonia. I’m fascinated with the neuroscience of this disorder, but I’ve always dreamed of applying my math/science brain towards helping patients. We have some exciting projects going on in the lab, and we are all excited to talk about it. I’m an aspiring science communicator, an amateur musician, and also rather bummed that the “Neuroscience of Gaming” is during my poster time!!!

During the conference, I’ll mostly be writing about what’s new in the field of “neural control of movement”. I’ll be attending and writing about a satellite event on Friday (called TCMC: Translational and Computational Motor Control) and Amy Bastian’s lecture on Tuesday morning, entitled “Learning and Relearning Movement”). I’ll also be writing smaller pieces on other things going on in the studies of motor control and movement disorders. I also hope to visit the “Art of Neuroscience” exhibit..

You can also find my blog posts about the conference on Medium in the collection Collaborative Coverage of SfN 2014 by PLOS Neuro Community Bloggers and at NeurOnline (I’m an SfN meeting blogger there). I also contribute to the USC Graduate School blog, and I tweet under the handle @AMFeinman.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

 

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