Velo Cult:  Megan Slaker & Dawn Nielson draw a memorable crowd!

Almost 100 people piled into Velo Cult on Thursday night (10/23) to learn about memories, including drug memories, and innovative efforts to disrupt such memories by removing chemical scaffolding around synapses known as “perineuronal nets…”

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Megan Slaker, a graduate student in Neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver, led the crowd in a spirited discussion of how neuroscientists study memory.  At one point she recruited audience members as subjects in an experiment linking drug (alcohol) exposure to a preference for a specific place.  Happily, Velo Cult offers great beer!

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Dawn Nielson, an artist and graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, created an astonishing sculpture reflecting perineuronal nets, and Velo Cult visitors enjoyed changing synaptic connections within the confines of that structure, by adding balloons (carefully  –  some wouldn’t fit, just as some synapses are restricted by nets…)

(Some even popped! :)…

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Many thanks, as always, to Velo Cult for their generous support of neuroscience and art outreach, and for providing an opportunity for graduate students to publicly present their fascinating, federally funded work.  Next show scheduled November 7th…

Cheers!

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