Publications

POSTER for Society for Neuroscience chapter meeting, May 2017

 

POSTER for Society for Neuroscience conference, November 2016

sfn-final-poster-2016

 

The Nature of Seeing:  Explore Connections Between Art and Your Brain by Bill Griesar and Jeff Leake

Produced for the Portland Art Museum, and also the Phillips Collection in DC

Brain Challenge Phillips pic

 

Brain Challenge Phillips

WSU Vancouver recognized this work with a university ceremony, and the WSUV library hung our Portland Art Museum/Phillips Collection visual perception panels on its walls!  UPDATE (5/17):  Panels are now hanging in the Psychology Department @ Portland State University!

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Bringing Communities Together Through Neuroscience and Art

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The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 40,000 members in more than 90 countries and 130 chapters worldwide.

Neuronline is the SfN members-only home for learning and discussion.  Neuronline content, created and curated by leaders in neuroscience and SfN partners, is regularly updated to reflect the most relevant issues in the evolving neuroscience field…

Jeff Leake and Bill Griesar recently collaborated on a Neuronline piece about NW Noggin’s extensive, ongoing STEAM outreach efforts in the Pacific Northwest.

For non-members, we have reprinted the article at this link…

 

Poster for Society for Neuroscience conference, 2015

sfn poster 2015 final

 

The Nature of Seeing

Bill Griesar and Jeff Leake collaborated with illustrator Mia Nolting on a “Nature of Seeing” educational guide for the Portland Art Museum (available at the museum through January 10, 2016) to help visitors of all ages explore the remarkable paintings in a “Seeing Nature” exhibit, and consider what’s happening in their own brains as they experience color, depth, feeling, memory, awe, surprise and other aspects of perception…

You can also download a pdf of this booklet here…

Brain Challenge Booklet 2015

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Download a pdf of the 2014 NW Noggin official photo book!

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Our poster from the Society for Neuroscience Oregon meeting, March, 2015…

Poster Oregon SfN Large 2015

 

Our poster from the Society for Neuroscience conference, November, 2014…

SfN Poster NW Noggin FINAL 2014

SfN Poster NW Noggin 2014

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We published an article for the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Observer magazine, April, 2014…

Neuroscience Outreach

Graduates, Undergraduates, High School, and Middle School Students Get Together to Learn About the Brain

By Bill Griesar, Ph.D.

Neuroscience Outreach

The NW Noggin program introduces youth to the structure and function of their own developing brains.

Children are natural scientists and eager to learn, particularly when the material is relevant and creative and gives them insight into how their own brains work. And people are social, curious, and hoping to connect, so bringing together students fascinated by the brain and behavior at all levels of investigation leads to productive collaboration.

Last summer, with welcome support from APS, we established NW Noggin. NW Noggin gathers graduates and undergraduates in psychology, neuroscience, and art from the Portland, Oregon, area to design and deliver their own multiweek programs on the brain and behavior for students in public schools.

In metropolitan areas there are often several universities with research and education programs in neuroscience, along with public schools teaching science to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Yet despite a strong shared interest, students in these separate programs and age groups rarely interact. There are many positive reasons to get them together. Sometimes graduate students are isolated because their institution lacks undergraduate programs, as in the case of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). This reduces opportunities to gain teaching experience and share work with a broader audience. It also diminishes competitiveness for jobs that require classroom expertise.

Undergraduates are often curious about further opportunities in psychology and neuroscience, including graduate options, which may be limited at their own school. They have questions about what research entails, what experience they need before applying to programs, and what studies are underway. Opportunities to learn directly from graduate students improve their appreciation of graduate options and directly expose them to students involved in funded research.  Outreach also benefits undergraduates by reinforcing neuroscience concepts learned in class.

In addition, studies suggest that in middle and high school, students are either excited or discouraged by science.  Fostering enthusiasm for inquiry into the mechanics of the natural world can tip that balance. Efforts to reach a broader public about scientific discovery contribute to fascination, understanding, and support for research and education about behavior and the brain. Integrating art projects extends outreach further, as students create objects they can talk about with family and friends.

In the summer of 2012, I gathered a group of graduate and undergraduate volunteers who had studied together in advanced undergraduate neuroscience classes, which graduate students helped teach, and we developed a 4-week class on the brain for middle schoolers at a Northeast Portland public school. An artist, Jeff Leake, worked with us to create art projects to help convey concepts in neuroscience and extend our outreach efforts further.

We partnered with the Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization, which manages the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Program at area public schools, and taught kids about neurons and networks, the visual system and perceptual illusions, brains and music, and other topics.

In 2013, with APS support, we greatly expanded our efforts. We involved students from Portland State University, OHSU, Washington State University, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and we delivered new programs to middle schoolers at two public K‐8 schools. We also collaborated with SUN and the federal GEAR UP program, which offers educational enrichment for incoming high school freshmen identified as academically at-risk. Several Noggin participants taught at Madison High School and worked with 80 new 9th graders, introducing them to the structure and function of their own developing brains.

We even visited the OHSU National Primate Research Center for an eye-­opening tour of facilities. Students heard from researchers working on animal models of multiple sclerosis, dementia, and obesity; witnessed primate behavior in action; and asked questions about animal experimentation, brain research, and potential career opportunities, too.

In 2014 we are adding schools and plan further expansion into nearby Vancouver, Washington. We recently received support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council to further integrate art students and from the Portland Alcohol Research Center at OHSU to encourage graduate participation.

This project was supported by a grant from the APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science. For more information, visit www.psychologicalscience.org/teaching.

About the author
Bill Griesar…
…is an adjunct instructor in psychology and speech and hearing sciences at Portland State University, an instructor in psychology and neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver, and affiliate graduate faculty in behavioral neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University.

 

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Two talented Noggin participants (and PSU students) Lindsay Craver and Michael Miller produced a video about our efforts in the Portland Public Schools…

All About Noggin

 

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We presented posters at the Society for Neuroscience conferences in 2013 and 2012.  We are submitting an abstract for a new poster for the Neuroscience conference in fall, 2014…

Text for 2014 poster at SfN…

NW Noggin: Collaborative neuroscience outreach in Portland and Vancouver – Undergraduates, graduates, scientists, middle and high school students work together to learn about the brain

AUTHOR BLOCK: *W. GRIESAR1, J. LEAKE2, S. HADENFELD1, L. MILLER4, M. MILLER4, M. L. SMITH5, E. TREMAINE4, R. WESCOM3, M. WIRTHLIN5;
1Psychology, 3Neurosci., 2Washington State Univ. Vancouver, Vancouver, WA; 4Psychology, Portland State Univ., Portland, OR; 5Behavioral Neurosci., Oregon Hlth. & Sci. Univ., Portland, OR

Abstract:
In urban areas there are often several universities with thriving research and education programs in neuroscience, along with public schools teaching science to K-12 students. Yet despite a strong shared interest, these various students rarely interact. Here we describe a successful effort to involve them all in learning about the brain. There are many positive reasons to get them together. Some graduate students are isolated, because their institution lacks undergraduate programs, as in the case of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. Graduate students may struggle to gain teaching experience and share their work with a broader audience. They are less competitive for jobs that require classroom expertise. Undergraduates are often curious about graduate opportunities in neuroscience, which may be scarce (or non-existent) at their own university. They have questions about what research entails, what experience they need to acquire before applying to programs, and what studies are underway. The chance to work directly with graduate students improves their appreciation of graduate options, and exposes them to students involved in funded research. Outreach also benefits undergraduates by reinforcing concepts learned in class. In addition, studies suggest that, in middle and high school, students are excited or discouraged by science. Fostering enthusiasm for inquiry into the mechanics of the natural world, including the brain, can enhance interest in science. Efforts to reach a broader public about scientific discovery contributes to fascination, understanding and support for research and education about behavior, and the brain. Integrating art projects into outreach efforts increases engagement, as students explore concepts by creating objects they can share with family and friends. This year we brought together graduate students from OHSU and Washington State University in Vancouver (WSUV), who participated in a supervised teaching practicum, with undergraduates from Psychology departments at Portland State University and WSUV. The undergraduates enrolled in advanced neuroscience classes, and studied neuroscience concepts and techniques before working with graduates. Graduates and undergraduates, along with art students from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, used this experience to collaboratively develop successful, sustained courses for students at three Portland Public middle schools during summer. We also partnered with a federal grant program, GEAR UP, to excite and inform 160 diverse, academically at risk high school students about education, research and career opportunities in neuroscience and art.

For 2013…

Cross-institutional collaboration in neuroscience outreach: Undergraduates, graduates, middle and high schoolers get together to learn about the brain

*W. GRIESAR1, E. SHAW2, K. LEHMAN2, M. RUDOLPH2, J. LEAKE3;
1Psychology, Washington State Univ. Vancouver, Vancouver, WA; 2Portland State Univ., Portland, OR;3Multnomah Educational Sch. District, Portland, OR

In metropolitan areas there are often several universities with thriving research and education programs in neuroscience, along with schools teaching science to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Yet despite a strong shared interest, students in these separate programs and age groups rarely interact.

There are many positive reasons to get them together. Sometimes graduate students are isolated, because their institution lacks undergraduate programs, as in the case of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon. This reduces opportunities graduate students have to gain teaching experience, and share their work with a broader audience. It also diminishes their competitiveness for jobs that require classroom expertise.

Undergraduates are often curious about further opportunities in neuroscience, including graduate options, which may be scarce (or non-existent) at their own university. They have questions about what research entails, what experience they need to acquire before applying to a program, and what specific studies are underway. Opportunities to learn directly from graduate students improves their appreciation of graduate options, and directly exposes them to students involved in ongoing research. Outreach also benefits undergraduates by reinforcing neuroscience concepts learned in class.

In addition, studies suggest that, in middle and high school, students are excited by science, or discouraged. Fostering enthusiasm for inquiry into the mechanics of the natural world, including the structure and function of the nervous system, can enhance interest in science. Efforts to reach a broader public about scientific discovery contributes to fascination, understanding and support for research and education about behavior, and the brain. Integrating art projects into outreach efforts extends outreach further, as students create objects they can talk about with family and friends.

Here we describe a successful effort to deliver courses that brought together graduate students from OHSU, and Washington State University in Vancouver (WSU-V), who participated in a supervised teaching practicum, with undergraduates from the Psychology departments at Portland State University and WSU-V.

The undergraduates enrolled in “Advanced Physiological Psychology,” and received exposure to neuroscience concepts and techniques before working with graduates.

Graduates and undergraduates, along with art students from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, used this shared experience to develop extended brain and behavior courses for students at three Portland Public schools during summer.

Cross-institutional collaboration in neuroscience outreach: society for neuroscience 2012

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