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Biographies

Collaborations: Theory and Practice 

Jon Hamilton
NPR Correspondent
Jon Hamilton has served as a correspondent for NPR's science desk since 1998. His current beat includes neuroscience, meteorology, and health risks from environmental chemicals.  Recent pieces include a trip on a NASA jet to find out why some hurricanes strengthen so quickly, a look at how autism reveals the social nature of the human brain, how humans use stories as a tool, and how the theft of  Einstein’s brain led to a major discovery in neuroscience.

Before joining NPR in 1998, Hamilton was a media fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation studying health policy issues. He completed a project on states that have radically changed their Medicaid programs for the poor by enrolling beneficiaries in private HMOs.

From 1995-1997, Hamilton covered health and medical topics as a freelance writer, after having been a medical reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and Physician's Weekly.

Hamilton graduated with honors from Oberlin College in Ohio with a B.A. in English. As a student, he was the editor of the Oberlin Review student newspaper. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University where he graduated with honors, won the Baker Prize for magazine writing, and earned a Sherwood traveling fellowship.

Visual Art and Color

Humans have a highly developed visual sense.  The human brain can analyze a complex scene within a fraction of a second, simultaneously assessing form, color, motion, and depth, and then recombining these attributes to produce a unified perceptual experience.  Why did the neural circuits that evolved to recognize food, family members, and predators also evolve to let us enjoy sunsets and paintings?  What does our still-rudimentary understanding of the neuronal circuitry involved in vision tell us about abstraction in art and how we interpret drawings and paintings?  We will explore these and related issues with an emphasis on the perception of color and form. We will also explore the diversity of visual experience across different species and between members of our own species.

Jeremy Nathans, MD, PhD
Professor, Departments of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Member, IBBS Center for Sensory Biology

Jeremy attended the Baltimore City public schools, received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1979, and Ph.D. (in Biochemistry) and M.D. degrees from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1985 and 1987.  After a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Genentech, he joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1988.  The principal research interests of the Nathans lab center on two areas the structure and function of the vertebrate visual system and pattern formation in animal development.  Dr. Nathans has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the Initiatives in Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences, the Cogan Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, the Teacher of the Year Award from the Graduate Student Association at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Champalimaud Award for Vision Research, and the Edward Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience.   He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.   Dr. Nathans currently serves on the advisory boards of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the McKnight Foundation, the Life Sciences Research Foundation, and the Merck Research Laboratories.

Margaret Livingstone, PhD
Professor of Neurobiology
Harvard Medical School

Margaret Livingstone has worked in several different fields of neurobiology. Her first work was in invertebrate neurochemistry.  She found that two endogenous monoamines activated different complex patterns of behavior in invertebrates by activating pattern generators in the CNS.  Thirty years later this work is still considered fundamental to understanding how patterns of behavior are generated and the hormonal modulation of behavior.   Dr. Livingstone is best known for her work on visual processing.  In collaboration with David Hubel she did groundbreaking work on the parallel processing of visual information.  In 1984 they described a new subdivision in primate primary visual cortex involved in processing information about color, and described the anatomy and physiology of this previously unknown system. Livingstone in collaboration with Albert Galaburda’s laboratory looked at differences in visual processing in subjects with dyslexia, and found a selective slowing of the fast achromatic visual channel.  Most recently Livingstone’s laboratory used functional magnetic resonance imaging in alert monkeys and found that macaques, like humans, have specialized regions of the temporal lobe that are selectively involved in face processing.  Livingstone has explored the ways in which vision science can understand and inform the world of visual art.  She has written a popular press book, Vision and Art., which has brought her acclaim in the art world as a scientist who successfully  communicates with artists and art historians. She generated some important insights into the field, including a simple explanation for the elusive quality of the Mona Lisa’s smile and the fact that Rembrandt, and a surprisingly large number of famous artists, were likely to have been stereoblind. 

William Stoehr
Painter
Boulder, Colorado

Six years ago Stoehr left his job as president of National Geographic’s worldwide mapping group in order to paint.  His work is shown extensively throughout the United States and Caribbean.   His contemporary figurative work has recently been described in the media as “monumental”, “powerful”, “shocking” and “dramatic”.

Neural Mechanisms of Musical Improvisation

Although creativity is an essential component of all art forms, the neural mechanisms that give rise to creative behavior remain poorly understood. In this session, we will discuss scientific research on the neural basis of creativity in the musical domain. We will focus on jazz music, which is characterized by improvisation as its core element, as well as conducting, a type of musical activity that takes place in a state of 'flow' often felt to be essential for creative thinking. The goal of the session will be to identify key facets of creative behavior in music for further scientific study, based on a collaborative discussion between a neuroscientist, conductor, and jazz musician.

Charles J. Limb, MD
Associate Professor, Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Faculty, Peabody Conservatory of Music
The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Charles Limb is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, where he specializes in neurotology and skull base surgery. He is also a Faculty Member at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Director of Research of the Neuroeducation Initiative at the School of Education. He received his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and his medical training at Yale University, followed by surgical residency and fellowship in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Johns Hopkins with Dr. David Ryugo studying the development of the auditory brainstem, and a second postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health with Dr. Allen Braun studying neural mechanisms of music production and perception using functional neuroimaging methods. His current areas of research focus on the study of the neural basis of creativity as well as the study of music perception in deaf individuals with cochlear implants. His work has been featured by National Public Radio, National Geographic, the New York Times, Associated Press, the Library of Congress, Canadian Broadcasting Company, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the American Museum of Natural History.

Mike Pope
Jazz Musician
Baltimore, Maryland

In 1993, Mike Pope arrived in New York and, soon after, become a part of the jazz scene there.  He has performed or recorded with some of the world’s most venerated musicians including Chick Corea, Michael and Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Joe Locke, Chuck Loeb, Steve Smith and Jeff “Tain” Watts.  He has toured internationally as a member of several high-profile projects including Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, David Sanborn, Al DiMeola, The Manhattan Transfer and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks.  Playing both acoustic and electric bass, he has released two albums:  Walk Your Dogma (1997) and The Lay of the Land (2002).  Mr. Pope provides instruction privately and through clinics and master classes.  He has appeared as a special guest artist at events such as Steve Bailey’s Bass at the Beach, Victor Wooten’s Bass/Nature Camp, Bass Day and Euro Bass Day alongside bass titans Matthew Garrison and Dominique Di Piazza.  Now a resident of the Baltimore area, Mike has appeared as a guest with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop.  Recent projects include a piano trio recording featuring Mike on piano, his brother David on drums, and long-time friend John Patitucci on bass.  Another recording of solo material is in the planning stages now and will be released independently in mid 2011.

Marin Alsop

Music Director
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emerita at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.  In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award; in 2008, she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and in 2009, Musical America named her “Conductor of the Year.”  A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvořák.  Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.

Pat Metheny
Jazz Musician

Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility - a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional "jazz guitar" sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Metheny's versatility is almost nearly without peer on any instrument. Over the years, he has performed with artists as diverse as Steve Reich to Ornette Coleman to Herbie Hancock to Jim Hall to Milton Nascimento to David Bowie. He has been part of a writing team with keyboardist Lyle Mays for more than twenty years - an association that has been compared to the Lennon/McCartney and Ellington/Strayhorn partnerships by critics and listeners alike. Metheny's body of work includes compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces, with settings ranging from modern jazz to rock to classical.

As well as being an accomplished musician, Metheny has also participated in the academic arena as a music educator. The Pat Metheny Group won an unprecedented seven consecutive Grammies for seven consecutive albums. Metheny has spent most of his life on tour, averaging between 120-240 shows a year since 1974. At the time of this writing, he continues to be one of the brightest stars of the jazz community, dedicating time to both his own projects and those of emerging artists and established veterans alike, helping them to reach their audience as well as realizing their own artistic visions.

Harmonic Representation and Musical Pitch

This session will bring together a cognitive neuroscientist, a neurophysiologist and a musician to explore how the brain processes music. The questions we will be discussing in this session include, for example, How does the brain represent musical pitch? What are neural mechanisms responsible for processing harmonics and rhythms in music? What are "rules" imposed by the brain to guide the way we compose and appreciate music?

Xiaoqin Wang, PhD
Professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience and Otolaryngology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Xiaoqin Wang received B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, in 1984, M.S.E. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, in 1986, and Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, in 1991. From 1992 to 1995, he conducted postdoctoral research on somatosensory and auditory neurophysiology at University of California, San Francisco. He joined the faculty of Biomedical Engineering Department at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1995 and is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience and Otolaryngology. Dr. Wang received a U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1999 and was the recipient of a Kleberg Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in 1992. His research interests range from auditory neurophysiology to neural engineering, including structures and functions of the auditory cortex, neural basis of speech and music processing, neural mechanisms underlying vocal production and control, and computational models of auditory and vocal processing in the brain. Dr. Wang directs the Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as the director of the Tsinghua-Johns Hopkins Joint Center for Biomedical Engineering Research.

Robert J. Zatorre
Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
Montreal Neurological Institute

Robert Zatorre is a cognitive neuroscientist working at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University. Dr. Zatorre was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He obtained his undergraduate training at Boston University, where he completed dual degrees in music and in psychology, while working as an organist. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Brown University under the late Peter Eimas, and in 1981 took up a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology with Brenda Milner at the Montreal Neurological Institute; shortly  thereafter he took on a faculty position at McGill, where he has remained ever since. Dr. Zatorre’s research explores the functional and structural organization of the human brain using neuroimaging and behavioral methods. His principal research interests relate to the neural substrate for auditory cognition, with special emphasis on two complex and characteristically human abilities: speech and music. He and his collaborators have published over 150 scientific papers on a variety of topics including pitch perception, musical imagery, absolute pitch, music and emotion, perception of auditory space, and brain plasticity in the blind and the deaf. In 2002 the Canadian Institutes of Health Research granted him a Senior Investigator Award, and in 2005 he was named holder of a James McGill chair in Neuroscience. In 2006 he became the founding co-director of the international laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound research (BRAMS), a unique multi-university consortium with state-of-the art facilities dedicated to the cognitive neuroscience of music.

Leon Fleisher
Pianist
Peabody Instiute
Johns Hopkins University

In 2010-2011, Leon Fleisher reaffirms his place as one of today’s preeminent concert artists with performances in major music centers around the world. Recent and forthcoming appearances include his acclaimed Carnegie Hall workshops in Tokyo and New York; memorable performances conducting the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Brazilian Symphony and Osaka Philharmonic ; and appearances at the Aldeburgh, Ravinia Festivals and the Hollywood Bowl. He will perform and conduct in a series of concerts at the 92 street Y in New York and will be heard as a conductor and soloist, recitalist, chamber music artist, master class mentor and invaluable resource in college and university residencies around the world.
Leon Fleisher was a student of the great Artur Schnabel, who studied with keyboard giant and pedagogue Theodor Leschetizky, a pupil of Carl Czerny, who in turn studied with Ludwig van Beethoven.  Debuting with the New York Philharmonic in 1944, Fleisher quickly established himself as one of the world's premier classical pianists, concertizing with every major orchestra and making numerous touchstone recordings. At the height of his career, he was suddenly struck silent at age 37 with a neurological affliction known as focal dystonia, rendering two fingers on his right hand immobile.  In the nearly 40 years since Leon Fleisher's keyboard career was so suddenly curtailed, he has followed two parallel careers – as conductor and teacher – while learning the extraordinary but limited repertoire for piano left-hand. He began conducting in 1967, but never gave up the idea of playing with both hands again. Experimental treatments using a regimen of rolfing and 'botulinum toxin' (botox) injections finally restored the mobility in Fleisher’s hand, and for several years he has played with both hands, winning enormous acclaim for his 2004 'two-hand' recording aptly titled Two Hands. Fleisher's story is the subject of the 2006 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary film of the same name, written and directed by Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect).  Fleisher received the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors at the 30th annual celebration of the arts where Caroline Kennedy recognized him as “a piano prodigy from the Golden Gate who rose to the heights, embraced adversity and became a musician for all seasons.” In 2005, Fleisher was honored by the French government and was named Commander in the French Order of Arts and Letters, the highest rank of its kind. The first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium competition (1952), Fleisher now holds numerous honors including the Johns Hopkins University President's Medal and honorary doctorates from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Amherst College, Boston Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Juilliard School of Music and Peabody Institute.

Spatial Representation and Architecture

Space is a fundamental component of our experience, framing our movements and providing a logical context within which we remember the past and imagine the future. New research in neuroscience tells us that the brain uses exquisitely specialized systems to represent the space around us – a space increasingly likely to have been designed by architects.  In this session we will host a conversation between neuroscientists and architects, and address such questions as: Can the brain’s representation of space inform architectural design? What design principles do architects use that may reflect intuitively or empirically neuroscientific principles? What can both disciplines, intimately related to space, learn from each other?

David Foster, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

David J. Foster received his Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and completed his postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2008, he joined the faculty of the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, in The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Foster is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Young Investigator Award.

Tom Kundig, FAIA
Principal / Owner, Olson Kundig Architects

Tom Kundig is the recipient of the 2008 National Design Award in Architecture Design, awarded by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He has won four National AIA Honor Awards, four National AIA Housing Awards, and is a recipient of a 2007 Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which recognizes architects whose work is characterized by a strong personal direction. In 2004, Kundig was selected as one of eight North American Emerging Architects by the Architectural League of New York and was elected to the College of Fellows by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He was a finalist for the 2005 National Design Award for Architecture, and he is a recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Architectural Record has named two of Kundig’s projects Record Houses – the Rolling Huts in 2008 and Delta Shelter in 2006. To date, Kundig has been awarded a total of thirty-three AIA awards, and over fifty awards total. The firm received the 2009 National AIA Architecture Firm Award (as Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects) and for the past two years has been named one of the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Architecture by Fast Company.  Kundig’s work encompasses residential, commercial and institutional and is located around the world. His signature detailing and raw, kinetic construction explore new forms of engagement with site and landscape, which he frames in the workings of unique, building-size machines. In his houses, which are quickly becoming recognized as modern-day classics, brute strength and tactile refinement are held in perfect equilibrium. Current projects include the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, Idaho, the Burke Museum for Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington in Seattle, urban infill and two large hotel and mixed-use projects in downtown Seattle, the T Bailey Offices in Anacortes, Washington, and private residences in Spain and throughout North America.  In 2006, Princeton Architectural Press released Tom Kundig: Houses – which featured Studio House, the Brain, Chicken Point Cabin, Hot Rod House, and Delta Shelter. Kundig has been published in over 250 publications worldwide, including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, Dwell, A + U, and Architectural Digest. Seven of his projects have been featured in the New York Times. His work has been featured in many books on architecture, including The American House (Phaidon, 2008), The Good Office: Green Design on the Cutting Edge (Collins, 2008) and the most recent edition of The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture (2008). Princeton Architectural Press will publish a new monograph of Kundig’s work, anticipated for release in Fall 2011. Kundig has lectured extensively on design and served as a university studio critic throughout the United States and in Japan (at Harvard University, Syracuse University and the University of Oregon, among others). His award-winning work has been widely exhibited in North America, at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, Syracuse University, the Seattle AIA, and at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. A monograph on the work of the firm, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects: Architecture, Art and Craft, was published by the Monacelli Press in 2003. Kundig’s undergraduate and graduate architecture degrees are from the University of Washington.

Amy Shelton, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

Amy Shelton is a cognitive neuroscientist who studies spatial cognition and its application to everyday life. Shelton earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University and master's and doctoral degrees from Vanderbilt University. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, she joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2002 and has a primary appointment in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, where she is Director of Graduate Studies. She holds a joint appointment in the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine. Shelton, who is among the first to address issues of different learning mechanisms in humans, focuses her work on the neurobiological mechanisms of learning and memory for real-world environment. Her work, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, is aimed at bridging animal models of learning mechanisms with human cognitive neuroscience to understand how individuals learn, remember and interact with the world.

Russell A. Epstein, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania

Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.  His research focuses on understanding the cortical systems that mediate visual scene perception and spatial navigation in humans.  His laboratory has identified brain regions that appear to be specifically involved in processing navigationally-relevant information, including the Parahippocampal Place Area, which responds strongly whenever one looks at an image of a place. He also has a long-standing interest in the neural basis of aesthetic perception.  He received his Ph.D in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and did postdoctoral work with Nancy Kanwisher at MIT and John Duncan at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge UK before moving to Penn in 2002.

Motor System and Dance
Abstract:  This session will examine the neural mechanisms for learning and performing complex movements, and will relate this information to art of dance.  Questions that will be addressed include: What elements of movement does the brain control to make a movement look graceful versus awkward? Are shared brain mechanisms used when performing versus observing dance?  How can we extract emotional content by observing dance?

Amy Bastian, PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Neuroscience and Neurology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Bastian is a neuroscientist and physical therapist who studies the neural control of human movement.  She has a special interest in cerebellar motor disorders, stroke, motor learning, and walking control. She is the Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins.  Her research uses computerized movement tracking techniques and novel devices to control walking and reaching movements.  She studies how humans with and without neurological damage control movement and learn new patterns. 

Scott T. Grafton, MD
Professor, Department of Psychology
University of California Santa Barbara

 Scott Grafton is interested in how people organize movement into goal oriented action. He developed some of the first brain mapping techniques for the identification of changes within the human motor system during normal movement and in response to diseases of the nervous system. His research in skill learning has identified basic signatures of human brain plasticity measured by brain scanning. Grafton also uses imaging to identify brain regions associated with action observation and the sharing of brain resources for doing, seeing and simulating. This work forms a basis for understanding how we learn through observation and how neurologic patients might regain function. Grafton is trained a Neurologist and Nuclear Medicine physician. He directed clinical and research imaging centers at USC, Emory and Dartmouth prior to joining the UCSB faculty in 2006 where he is director of the UCSB Brain Imaging Center.

Jonah Bokaer
Choreographer and media artist

Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, media artist, artist space developer and social entrepreneur. His work integrates choreography with digital media, resulting from cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists and architects.  Bokaer’s choreography has been produced in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Few of his works are seen in New York. Bokaer’s production “REPLICA,” created with Daniel Arsham and Judith Sánchez Ruíz, was the first choreographic commission by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2010, "REPLICA" was the only American choreography seen at the Athens Festival and the Festival de Marseille. The development of his choreography in France has included major productions in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Avignon (“FUSED,” 2011).  In 2008-2009 Bokaer became the first dance artist to be appointed a Young Leader of the French American Foundation. He led a group of choreographers in the formation of Chez Bushwick (2002). He later founded CPR – Center for Performance Research, a 4,000 square foot arts facility in Williamsburg, in collaboration with John Jasperse (2008). Bokaer is a current choreographer for the operas of Robert Wilson. Such works include “FAUST” in Poland, “AIDA” in Italy, “KOOL” in the USA and Japan, and “FRONTERAS” in Spain.

Form Perception and Design

This session will explore the hypothesis that visual aesthetics are influenced in a fundamental way by the nature of neural representations. One specific example to be discussed is the relationship between sculptural aesthetics and brain representations of 3D object shape.

Ed Connor, PhD

Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Director, Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute
Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

Ed Connor obtained his PhD in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins in 1989.  After postdoctoral studies at CalTech and Washington University, he joined the Hopkins Neuroscience Department in 1996.  He has served as Director of the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute since 2007.

Dr. Connor’s research focuses on neural mechanisms underlying object vision.  His work has shown how object structure is represented by populations of neurons in higher-level visual regions of the brain.  In new studies funded by the Hopkins Brain Science Institute, his laboratory has begun to investigate the neural basis of shape aesthetics.

Anjan Chatterjee, MD
Professor of Neurology
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Chatterjee studies the cognitive neuroscience of spatial attention and representation, the neural basis of language, and the relationship of space and language.  He incorporates cognitive experimental paradigms in normal subjects and patients with focal brain lesions, functional magnetic resonance imaging in his work.  Of interest to Dr. Chatterjee include questions such as: How are we aware of and maneuver through space in our environment? How are we aware of the space occupied by our bodies? Research in his laboratory is directed at understanding the neural bases of spatial attention and representation. Patients with focal brain damage usually to their right hemispheres can have dramatic disturbances of the awareness of contralesional space. They may even be unaware of the left side of their own bodies despite being alert and conversant! How is such a phenomenon possible? We investigate such patients to understand how different sensory modalities contribute to spatial representations, how attention influences perception, how intention to act affects spatial cognition, and how focal brain damage can produce dramatic and bizarre disturbances of awareness.  Another focus of inquiry in Dr. Chatterjee’s  laboratory is the neural bases for language and how language relates to other cognitive systems. Language is generally considered a propositional or algebraic system, in which arbitrary symbols are used as referents for objects and events in the world. Yet our sensory and motor systems are organized in an analogue or geometric fashion. If one believes that much of our knowledge of the world derives from our sensory and motor systems and we use language to encode that knowledge, then how are these two different kinds of representational formats related? He is pursuing the idea that certain concepts can be coded pre-linguistically and these are organized spatially. Dr. Chatterjee believes that data from converging methods greatly help constrain cognitive theory. In his lab he uses behavioral studies and functional neuroimaging in normal subjects to test ideas developed from the lesion studies.

David Hess
Sculptor
Phoenix, Maryland

David Hess graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Studies.  He is currently a sculptor and the proprietor of Hess Industries.

David uses a wide range of materials including, wood, glass concrete and metal.

Some of his large-scale public works can be seen at the American Visionary Art Museum In Baltimore, David has developed several public projects including the Baltimore Washington International Airport ,the Emerson Corporation in St. Louis , Missouri and the new Washington Canal Park in Washington, D.C. and Germantown Center.   David produced a feature-length documentary called The Green Monster in 1999. The film is about the life of Art Arfons who was a race car driver trying to set the land-speed record in a homemade jet car.   As his senior thesis at Dartmouth David made a film on Arp’s work.  Finally, David is an annual participant (and sometimes award winner) at the American Visionary Art Museum’s Kinetic Sculpture Race with his nine member team on the Platypus.  The Platypus stands for the Personal Long Range All Terrain Yacht Proven Unsafe. David, his wife, Sally and their children Sophie and Eli live in Phoenix, Maryland.
 

Panel Session:  The Future of a New Field: Questions, Directions and Debate

Tom Hall
WYPR Correspondent
Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society

In addition to serving as the Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society and maintaining a busy schedule of guest conducting engagements each season, Tom Hall is also a well known broadcaster, teacher, lecturer, and writer.  He is invited frequently to speak to professional and community organizations, including the Oregon Bach Festival, American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the College Endowment Association, the Baltimore Broadcaster’s Coalition, and the Ewald Symposium of Sweetbriar College.  He has served as the President of Chorus America, the national association of professional and volunteer choruses, and he has appeared numerous times as a guest speaker at national conferences of that organization.  His publications include articles in the Baltimore Sun, Style Magazine, Historical Performance Magazine, the Choral Journal, the American Choral Review, Voice Magazine, the International Choral Bulletin, and the SIDIC Review, an international journal which promotes understanding between Jews and Christians.  In addition, he serves frequently as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts.  Dr. Hall is the Culture Editor for Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast and the host of Choral Arts Classics on WYPR radio in Baltimore, and he has appeared frequently on WBJC’s Face the Music.  In 2006, he received an Emmy Award for Christmas With Choral Arts, which is broadcast annually on WMAR television, the ABC affiliate in Maryland.  In 2007, he was named Best New Broadcast Journalist by the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2009, the Baltimore City Paper named him Best Local Radio Personality

John W. Griffin, MD
Director, Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute
University Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Neurology
Professor, Departments of Neuroscience and Pathology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. John Griffin is Director of the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSI), University Distinguished Service Professor of the Department of Neurology, and Professor of the Departments of Neuroscience and Pathology in the School of Medicine. 
        

Dr. Griffin’s research career has been devoted to the neurobiology and peripheral nerve degeneration and regeneration and to studies of peripheral neuropathies.  His honors include Jacob Javits Award from the NIH, and multiple teaching awards, including the Professor's Award of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  He is a former member of the National Advisory Council to the National Institute of Neurologic Disease and Stroke.  He is former Chair of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Program in Translational Research.  He is Past President of the Peripheral Nerve Society, the Society for Experimental Neuropathology, and of the American Neurological Association.  Dr. Griffin is Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Nature Reviews in Neurology.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. 
Dr. Griffin’s career has spanned both basic neurobiological investigation and translational research.  The current focus of the laboratory is on mechanisms of degeneration and of axonal protection in nerve disease, mechanisms underlying painful nerve diseases, and the pathogenesis of acquired demyelinating neuropathies. He has published over 300 papers in this area and edited major textbooks on peripheral neuropathies. Dr. Griffin led early translational studies of the treatment for Guillain-Barre syndromes.  He was an organizer of the North American trial of plasmapheresis for treatment of the Guillain-Barré syndrome, the first demonstration of an effective therapy in this disease.  With a team of investigators from Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, Beijing Children's Hospital, and Second Teaching Hospital in Hebei Province, China, he investigated Guillain-Barré syndrome in Northern China.  These studies defined an important variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome, Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy (AMAN), and identified the role of Campylobacter-jejuni enteritis as an antecedent to the AMAN syndrome, and defined the pathology and immunopathology of the disease.  He teamed with Drs. Justin McArthur and Michael Polydefkis in the early development of skin biopsies to assess epidermal nerve fibers, showing that these fibers are lost in many painful neuropathies. He has examined the contribution of C-fiber nociceptors to experimental neuropathic pain and the responses of Remak Schwann cells in nerve disease. Ongoing studies are examining the roles of growth factors in maintenance, degeneration, and regeneration of peripheral nerve fibers.

Semir Zeki
Professor of Neuroesthetics
University College of London

Since 1970 Zeki has been based at University College, being appointed the professor of Neurobiology in 1981 and most recently, Professor of Neuroesthetics. His main interest has been the organization of the visual brain. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and foreign member of the American Philosophical Society. Books include A Vision of the Brain, La Quete de l'essentiel written with the artist Balthus, Inner Vision and most recently Splendors and Miseries of the Brain.

Gary Vikan
Director, The Walters Art Museum

Gary Vikan was named director of the Walters Art Museum in 1994 after serving as the museum’s assistant director for curatorial affairs and curator of medieval art since 1985.

Under Dr. Vikan’s leadership, the Walters has achieved record attendance levels and has significantly increased the endowment, operating budget and museum membership. Trained as a Byzantinist, he has published and lectured extensively on topics as varied as early Christian pilgrimages, medicine and magic, icons and Elvis Presley. He is an adjunct professor at The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Art History, and a faculty member in The Johns Hopkins University School of Continuing Studies. Before coming to the Walters, Dr. Vikan was senior associate for Byzantine art studies at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.  From 1999 to 2002, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee. He was honored by the French Minister of Culture and Communication with Knighthood in the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in 2000. In 1999, he was the American Association of Museum Directors’ representative to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States.  Dr. Vikan, a native Minnesotan, received his B.A. from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1967 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1976.

Michael Hersch
Chairman of the Department of Composition
The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Widely considered among the most gifted composers of his generation, Michael Hersch first came to international attention in 1997 at age twenty-five, when he was awarded First Prize in the American Composers Awards. The award resulted in a performance in New York's Alice Tully Hall shortly thereafter. That same year he became one of the youngest recipients ever of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition. Mr. Hersch has also been the recipient of the Rome Prize (2000), the Berlin Prize (2001), and both the Charles Ives Scholarship (1996) and Goddard Lieberson Fellowship (2006) from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. His work has been conducted in the U.S. and abroad under conductors including Mariss Jansons, Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, James DePriest, Carlos Kalmar, and Gerard Schwarz, for the major orchestras of Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Seattle, Dallas, and Oregon, among others.  He has written works for soloists including Garrick Ohlsson, Boris Pergamenschikow, Walter Boeykens, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved, Midori, and ensembles including the String Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.  Upcoming projects include new works for the Cleveland Orchestra, and baritone Thomas Hampson. In August 2010, the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music premiered Mr. Hersch's Symphony No. 3.  Also regarded among the world's most formidable pianists, Mr. Hersch has appeared on the Van Cliburn Foundation’s “Modern at the Modern” Series, the Romaeuropa Festival, theAmerican Academy in Berlin Series, Festa Europea della Musica, St. Louis' Sheldon Concert Hall, and in New York City at Merkin Concert Hall, Tisch Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, among others. In 2006, Mr. Hersch premiered his 2.5 hour work for solo piano, The Vanishing Pavilions, in Philadelphia.  His music increasingly recorded, Vanguard Classics has issued a number of Hersch discs over the past decade. A recording of Mr. Hersch's orchestral works, including his early Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2, was released in 2006 with Marin Alsop conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on the Naxos American Classics series.  In late 2009, Vanguard Classics released the first disc in a series of three in a major survey of Hersch's works for solo string instruments.  

Steven Hsiao, PhD
Professor, Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine



Steven Hsiao is a Neurophysiologist in the Solomon Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University.  He received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University.  He then worked as a nuclear engineer in Washington DC and then as a biomedical engineer at the NIH before receiving his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Hsiao has been a faculty member in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins since 1992.  His research is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying tactile perception. He is the scientific director of the Krieger Mind/Brain Institute and is a co-director of the Neuroscience graduate program.

John P. Eberhard, FAIA
Senior Consultant 
The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture


He has served as Director of Research of the Sheraton Hotel Corporation (1960-63); Director of the Institute for Applied Technology at the National Bureau of Standards (1964-68); President of the AIA Research Corporation (1973-78); Executive Director of the Building Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences (1982-87).  A graduate of the University of Illinois in architecture, and the holder of a Masters in Industrial Management from the Sloan School at MIT, his academic career has included:  an appointment as adjunct professor in the Sloan School at MIT (1959-63), Dean of School of Architecture and Environmental Design at SUNY-Buffalo (1968-73), and Head of the Department of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University  (1989-95).  From 1995 to 1998, as a consultant to the American Architectural Foundation in Washington, he immersed himself in learning about developments in the field of neuroscience. 

Barbara Landau, PhD
Dick and Lydia Todd Professor and Chair, Department of Cognitive Science
Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Johns Hopkins University


Barbara Landau is the Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of and Chair of the Department of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University.  Her interests are in spatial representation, language learning, and the relationship between the two systems of knowledge.  She works on normal developmental profiles for space and language, as well as the profiles that emerge in children and adults with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that results in an unusual cognitive profile of severely impaired spatial abilities together with relatively spared language.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Cognitive Science Society, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2009.

Mary Ann Mears
Artist
Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance

Mary Ann Mears is a sculptor who has been commissioned to create site-specific art for public sites across a number of states including Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, and Washington, D.C.  Within her home state of Maryland, her commissioned works are located in Bethesda, Rockville, Cheverly, Belair, Glen Burnie, Silver Spring and at several locations in Baltimore. She is also a volunteer arts advocate.   Her achievements include being a founder of Maryland Art Place and helping to craft and successfully lobby for Maryland’s Public Art Bill.  She is a trustee of Maryland Citizens for the Arts. Mary Ann is the founder of Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance. She serves on the Maryland State Department of Education’s Fine Arts Education Advisory Panel.  She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in the Fine Arts from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). In 2009, she received the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award from the National Governors Association.  She is one of the Daily Record’s 2010 Maryland’s Top 100 Women.

Richard L. Huganir, PhD
Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute
Professor and Director, Department of Neuroscience
Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Dr. Richard Huganir is a Professor and Director of the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Brain Science Institute. Dr. Huganir received his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 1982 and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Nobel Laureate, Paul Greengard, at Yale University School of Medicine from 1982-1984. Dr. Huganir then moved to Rockefeller University where he was an Assistant Professor of from 1984-1988.  Dr. Huganir moved to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1988 as an Associate Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Huganir has received the Young Investigator Award and the Julius Axelrod Award from the Society for Neuroscience and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

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