12.30pm (60 mins), Quarterhouse Bar, £3
The human brain is a highly dynamic organ which alters its structure and function in response to every experience we have, a phenomenon called neuroplasticity. Moheb Costandi describes some of the ways in which this happens – from the changes in single cells that underlie learning, memory, and addiction, to the large-scale anatomical changes that aid recovery from brain injury. He will also demonstrate the ‘Rubber Hand Illusion,’ which reveals that our perception of our bodies – and our very sense of self – is highly malleable.
Costandi trained as a molecular and developmental neurobiologist and now works as a freelance science writer specialising in neuroscience. He has written for the BBC, Nature, New Scientist and Science. He is the author of Neuroplasticity (MIT Press) and 50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know. He also writes the Neurophilosophy blog hosted by The Guardian.