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Annual Mind/Brain Lecture March 15

Nicholas schiff 1

nicholas-schiffUnderstanding the Recovery of Consciousness

Nicholas D. Schiff, M.D., the featured speaker at the upcoming 14th Annual Swartz Foundation Mind/Brain Lecture, is an expert in neurological disorders of consciousness. He directs the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation at Weill Cornell Medical College and is also an associate professor in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience, Department of Public Health, and in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Weill Cornell.

His talk will focus on how despite major advances in neuroscience, recovery of consciousness after brain injury remains poorly understood. How does recovery happen and what can doctors do to help? At the origin of this challenge is the surprising degree of uncertainty of underlying brain function that may be present when confronted with a patient with very limited or even no overt signs of behavioral responsiveness. Schiff will review studies that have expanded the understanding of the potential for late recovery of cognitive function and provide insight into possible biological mechanisms that may lead to the recovery of consciousness. His talk will include examples of novel neuroimaging and the results of a central thalamic stimulation on a severely brain-injured patient.

For his work on brain stimulation Schiff was named one of TIME Magazine’s “TIME 100” World’s Most Influential People in 2008. In 2009 Rolling Stone listed him as one of their “100 People Who Are Changing America.” Schiff is also an elected member of the American Neurological Association and the recipient of several awards, including the 2007 Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience.

The lecture, which will be held at Staller Center‘s Main Stage at 4:30 pm on Monday, March 15, is intended for a general audience. Admission is free but seating is limited so please arrive early. For more on the lecture and to watch a preview video, visit

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