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Lecture Series: Building Stronger Memories: Insights from Neuroscience to Enhance Learning and Retention with Dr. Mark Pitzer

November 28 @ 6:00 pm

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. Adults $5, Teachers & students free.

How does your brain learn and retain information? As the field of Neuroscience continues to uncover the neural mechanisms of memory, can we employ some of these findings to help boost recall?

Mark Pitzer is honored to return to the Belfry on November 28th to discuss how the brain creates memories. Join us as Mark discusses how specific brain systems involved in emotions, movement and vision can be deliberately recruited to strengthen recall. Come and learn how recent Neuroscience findings can help make learning truly memorable.

Dr. Mark Pitzer is an award-winning teacher who weaves together stories with the findings from Neuroscience to help explain complicated concepts.

As a Neuroscientist at the University of Portland, Mark has worked for the last 25 years to better understand and treat disorders of the brain, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. He and his students currently study how early development alters the dopamine neurons that play roles in movement, addiction and social behavior.

“Students play an essential role in all aspects of my research, from generating research questions to the publication of findings,” Dr. Pitzer explains. “They learn how to conduct rodent brain surgeries, how to measure a wide variety of behaviors, to cut and stain brain sections, analyze tissue under the microscope, measure changes on MRI scans, statistically analyze data, and write up the results.”

Mark grew up in a small town in Kansas where he worked on his family’s ranch and, during summers, traveled throughout the country working for the family business. His father perfected a reformulation of polyurethane and Mark’s parents started a company from their living room. One of their first customers for Proturf was Bill Bowerman and in 1969 they installed a Pitzer Proturf Track at Hayward Field.

During college, Mark realized that he could avoid “real” work by focusing on school. This is when he landed his first teaching job, followed by a research position in a biology lab. Ultimately, Mark moved to Chicago to earn a PhD. and to complete a postdoctoral fellowship studying Parkinson’s disease before moving to Portland.

When not in the classroom or the lab, Mark enjoys flying sailplanes, sculpting, building kinetic art machines and telling stories (He is a recent Moth Story Slam winner). He also spends time trying to write jokes to crack up his kids. All these endeavors are going okay….but please don’t ask for confirmation from his children.

6:00 – 7:00 social hour with light fare, beer and wine available for purchase.
7:00 – 8:00 lecture.

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