LASER Talk: Animal Consciousness & Creativity


Featured speaker: Aaron Blaisdell
Responder: Siddharth Ramakrishnan
Chaired by Victoria Vesna
This LASER is connected to the exhibition opening at the UCLA ArtSci gallery at CNSI – developed by Professor Aaron Blaisdell with his research students at the Comparative Cognition Lab at UCLA.
Guest responder is Siddharth Ramakrishnan, a neuroscientist at the University of Puget Sound and a UCLA post-doctoral researcher (2006-2009).

About LASER Talks:
Leonardo/ISAST LASER Talks is a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 50 cities and 5 continents worldwide.
Dr. Blaisdell is a Psychology Professor and Chair of the Behavioral Neuroscience area at UCLA, overseeing the Comparative Cognition Lab and the Pigeon Art Project. As a member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute, the UCLA Integrative Center for Learning & Memory, and the UCLA Evolutionary Medicine program, Dr. Blaisdell has an extensive academic background with a BA in Anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook, an MS in Anthropology from Kent State University, a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from SUNY Binghamton, and two years of NIH-funded postdoctoral training at Tufts University.
Siddharth Ramakrishnan, PhD., a Neuroscientist, is an Assistant Professor of Biology and the Jennie M. Caruthers Chair in Neuroscience at the University of Puget Sound. His research interests span the field of developmental biology, neuroendocrinology and sensory-motor integration. He is a recent recipient of the NSF CAREER award for early career scientists to explore modulation of the reproductive axis in the brain by endocrine disruptors. As a research scientist at Columbia University, he designed microchips to record from brain cells and used proteins to create bio-batteries and biosensors. As a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA (2006-2009) he studied the development and physiology of reproductive neurons in the zebrafish brain. His previous research addressed pattern-generating networks in snails and how they were modulated to elicit various behaviors.
MORE INFO about the Blaisell lab.