Hailing from Boston
Grad student at MIT
Here — Five syllables
Unaware of the intellectual beating I was about to receive, as an undergrad I majored in neuroscience. It was, in fact, the most enjoyable, fulfilling, roller-coaster-type experience possible. I was fortunate enough to interact with a spectrum of personalities: from the, “dude, you’re winning the nobel one day” to the, “dude, how did you get into college?” and made some fantastic friends along the way.
A few years in Howard Eichenbaum’s lab taught me two things: I want to be a researcher-turned-professor, and science makes me feel a good kind of stupid. This feeling, I learned, is positively and directly proportional to the quality of science you are doing: you feel stupider when your science is better, because nature doesn’t give a fig about your hypothesis (See Martin Schwartz’s article). But there’s an art to feeling stupid — and I wanted to learn how to do it right. This is how I ended up at MIT, where I’m a grad student pursuing a PhD in neuroscience in Susumu Tonegawa’s lab.
There are about the same number of brain cells as there are stars in our galaxy. Richard Feynman once wryly noted that, “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” The same can be said about the brain, and that’s why I love it. They also say life is all about opposing forces, right? And so, I love running and burgers too.
Pretty much everyone interested in how the mind works has read Steve Pinker’s aptly titled book, “How the Mind Works” and has come away with two conclusions: 1) The brain is a magnificently complicated place, and 2) When 100 billion brain cells come together to form a three-pound lump of Will-Ferrell-loving-meatloaf , seemingly magical stuff happens. Culture and consciousness happen. Religion and art and science happen, too. I became interested in neuroscience because conclusion number 1 humbled me, conclusion number 2 confused me, and both conclusions taken to their logical extremes fascinated me. This blog is about what the brain does — namely, everything.