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MBL Lecture to Explore What Invertebrates Can Tell us About Human Learning and Memory

WOODS HOLE, MA—David L. Glanzman, a professor of physiological science and neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will present the Marine Biological Laboratory’s (MBL’s) next Friday Evening Lecture on July 29 at 8:00 PM in the Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole. His lecture, titled "In Praise of Simple Minds: What the Study of Learning in a Marine Snail Can Tell Us About the Biological Origins of Cognition," is free and open to the public. Dr. Barbara E. Ehrlich, a professor of pharmacology at Yale University will introduce Dr. Glanzman.  

Until relatively recently, the idea that invertebrate organisms could learn was regarded as controversial. Work from many laboratories during the past several decades, however, has established unequivocally that invertebrates learn. Somewhat unexpectedly, scientists have found that the neurobiological mechanisms of learning and memory in invertebrates are highly similar, and perhaps identical, to the mechanisms used by mammalian brains, including our own, to acquire and retain memories. This remarkable parallel between vertebrate and invertebrate mechanisms of learning and memory suggests that nervous systems acquired the capacity to learn relatively early, and that the neural machinery that underlies learning has been highly conserved during evolution.

David Glanzman received his B.A. from Indiana University cum laude and with honors in psychology. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology at Stanford University. He then undertook postdoctoral training in cellular neuroscience with Frank Krasne at UCLA, and with Eric Kandel at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University. In 2004 Dr. Glanzman, an MBL Corporation Member, was awarded the prestigious Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The award, which honors the late U.S. Senator, is presented to investigators who have demonstrated exceptional scientific excellence and productivity in research areas supported by the NINDS and who are expected to conduct cutting-edge research over the next seven years.

The Friday Evening Lecture Series will continue throughout the summer at the MBL.  The remaining lectures in the series are below. 
August 5
Distinguished Alumnus Lecture - "Stem Cells: A Paradigm Shift?"
Wise Young, Rutgers University
August 12
"The Science of Reading: Overcoming Dyslexia"
Sally E. and Bennett A. Shaywitz, Yale University
August 19
"Unraveling the Sense of Smell"
Linda B. Buck, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center; co-recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

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The Marine Biological Laboratory is an internationally known, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere.