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‘CommuniTea’ Briefs Students About MMB

By Alex C. Nunnelly, Contributing Writer

A handful of students discussed human psychology and neurobiology with professors yesterday at the Harvard Society for Mind, Brain and Behavior’s biweekly “CommuniTea” event in Emerson Hall.

“This is basically a get-together to allow students who are interested in the MBB track to interact with professors who are already in the MBB department or to get to know more about what MBB is and basically to interact with other people interested in the same things,” said Yingna Liu ’12, who is concentrating in neurobiology and was one of the event’s organizers.

“It’s a very casual setting,” she said. “People can come, eat cookies if they want, drink some tea, and then just socialize with each other, talk about science and anything else that’s interesting.”

With chocolate chip cookies, raspberry tea, and tables to lean against, the setting encouraged open discussion, questions, and humor. The feel was intimate yet friendly, with opportunity for one-on-one conversations with some of the top professors in the study of the brain.

The professors who joined the discussion were Daniel Gilbert and Felix Warneken from the psychology department and John Dowling ’57 from the molecular cellular biology department.

Students interested in studying the brain and its behaviors were able to talk over tea with the professors about their respective fields of study, research, and opportunities for future learning.

Gilbert discussed his study of the human tendency to make mistakes and fail at predicting the future accurately.

Warneken talked about behavioral studies in infants and chimps and their inherent altruistic inclinations. And Dowling described his neurobiological research of visual systems and the retina.

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