Our center hopes to broadly promote interest in and awareness of neuroscience and mental health research. During the academic year, we run a monthly interdisciplinary lecture series called the Conte Colloquium on Mental Health, open to all members of the Harvard community and the general public. Launched in 2012, this series features a wide range of speakers from the life sciences, social sciences and clinical practice, all centered on mental health-related neuroscience research and designing their talks for a non-expert audience. Topics covered in the past year have included new discoveries in the genetics of neurological disorders, brain plasticity after strokes, molecular pathways that regulate the dynamics of connectivity in brain regions vulnerable in mental illness, adolescent brain development and the neuroscience behind social bonding.

Each spring we also hold a special symposium centered on a specific theme in neuroscience research. Past symposia have focused on the neurobiology of parenting and early life adversity, circuity pruning during brain development, and the neural basis of emotion, and have featured speakers from both within and outside our center. These events also feature an undergraduate poster session with prizes for Harvard College students who have conducted original research in neuroscience or mental health-related fields.

Further, we collaborate with the Boston Museum of Science, helping to brainstorm and co-sponsor their free public programs on brain science. These programs usually feature a mix of short talks by scientists and on-the-ground experts on a theme of broad interest, followed by a panel discussion and time for audience questions. Past events have focused on the role of genetics and environmental experience in healthy brain development, conflict, mental illness and self control, the neural basis of meditation, music and brain plasticity, as well as depression, suicide and resilience.

For more information on upcoming programs, visit our Events page, follow us on FaceBook (@harvardconte) or Twitter (@ConteHarvard).
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