Emery N. Brown is the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Brown is an anesthesiologist-statistician whose experimental research uses functional imaging to study in humans how anesthetic drugs act in the brain to create the state of general anesthesia. In his statistical research he develops signal processing algorithms to characterize how ensembles of neurons represent and transmit information in the patterns of their joint spiking activity. He is a member of the Board of Mathematical Sciences and its Applications of the National Research Council and a member of the Board of Trustees for the International Anesthesia Research Society. Professor Brown's honors include being a member of the Association of University Anesthesiologists, a Fellow of the American Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the American Statistical Association, the AAAS, the IEEE, a member of the Institute of Medicine and a 2007 recipient of an NIH Director's Pioneer Award.
Professor Brown will lecture on his development of point process methods to study how large groups of neurons in the brain represent and transmit information. In particular, he will describe how he has used these algorithms to analyze how rats maintain an internal representation of their position as they move freely about an open environment. The results show that it is actually possible to literally read a rat's mind. Professor Brown will also lecture on how anesthetic drugs act in the brain to create the state of general anesthesia. In this lecture, he will present recent results from his studies of humans using simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography to study how activity changes in the brain with induction and recovery of consciousness under general anesthesia.