If you could experience someone else’s feelings, imagine what you could do with that superpower. If you could get your body to metabolize dessert as if it were a diet food, think of how you could exercise that superpower. Treat yourself to an unusual excursion into the world of a doctor who uses his (super)synesthetic brain to treat patients, and learn about the secrets of your own (super)human brain. Book signing to follow.
Funding provided by the Lee and Nile Albright Annual Symposium Fund. This program is free thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute.
This program is for audiences 18+.
For information about accessibility in the Museum: mos.org/accessibility. For questions or accommodation requests: 617-589-3102, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please request ASL interpreters at least two weeks in advance.
Recommended for: Visitors 18 years of age and older
Rachel Herz, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and leading world expert on the psychological science of smell. She is also actively involved in research related to taste and food. Dr. Herz has published over 80 original research papers, received numerous awards and grants, co-authored several academic textbooks, and is an adjunct professor in the Medical School of Brown University and part-time faculty in the Department of Psychology at Boston College. Rachel Herz is also a professional consultant to various industries, frequent speaker for media events, and the author of three popular science books to date: The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell (2007; Harper Collins), That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion (2012; W.W. Norton & Co), and Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food (2017; W.W. Norton & Co).
Joel Salinas, MD, is a brain doctor at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Neurology. Dr. Salinas was born with an extraordinary neurological trait that provides unique insights into his patients and enables him to experience life in a remarkable way. After incidentally discovering his atypical form of sensory perception, he pursued a deep curiosity to learn more about the brain and how we all experience the world.
Over the last two decades, Dr. Salinas has been studied in the labs of renowned neuroscientists, interviewed and cared for thousands of patients, and conducted brain health research with a focus on understanding how we connect with one another and what that means for our individual and collective well-being. He has been profiled and featured nationally and internationally as one of "the world's strangest brains" and "the most empathetic doctor in the world". He chronicles his experiences in the book Mirror Touch: A memoir of synesthesia and the secret life of the brain.
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