‘Make more mistakes,’ says URI Visiting Scholar

Respected neuroscientist Michael Cohen to give public lecture April 8

Media Contact: Dawn Bergantino, 401-874-4147 |
Michael X. Cohen
Michael X. Cohen, associate professor of neuroscience, from Radboud University, will speak at URI as part of the Distinguished Visiting International Scholars program. (Photo: © Radboud University/Joeri Borst)

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 18, 2019 – “How and why you make mistakes (and why you should make more of them),” will be the focus when Michael X. Cohen, associate professor of neuroscience, from Radboud University in the Netherlands visits the University of Rhode Island from April 8 through 12, as part of URI’s Distinguished Visiting International Scholars program. According to Cohen, making mistakes is one of the most important cognitive functions of the brain – second only to learning from them.

Cohen will discuss the importance of mistakes during a free lecture Monday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m., at the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, Room 100, 140 Flagg Road on the Kingston Campus. Cohen’s public lecture aims to provide an approachable overview of the neuroscience of making and correcting mistakes, as well as the important challenges facing this area of neuro-scientific research over the course of the next several decades.

A neuroscience researcher at Donders Centre for Neuroscience (DCN), Radboud University Medical Center. Cohen’s lab in the Netherlands uses cutting-edge neuroscience methods to measure electrical brain activity in order to understand fundamental mechanisms of cognition and neural circuit dynamics.

“Professor Cohen is one of the pioneers in neuroscience,” said Yalda Shahriari, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and host for Cohen’s visit. “He is a prolific researcher who is always working to advance the field, yet his work is extremely accessible – which also translates to his presentation style.”

“The subject matter for Professor Cohen’s keynote is certainly something we can all identify with. No one likes to mess up,” said Shahriari. “But his ability to blend humor together with scientific information will give even those with no scientific background a better understanding about why making and correcting these mistakes is not only essential to our development – but even good for us.”

In addition to the public lecture, Cohen’s weeklong visit will include an April 9 scientific lecture for students and faculty at 2 p.m. in the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons, Galanti Lounge, 15 Lippitt Road, as well as a workshop from 4 to 7 p.m.

The URI Distinguished Visiting International Scholars program aims to demonstrate the University’s commitment to research and scholarship, strengthen emphasis on global learning and discovery, build international collaborations and enhance the visibility of URI around the globe. The program is sponsored by URI’s Office of the Provost. For more information or to RSVP for the public lecture, visit the University events page.