Montana State University

Dec. 4 lecture to focus on brain, mind, literary imagination

November 20, 2009 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Chris Comer, professor of biology and neuroscience and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Montana, will present a talk titled "Brain, Mind and the Literary Imagination" on Friday, Dec. 4, at Montana State University.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will start at 4 p.m. in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building. A reception will follow in the Leigh Lounge.

Comer leads a summer program in Ireland that examines human cognition from the joint perspectives of the humanities (literature, visual arts) and neuroscience. Students in the program concentrate on the workings of the literary mind by studying 20th century Anglo-Irish writers, and analyzing language and literature using literary theory, evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience. This work will be the focus of his seminar.

Comer is a neuroscientist who researches sensorimotor integration, or how sensory information in brains is translated into commands for appropriate behavioral responses. He is currently studying the design and evolution of visual and mechanosensory circuits in insects. His laboratory also studies special adaptations of naturally blind rodents (naked mole-rats) for processing spatial information through touch. This research has practical implications for such things as designing neural prosthetic devices and building biologically based robots.

Comer's lecture is presented by MSU's Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience with support from the Kopriva Science Seminar Series. For more information, contact John Miller in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience at (406)

Evelyn Boswell at (406) 994-5135 or