The Fooled Brain - How We are Easily Misled When Processing Information and Making Decisions
How do we navigate scientific information, and how do we know what to believe? This presentation reviews basic principles that allow accurate interpretation of data in a world full of imprecisions, irrationality, and lies. It will tap into notions of behavioral economics, experimental design, & probability/statistics, with a sprinkle of psychology.
About our speaker:
Michela Marinelli obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the University of Bordeaux 2 (France). After a post-doctoral training in the United States, she was hired as an Assistant Professor by the INSERM (the French equivalent to the American NIH). Three years later, in 2003, she was recruited by the Dept. of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science, in North Chicago. After ten years at that University, she moved to the University of Texas at Austin, where she currently works as an Associate Professor.
Dr. Marinelli’s main research seeks to understand the neurobiological bases of drug addiction. The team uses a “systems approach”, which means that they examine and integrate different levels of information to understand how systems work and interact. These variables are studied in rodent models, and they range from the cellular level (neuronal activity, using electrophysiological techniques), to the molecular level (protein expression), to the whole animal level (behavioral studies, such as drug self-administration). Dr. Marinelli is also involved in two additional projects. The first examines simple and common errors in published data. The second focuses on alternatives to restraints and seclusions in schools, and on the lack of evidence-based science for the use of currently employed “de-escalation” techniques in schools and psychiatric settings. Dr. Marinelli has published over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and her work has been cited over 8000 times.
In addition to her research, Dr. Marinelli is invested in service, having served over 20 times on study sections and on NIDA’s Board of Scientific Counselors. Dr. Marinelli also has a passion for teaching. She was the Director of the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at Rosalind Franklin University, and is currently the Graduate Student Advisor for Graduate Students in Neuroscience at UT Austin. Dr. Marinelli also directs and teaches numerous courses to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students. These include communication skills, interprofessional education, experimental design and data analysis, neurological and psychiatric conditions, neuropharmacology, pharmacology, and physiology. The undergraduate course “analytical skepticism”, earned her the “Texas 10” teaching award, which is given to the ten most-inspiring professors at UT Austin.