Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Art and medicine have long been intertwined - from the earliest depictions of human anatomy to modern art therapy. A new art exhibit (“Interstice: Memory, Mind, and Alzheimer's Disease," open through September 9 in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University) takes that relationship in a new direction. A neuroscientist and artist teamed up with fellow artists to explore what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons license

Exposure to a trio of common chemicals can affect developing babies’ brains. But it’s unclear what role those chemicals play as kids get older. One Brown University researcher aims to find out.

There's news today that the late, great comedian Robin Williams had Parkinson disease. We may never know whether that influenced his decision to take his own life. But I thought I'd take this opportunity to let you know a bit more about the disease - in particular the depression that can accompany it - and the resources available in Rhode Island.

The state health department has announced more funding for a home visiting program for families and children at risk. The Healthy Families America program aims to prevent child maltreatment before it starts.                                                        

For babies, healthy brain development is like a tennis game. A caregiver "serves" up an interaction, like a facial expression, a coo, or a word, and the infant "returns" that serve, imitating the expression or sound.

I reported recently on the growth of brain science in Rhode Island, mentioning some of the many scientists, doctors, and institutes involved and some of the diseases they're hoping to tackle.

But of course, as with any story, I learned much more in the course of my reporting than I was able to include. Here are a few more neuroscience highlights in the Ocean State:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This month, the University of Rhode Island launched a new neuroscience research institute, where researchers will focus on fighting Alzheimer’s and other diseases. It’s the fourth such program to hang out a shingle in the state. This growing community could eventually help more Rhode Islanders battle some of the most debilitating diseases.

(Neurons firing)

This is what it sounds like when you think about opening and closing your hand.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The University of Rhode Island plans to unveil a new neuroscience research institute, thanks to the single largest private donation in university history. The institute will add to the Ocean State’s growing expertise in brain science.

National Institute of Mental Health

Stress can affect developing brains, including the kind of stress that poverty can create. But a strong caregiver can mediate those effects. Those are the findings of a new study in the Journal JAMA Pediatrics. It's not news that stress and poverty can have negative effects.

BrainGate team / Brown University

BrainGate is a research project based primarily at Brown University, but with scientist, physician, and engineer team members at Massachusetts General, Stanford University, and the Providence VA, focused on developing technologies that help people with neurologic disease or injuries regain the ability to move and communicate.

Brown University

Scientists in Rhode Island are waiting for word from the federal government about whether or not it will fund a huge, multi-year effort to map the brain’s activity. But, as the head of the Institute for Brain Science at Brown University says, funding or no funding, even the buzz about brain science is beneficial.

UPDATE:The first lecture in this series has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1 at 5 pm.

The Rhode Island Medical Society is marking its 200th anniversary with a series of neuroscience-related lectures, all free and open to the public. The lectures are co-sponsored by Brown’s Institute for Brain Science and the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute.