On WBUR Tuesday – Boston Visionaries

Listen for Tod Machover on WBUR (90.9FM) series on Boston Visionaries this Tuesday, April 10. The program airs during Morning Edition at 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m., and All Things Considered, at 5:50 p.m. Reporter Bianca Vázquez Toness visited Tod in his 18th-century barn-studio for a wide-ranging conversation, met the chickens, goats and cats, and even asked daughter Noa for funny stories about her dad. We have no idea what will end up in the program!

Click on this link to listen via  livestream.


Remembering H.M. – Public Programs and Special Events

Mark your calendars! The Central Square Cinema and team behind “Remembering H.M.” have planned a remarkable series of events to address the history and impact of H.M.’s story on our understanding of human memory. Tickets to the play are now available!

All events are at the Central Square Theater, located at 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139

Saturday, April 14
7:00 – 7:40 p.m. (before 8:00 p.m. show)
Saturday Symposium
The Legacy of H.M.: Memory and Research
H.M.’s case greatly illuminated the field of Neuroscience and memory research. What did his condition teach us about how our memory works, and where can we see the impact and the legacy of H.M. in science today?
Special Guests:  John D. E. Gabrieli, Grover Hermann Professor, Health Sciences, Technology, and Cognitive Neuroscience, MIT; and Philip Hilts, Director, Knight Science Journalism Fellowships, MIT, author of Memory’s Ghost – The Nature of Memory and the Strange Tale of Mr. M.

Sunday, April 15
Sunday Soiree following 2:00 p.m. performance
Congratulate the cast at a complimentary post-show reception!

Wednesday, April 18
Central Conversations
Following 7:30 pm performance
Tonight’s performance is followed by a conversation with CST staff, artists, audiences, and Cambridge-area organizations, focusing on intersections between stories on our stage and stories in our community.
Special Guests: Kaloyan S. Tanev, MD, Director of Clinical Neuropsychiatry Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a physician in the MGH/Red Sox Foundation Home Base Program, dedicated to improving the lives of veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan living with deployment- or combat-related stress and/or traumatic brain injury. Sarah Boyer, Oral History Project coordinator, Cambridge Historical Commission, who interviews the people of Cambridge about their memories of the neighborhoods they lived in and cared for during the last century. Ildiko Szabo, Director of Community Life, Youville House in Cambridge.

Thursday, April 19
Artists and Audiences
Following 7:30 p.m. performance
Join the cast and director in a post-performance talkback!
Special Guests: Cast and director of REMEMBERING H.M.

Saturday, April 21
7:00 – 7:40 p.m. (before 8:00 p.m. show)
Saturday Symposium
The Legacy of H.M.: Memory and Research
H.M.’s case greatly illuminated the field of Neuroscience and memory research.
What did his condition teach us about how our memory works, and where can we see the impact and the legacy of H.M. in science today?
Special Guests:  Howard Eichenbaum, Professor of Cognitive Neurobiology at Boston University. He is also the director of the Center for Memory and The Brain, the Center for Neuroscience, and of the Cognitive Neurobiology Laboratory. His primary focus is on the hippocampus, the portion of HM’s brain that was removed in his surgery.

Thursday, April 26
Scholar Social
Following 7:30 p.m. performance
Special Guest:  Suzanne Corkin, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT and Head of the Behavioral Neuroscience Lab.  Her research focuses on the biological bases of human memory networks, cognitive and neural characteristics of healthy aging, and natural history and pathophysiology of degenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.  She studied H.M. from 1962 until his death in 2008.

Friday, April 27
Adapting HM’s Story for the Stage
Following 8:00 p.m. performance
Join Wes Savick and Tod Machover, the Director/Playwright and the Composer of REMEMBERING H.M., for a post-show conversation about their journey bringing H.M.’s story to the stage.

Saturday, April 28
1:30 – 2:45 p.m. (before 3:00 p.m. show)
Plays on Memory – Short plays by MIT student playwrights
Special Guest: Playwright Alan Brody, Professor of Theater, MIT. Playwrights: Stephen Giandomenico, Sarah Gumlak, Christopher Smith, and Mark Velednitsky, all MIT students or graduates in the sciences.

Saturday, April 28
7:00 p.m. (before 8:00 p.m. show)
Saturday Symposium
The Fine Art of Remembering: Memory and Representation
Scenes from a new play exploring aging and memory, Mag and Me, by Deborah Lake Fortson will be performed and responded to by a scientist who studies changes in memory as a function of age. How can artists help us understand what memory is and how it works?
Special Guests:  Deborah Lake Fortson, playwright, and Dr. Ayanna Kim Thomas, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Tufts, whose research explores memory accuracy and information retrieval.

Sunday, April 29
Post-Performance Conversation following 2:00 p.m. performance
Special Guest: Nehassaiu deGannes, poet and performer, whose original works often take memory as a central subject. Most recently her poetry collection “Undressing the River” won the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize and was published in 2011.

Thursday, May 3
Post-Performance Conversation following 7:30 p.m. performance
Special Guest: Robin Abrahams, author, research psychologist, Underground Railway Theater Board member, and particularly well known as the Boston Globe columnist – Miss Conduct.

Friday, May 4
Post-Performance Conversation following 8:00 p.m. performance
Special Guest: Dr. Li-Huei Tsai, Professor and Director – Picower Institute for Learning and Memory; Investigator – Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute. Her work focuses on the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurological disorders affecting learning and memory, such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and Schizophrenia.

Saturday, May 5
7:00 – 7:40 p.m. (before 8:00 p.m. show)
Saturday Symposium
Fabrication Of Things Past: Memory and Truth
H.M. was unable to recall what he said or did moments before. But what about the rest of us — are our memories really as accurate as we think they are?
Special Guest: Daniel Schacter, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and director of the Schacter Memory Lab at Harvard. Dr. Schacter’s books on memory and cognition include: The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers, and Searching for Memory: The Brain, The Mind, and The Past.

Sunday, May 6
Post-Performance Conversation following 2:00 p.m. performance
Special Guest: Angela Gutchess, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Brandeis University.  Her expertise is in how age and culture affect memory and social cognition.

Friday, May 11
6:30 – 7:40 (before 8 pm show)
The Story Collider
From finding awe in Hubble images to visiting the doctor, science is everywhere in our lives. Whether we wear a white lab coat or haven’t seen a test tube since eighth grade, science affects and changes us. We all have a story about science, and The Story Collider, a NYC-based group inspired by The Moth, collects them! Tonight’s special guests will tell true personal stories about how the legacy of H.M. continues to reverberate in their own lives.
Special Guest Storytellers TBD

Saturday, May 12
7:00 – 7:40 p.m. (before 8:00 p.m. show)
Saturday Symposium
The Stranger in the Mirror: Memory and Identity
Scientists have differing perspectives on whether H.M.’s sense of self disappeared with his ability to form new memories. Are we still ourselves without our memories?
Special Guest: Tomaso Poggio, Eugene McDermott Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Library of Congress podcast: Interview with Tod Machover

Tod Machover delivered a lecture earlier this year for the Library of Congress “Music and the Brain” series. In this interview, Tod talks about his interest in developing technology to bring musical experiences to all kinds of people. He describes how hyperinstruments were originally developed for work commissioned by virtuosi like Yo-yo Ma. This approach evolved into the audience-participation “Brain Opera” and eventually into the hit music game Guitar Hero. The conversation goes on to discuss how the Opera of the Future research group at the M.I.T. Media Lab is exploring how interactive music environments can place the power for creative expression and communication into the hands of all people, from young children to people living with severe disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease.

Listen to the podcast here.