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MONDAY

“We have learned so much about the human brain during the past two decades that it’s fair to speak of a revolutionary change in our understanding,” writes neurologist Richard Restak in The New Brain: How the Modern Age is Rewiring Your Mind. “The era of the Old Brain is giving way to that of the New Brain.” What’s the difference? According to Restak, recent advances in brain-imaging technology have provided neuroscientists with a novel understanding of human cognition, particularly of the brain’s “plasticity”—that is, its ability to change. Restak, author of Mozart’s Brain, argues that, contrary to popular belief, the human brain is capable of evolving well beyond adolescence. Furthermore, an individual is capable of overseeing his brain’s reorganization—for better or worse. So someday soon we’ll all be expected to be masters of our own brains. Sound like a hassle? Don’t worry: That’s just your Old Brain talking. Restak speaks at 6 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. $15. (202) 357-3030. (Felix Gillette)

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