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The inner engineer: One researcher’s quest to understand the brain

Welcome to Biomed Bites, a weekly feature that introduces readers to some of Stanford's most innovative researchers.

For Jennifer Raymond, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, the decision to devote her career to deciphering how the brain operates was, well, a no-brainer.

"I think we're all curious about how our brains work," Raymond says in the video above. "It's really fundamental to who we are."

She's on a hunt for the brain's "inner engineer," the "actor" that decides how the brain should rewire itself to operate more efficiently. And now is a good time for the field, she says:

In neuroscience, we're poised to start making some fundamental breakthroughs in understanding how the building blocks of the brain, the neurons, work together to perform computations and to learn.

Those insights will have big implications for society and medicine, Raymond explains:

If we can better understand how the brain learns, this will help us design better treatments for people with learning disabilities or people recovering from stroke...

It will help us design better education systems and it will help us design better machines that can more closely mimic the abilities of the human brain.

Learn more about Stanford Medicine's Biomedical Innovation Initiative and about other faculty leaders who are driving biomedical innovation here.

Previously: Peering under the hood -- of the brain, New findings on exactly why our "idle" brains burn so much fuel and A little noise in the brain's wiring helps us learn

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