Brain Science Podcast discussion

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Dustin Moraczewski | 5 comments Hi everyone! My name is Dustin and I am excited to interact more with this community. Dr. Campbell: I emailed you a couple of months ago to introduce myself if my story sounds familiar...

I have a very diverse background. I have degrees in psychology w a philosophy minor and music performance (classical guitar). I have also been working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities for about 7 years now. I worked as a one-on-one applied behavior analysis therapist and group home manager in West Virginia. Then, my wife and I moved to Miami where I was going to pursue a Master's in music therapy. I spent 1 semester there and then I lost the funding that I was promised. So I got a couple jobs doing behavior therapy and found a job volunteering in a developmental cognitive neuroscience lab where I am helping to analyze networks of the brain in fMRI (a la Olaf Sporns style). I currently am a behavior therapist for foster children with autism and other developmental disabilities. It is a tough job and what makes it even more tough is the fact that I have to commute an hour each way in Miami traffic. I was frustrated because I felt like I was wasting so much time driving. What I really wanted to do was educate myself as much as possible to prepare to apply for PhD programs in cognitive neuroscience. My wife suggested that I look for a neuroscience podcast. You guys can probably imagine what happened next. I listened to every single podcast back to back and loved it.

I am happy to say that I was recently accepted into 3 different graduate programs in cognitive neuroscience. I decided that I will attend the University of Maryland this fall. I am very excited! I intend to examine the development of the networks that relate to social behaviors such as joint attention and theory of mind in typically developing children and those with autism.

It was actually pretty neat that last month's podcast featured Luiz Pessoa. The day this podcast came out I was preparing for my interview at the University of Maryland and his name was on my interview schedule! My interview was cancelled due to snow and we weren't able to meet for my make up interview but it was still a neat coincidence. I hope to do one of my lab rotations in his lab so that I can learn what he is doing with respect to network analysis and graph theory because I am very interested in those methods.

Anyway, long winded introduction but I am excited to have finally joined this group!
I also agree with the sentiment that no matter where you come from, there is a place for you in neuroscience if you are interested and driven. Even a previous practicing behavior therapist with a degree in music :)
I'm currently reading: Connectome, Networks of the Brain, and Noise and the Brain.


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