Bridging the Gap: Neuroscience, Inequality & Social Policy

Date and time: Monday, March 12, 6 – 7:30 pm

Location: NYU Meyer Hall, 4 Washington Place, Room 121


Audience: Adults

Information: Neuroscience offers powerful tools for investigating the factors of our upbringing which make us who we are.

For instance, brain imaging tools create new links in our understanding of personal identity and the brain, by investigating how systemic social factors like poverty and inequality can shape brain development in children and adolescents. This scientific research might be able to inform our understanding of systemic social issues, and may enable us to improve policy at a variety of levels.

Our panel brings together neuroscience and psychology researchers, philosophers, and practitioners to discuss how to Bridge the Gap to answer questions at the intersection of science and social policy.


Clancy Blair, Ph.D.
Professor of Cognitive Psychology
New York University

Clancy Blair’s research primarily focuses on the interaction between early experiential and biological influences on children’s cognitive development with an emphasis on the effects of toxic stress in contexts of poverty.

Natalie Brito, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Developmental Psychology
New York University

Natalie Brito’s research investigates the role early environments play in children’s cognitive and brain development, specifically regarding factors related to parenting, socioeconomic status, language development, and bilingualism.

Cybele Raver, Ph.D.
Senior Vice Provost & Professor of Applied Psychology
New York University

Cybele Raver’s program of research examines the mechanisms that support children’s school readiness in the contexts of poverty, and has involved the implementation and evaluation of early intervention programs.

Vincent Southerland, J.D.
Executive Director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law
School of Law
New York University

Vincent Southerland’s work lies at the intersection of race, criminal justice, and civil rights. He has served as Assistant Federal Public Defender with the Federal Defenders for the Southern District of New York and was Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Matthew Liao, Ph.D.
Professor & Director of Bioethics
New York University

Matthew Liao uses the tools of philosophy to examine the moral and ethical foundations of human rights and their relation to many areas of policy and practice, most notably parenting, biomedical innovations, and neuroethics.

Link to more information/website