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Scott Shepherd + John Kubie

Committing the Great American Novel to Memory

Sunday, March 4, 2012
6:00 PM–7:30 PM

Born in Raleigh, N.C. and raised in Marietta, Ga. Scott Shepherd is recognized for his theatrical vigor and unique performances in the Wooster Group productions of Hamlet, Gatz and Poor Theater. Shepard also happens to know all 47,094 words in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby off by heart. He has “read” the work countless times as part of Elevator Repair Service’s highly acclaimed dramatic presentation of GATZ, shortly to be revived at the Public Theater.
John Kubie studies the role of the hippocampus in learning, memory and spatial navigation. While recording from the rat brain, Kubie and colleagues discovered that hippocampal neurons encode the specific environment the animal is in, along with the animal’s precise location within the environment. That is, they found that each environment presents a unique ‘map’ or ‘context.’ In the rat, as in humans the hippocampus is essential both for storing memories and navigation. This has led to the idea that in both the rat and human brain, memories are stored with a spatial/contextual indexing system. When not doing research, Dr. Kubie teaches Neuroscience at SUNY Downstate.