Greg Gage

We can better understand the brain by demonstrating how it works—live and on stage.

TED Fellow, Neuroscientist, and Cofounder of Backyard Brains

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Greg Gage | TED Fellow, Neuroscientist, and Cofounder of Backyard Brains
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage offers inspiring examples of ingenuity that have earned him over 4.5 million views for his TED talks. Demonstrating the power of the brain with hands-on experiments, like using one person’s mind to move the arm of another, Gage proves our creative and problem-solving possibilities are endless. 

As half of Backyard Brains, neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage builds the SpikerBox—a small rig that helps kids understand the electrical impulses that control the nervous system. He’s passionate about helping students understand how our brains and our neurons work, because, as he says, we still know very little about how the brain works—and we need to start inspiring kids early to want to know more. A TED Fellow who has spoken at TED2015 and TEDGlobal, Gage has been featured in Popular Science, the Huffington Post, Daily Mail, and The Scientist.

 

“This visual and interactive approach to neuroscience can appeal to the masses. Through these simple, entry-level devices created from off-the-shelf electronics, Backyard Brains hopes to inspire the next generation of neuroscientists and start the ‘neuro-revolution’.”

— CNN

Before becoming a neuroscientist, Gage worked as an electrical engineer making touchscreens. As he told the Huffington Post: “Scientific equipment in general is pretty expensive, but it’s silly because before [getting my PhD in neuroscience] I was an electrical engineer, and you could see that you could make it yourself. So we started as a way to have fun, to show off to our colleagues, but we were also going into classrooms around that time and we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if you could bring these gadgets with us so the stuff we were doing in advanced PhD programs in neuroscience, you could also do in fifth grade?” His latest pieces of gear: the Roboroach, a cockroach fitted with an electric backpack that makes it turn on command, and BYB SmartScope, a smartphone-powered microscope.    

Speech Topics

Neuroscience
Popular Neuroscience How Learning About the Brain is Easier—And More Fun—Than You Think
In this energetic, highly entertaining talk, TED Fellow Greg Gage dissects a cockroach—live on stage—to show how brains receive and deliver electric responses. As the cockroach’s leg twitches, Gage uses a low-cost version of electrophysiology to see and hear the insect’s brain function on his iPad. It’s an astounding “Aha!” moment for audience members that breaks down the assumed barriers of neuroscience research—too expensive, too complicated, too advanced—and shows students that hands-on learning about the brain is possible, right here and right now.