The voice of change – Spanish | MIT news

Jessica Chomik-Morales ’childhood was bicultural. She was born in Boca Raton, Florida, where her parents came to seek a better education for her daughter than she should in Paraguay. But when she didn’t go to school, Chomik-Morales returned to that small South American country with her family. One of the consequences of growth in the two cultures was an early interest in human behavior. “I’ve always been an observer,” says Chomik-Morales, recalling how she adapted to the nuances of social interaction to adapt and adapt.

Today, that fascination with human behavior encourages Chomik-Morales when she works with a professor of cognitive sciences at MIT. Laura Schulz and Walter A. Rosenblith, professor of cognitive neurology and researcher at the McGovern Brain Research Institute Nancy Kanwisher as a post-graduate researcher using functional brain imaging to explore how the brain recognizes and understands causal relationships. Arriving at MIT last fall, she worked with study volunteers to collect functional MRI (fMRI) scans and used computational methods to interpret the images. She has also improved her future goals.

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Jessica Chomik-Morales: The Voice of Change

She plans to pursue a career in clinical neuropsychology that will combine her curiosity about the biological basis of behavior with a strong desire to work directly with people. “I would like to know what questions I could answer about the neural mechanisms that drive exclusive behavior using fMRT in conjunction with cognitive assessment,” she says. And she is confident that her experience in MIT’s two-year postgraduate program will help her get there. “It gave me the tools, methods and techniques I needed, and good scientific practice,” she says. “It simply came to our notice then. And I think that will make me a more successful researcher in high school.

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Jessica Chomik-Morales: Mi Ultima Neurona (Spain)

The Chomik-Morales route to MIT was not a direct route for the U.S. school system. When her mother, and later her father, could not return to the United States, she began attending eighth grade in the capital, Asuncion. Not bad luck. She spent almost every afternoon in the director’s office, and soon her father urged her to return to the United States. “You’re an American,” he told her. “You have a right to an education system there.”

Returning to Florida, Chomik-Morales became a dedicated student, even working in a variety of jobs and mingling among families willing to take her home. “I had to grow up,” she says. “My parents are sacrificing everything I can to be someone. People rarely leave Paraguay because there are no opportunities and the country is very poor. I have been given a chance, and if I waste it, it will be a disrespect not only to my parents, but also to my kindred, my country.

When she graduated from high school and earned a degree in cognitive neurology at the Atlantic University of Florida, Chomik-Morales experienced things that were completely foreign to her family. Although she talked to her mother every day through WhatsApp, it was hard to share what she learned at school or what she did in the lab. And while they celebrated her academic achievements, Chomik-Morales knew they didn’t really understand them. “None of my parents attended college,” she says. “My mother told me she had never thought about studying neurology. She had such a misconception that this is something she will never be able to digest.

Chomik-Morales believes that the wonders of neurology work for everyone. But she also knows that Hispanics, like her mother, have little chance of hearing such accessible, engaging stories that might interest them. So she’s trying to change that. Based on the McGovern Institute, the MIT Brain, Mind and Machine Center, and the National Science Foundation, Chomik-Morales is producing and producing a weekly podcast. “We are Ultima Neurona”(“ My Last Neuron ”), which gives conversations with neurologists to Spanish speakers around the world.

Listeners hear researchers at MIT and other institutions explore big concepts such as consciousness and neurodegeneration, and learn about the methods they use to study the human, animal brain, and computational models. Chomik-Morales wants listeners to know neurologists on a personal as well, so they talk to guests about their career paths, life outside the lab, and often about immigrant experiences in the U.S.

After recording an interview with Chomik-Morales, who delved into the science, art and education system in his native Peru, postdoc Arturo Deza considers:We are Ultima Neurona“Can inspire Hispanics in Latin America as well as immigrants in other countries. “Even if you’re not a scientist, you’re sure to be impressed and you’ll get something out of it,” he says. So far, Chomik-Morales ’mother has quickly become an enthusiastic listener and has even started looking for resources to learn more about the brain.

Chomik-Morales looks forward to the stories her guests share. ”We are Ultima NeuronaWill inspire a future generation of Spanish neurologists. She also wants listeners to know that a career in science doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the country. “Get everything you need from the outside, and then, if you want, you can come back and help your community,” she says. With “We are Ultima Neurona“She adds and feels that she is regaining her roots.

Godfrey Kemp

"Bacon fanatic. Social media enthusiast. Music practitioner. Internet scholar. Incurable travel advocate. Wannabe web junkie. Coffeeaholic. Alcohol fanatic."

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