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Hodson Intern Owen Morgan (A17).

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—An internship at the Blumenfeld Lab at the Yale Neuroscience Imaging Center opened the eyes of Owen Morgan (A17) to a possible career path.

“I have been thoroughly inspired to pursue neuroscience as my life’s work, and with [my mentor’s] encouragement it feels like it is within my grasp,” Morgan said.

As a Hodson intern, Morgan’s research focused on understanding consciousness.

“I worked on a study that seeks to reveal what brain activity is necessary for a visual stimulus to enter conscious perception. This study is part of a broader project to understand what brain activity is necessary for any sort of conscious experience to emerge.”

During his time in the lab, Morgan studied relevant background literature, learned how to use MATLAB and Python (programming languages that are common in neuroscience and other fields), and experienced working with people, including subject recruitment.

“I learned a huge amount about the brain and its study, and valuable technical skills,” he said.

Morgan also put his St. John’s skills to good use, as he helped to develop an experimental paradigm for the research.

“Every week, I led a ‘journal club’ in which our team discussed an interesting research paper that might give us useful insights. We came up with some good ideas for improvements and a few avenues for developments.”

Morgan received mentorship and guidance from Hal Blumenfeld, the lab’s principal investigator, and Wendy Xiao, leader of the consciousness project.

“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be at the lab over the summer. It was an enlightening and life-shaping experience.”

The Hodson Internship Program offers students the opportunity to pursue summer internships in virtually any career field, by funding otherwise unpaid positions through a generous grant from the Hodson Trust. Visit our Hodson Trust Internship Program page for more information. Quotes are excerpted from the student’s internship report and used with permission.

—Brady Lee (AGI14)