Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY


Arkarup Banerjee

Neuroscientist, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Arrival— The mysteries of language and communication

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory neuroscientist Dr. Arkarup Banerjee delves into the mysteries of language and communication as they relate to the brain. Dr. Banerjee's work explores the theme of decoding messages and touches on the fundamental assumptions of reality which are unpacked in the film. This discussion will include a live Q&A with the audience. Discover how every species and culture's unique symbols and codes shape our understanding of the world around us, and uncover the intriguing ways in which our brains navigate the limits and possibilities of language.

This event is part of our 2024 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington, NY

Film Synopsis

After twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, a linguist recruited by the military races to decipher the aliens' language and intentions before fear leads to war.

When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team—lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams)—are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers—and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) cemented his auteur status with this superb and cerebral sci-fi masterpiece, featuring a stellar lead performance by Adams.

Banner image courtesy of PHOTOFEST

About the Speaker

Dr. Arkarup Banerjee is a neuroscientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory interested in how the brain accomplishes the ongoing transformation from sensation to action during natural behaviors. Currently, he studies neural circuits underlying vocal communication in an exotic rodent species from Central American rainforests called the ‘singing mouse.’ He studies their brain circuits in relation to motor behavior and social communication. This research allows him to gain insight into the evolution of the brain, language, and communication. Dr. Banerjee grew up in the suburbs of Kolkata in India. He studied Biochemistry for his bachelor’s degree at University of Delhi and received his Ph.D from CSHL School of Biological Sciences. For his master's thesis at TIFR (Mumbai), he worked with Prof. Sudipta Maiti, he learned how to build multi-photon microscopes for functional imaging. Switching to systems neuroscience, he did his Ph.D. with Dr. Florin Albeanu studying computations and neural circuits involved in olfactory sensory processing. Subsequently, as a Junior Fellow at the Simons Foundation and a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Long’s lab at NYU, he became interested in motor cortical control of vocal behaviors in the Alston's singing mice.