WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- For Rebecca Jones, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, the desire to explore the human brain began with a book she read in high school.
“The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” by Oliver Sacks examines the minds of mentally handicapped patients, and led Jones to an interest in the human brain and psychiatric disorders.
“I became fascinated by how the human brain worked and how it goes awry in different disorders,” said Jones. “I was drawn to studying autism because there are still so many unanswered questions and because it affects how we communicate with other people.”
A graduate of Princeton University, Jones received a bachelor's degree in psychology and neuroscience before pursuing her master's degree in philosophy at the University of Cambridge. “I approached my biology teacher at Princeton and he directed me towards a research lab that was doing work in schizophrenia, which began my interest in MRI work,” said Jones.
Today, Jones studies the social brain in those with autism by using technology such as wearable devices and MRI. “Through this technology, we are able to monitor the way children adapt to changes in a variety of settings,” said Jones. “By evaluating responses such as language and eye contact, we can gain information on a child's receptiveness in real time.”
As a result, she is able to examine social behavior in children and adolescents at an unprecedented level.
For her work, Jones will be awarded the "Women In Tech Award" by the Westchester County Association. The "Women In Tech Award" celebrates the leadership, creativity and innovation of women in science or technology.
All the “Women in Tech Award” winners will be honored on Oct. 20 at the Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown. For more information visit Westchester County Association's website.