Bennett Senior Headed to D.C. to Present Brain Research - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bennett Senior Headed to D.C. to Present Brain Research

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James M. Bennett High School senior Michael Li. (Photo: WBOC) James M. Bennett High School senior Michael Li. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- A senior at James M. Bennett High School in Salisbury is headed to Washington, D.C. this weekend to present his mathematical research on the human brain at a prestigious science event.  The student's work could become the groundwork for research of neurological disease, like Alzheimer's, in the future.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Li spent eight weeks developing a mathematical model that he says helps present a better understanding of how the human brain functions.

"So I basically, in my project, used a mathematical model, a statistical model, to kind of see what types of factors were effecting neural response in the posterior parietal cortex of the brain, which is the area of the brain that's really important for decision making," Li said on Tuesday.

Over six weeks of Li's research time was spent at Stony Brook University in New York.  Li said going forward, his work could be useful in comparing it to mathematical models of how an unhealthy brain operates.

"Eventually, in the future, maybe we can compare how a healthy brain works to how a brain afflicted with certain diseases works and see what exactly malfunctions in an unhealthy brain," Li said.

The diseases Li referenced include Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The Bennett senior said he is not solving these diseases at 17-years-old.  They are diseases scientists have been researching and battling for over a century.  Li said he is just doing his part in trying to help make a difference.

Li will be attending the Intel Science Talent Search this weekend in Washington, D.C. to present his work.  The talent search is a very prestigious pre-college scientific competition with more than $1 million in prizes to be awarded to the participants.

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