Sunday, August 12, 2018 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM EDT
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Litchfield Community Center 
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT 06759

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Laura Neminski 
Conversations on the Green 

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  • Drakeley Pool Company, LLC
  • Eckert Fine Art
  • Litchfield Distillery

August 12, 2018
3 - 4:30 pm

at the

There are more pets in this country than children.

Often, they define our lives. Sometimes they are our dearest, truest friends. Or a beloved member of the family –the baby, the dutiful eldest child, a parent’s loyal old companion. But in a relationship where we do all the talking, how do we know what they are thinking? How do you know if your pet really, really loves you and isn’t just playing you for a treat-giving sucker?

What, in short, does your dog – or cat or parrot or any other animal – think of you?

One dog-loving neuroscientist, Dr. Gregory Berns, knows. A renowned neuroscientist and best-selling author, he and his team did something nobody had ever attempted: they trained dogs to enter an MRI scanner, while completely awake, so they could figure out what the pets think and feel. Their subsequent discoveries are forcing us redefine the difference between humans and other animals and provide some answers to the questions that bedevil all pet owners.  

  • “Does my dog love me?”
  • “Is my wife’s cat planning my demise?”
  • “Does my dog understand me?”

The answer to all three questions undoubtedly is yes. Dr. Berns will tell you why on August 12 when he comes to the Litchfield Community Center for a TED-style talk, an in-depth interview and an extended question and answer period in which he’ll discuss how animals think and what’s on their minds.  

“As I learned more about the canine brain, I became convinced we had much in common with dogs at the deepest levels,” he notes. And not just dogs. But also, sea lions. And dolphins. And even extinct animals. In one radical experiment in neuroarchaeology, he explained the disappearance of the Tasmanian tiger, one of the most enigmatic mammals, by reconstructing its brain. “Over and over, I found structures in the brains of animals that looked to be organized in the same way as our own brains. And not only did these parts look the same, they functioned the same way.”

And that raises perhaps the most fundamental question – what distinguishes humans from other animals? It’s a conundrum with theological inferences that poses practical implications for how we treat animals.

The author of over 70 peer-reviewed original research papers, Dr. Berns latest book is “What’s It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neurosciences.” Published late last year, it was an immediate best seller and made him the go-to source for questions on the minds of animals, including articles and profiles in the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Money, Oprah, Forbes, The Financial Times, The New Scientist, Wired, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times.

The Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, where he directs the Center for Neuropolicy and Facility for Education & Research in Neuroscience, Dr. Berns also is the author of “How Dogs Love Us,” a best seller published five years ago,  “Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment,”  and “Iconoclast: What Neuroscience Reveals About  How To Think Differently.”  

Moderated by

Former NBC News correspondent & talk show host. Audience members will be  encouraged to participate in the interactive town-hall style format.

All proceeds benefit:

  • Greenwoods Counseling Referrals, Inc. - Helping members of the Litchfield County Community and beyond find access to compassionate and high-quality mental health and related care.
  • New Milford Hospital - helping to secure the latest technology, attract the best medical staff and provide the compassionate, patient-centered care for which they are nationally recognized. 
  • Susan B. Anthony Project - promoting safety, healing, and growth for all survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and advocates for the autonomy of women and the end of interpersonal violence.

Tickets are available at two levels:

  • $45 - Individual tickets.
  • $250 per person - "Angels on the Green" tickets, include preferred seating and a chance to meet the speakers at a cocktail reception following the conversation at Litchfield Distillery.

Seating is limited. To reserve your place:

  1. Email Conversations on the Green: Please let us know what type and how many tickets you'd like and how you prefer to be contacted. conversationsonthegreen@gmail.com
  2. To buy tickets online with a Credit Card or PayPal, click "Register Now!" below.
  3. To buy tickets by mail, click on the MAIL IN RESPONSE FORM, print and fill out, and return it by email or regular mail as soon as possible.

Some portion of your payment is tax deductible. 
We suggest you consult with your accountant or attorney.

We look forward to seeing you there!