NEPTUN Biography



LAUREN MACLACHLAN, Neuroscientist who watches people sleep




Major: Behavioral Neuroscience

College/Employer: NEU

Year of Graduation: 2020

Picture of Lauren MacLachlan

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Hello! I'm a neuroscience major from NJ! I work overnights in a sleep apnea lab at Brigham and Women's. I've taught classes about drugs, disorders, scientific literature, circadian rhythms, game shows, urban planning, and Pokémon!

I'm also the acting Co-Director for the club that runs Splash!



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Your Body Is a Clock: Chronobiology in Splash Spring 2020
Circadian rhythms - everyone has one, right? Turns out that some people have rhythms that make them nocturnal (hi), while some people have rhythms that better suit them for life on Mars. This class is for anyone who HATES waking up early, anyone who's ever felt like they got run over by a bus after an international flight, or anyone who is interested in why exactly the number "24" isn't just a construct but is woven into our DNA. We'll definitely be getting into some neuroscience and genetics here, but we're also gonna talk about what it's like to live in a cave and whether that sleeping cure your Grandma tells you "works every time" is real or not.


Psychiatric and Neurological Disorder in Splash Spring 2020
"Multiple personalities," hearing color, surviving a rod being blasted through your brain, and more - welcome to an exploration of neuroscience and abnormal psychology through the things that go wrong. Please be sure to bring any questions you may have relating to psychiatric and neurological disorder!


Want to Play in a Game Show? in Splash Spring 2020
My absolute guilty pleasure is watching game shows of all kind. Chain Reaction got rebooted? I'm on it. I've probably seen every episode of Cutthroat Kitchen twice. And don't even get me started when the Big Brother live feeds turn on. But I'm sick of just *watching* game shows - - which is why I've devised my own for you all to play. There'll be teams, there'll be challenges, and there may even be prizes. Whatever your thing is - solving puzzles, thinking outside the box, competitive drive... Game on. Featuring challenges from Only Connect and more!


I Can See My House From Here: City Planning in Splash Spring 2020
Transportation, infrastructure, zoning, oh my! What if we put a lake there, a Dunkin' Donuts there, or a toxic waste dump here? What do cities need to function - and more importantly, what do they need to be good places to live? In this class, we'll gloss over some of the basics of what urban planning is all about, talk about what we think makes a pretty alright city, and then we'll play a big fun game where we design our own "perfect" city. In our game, you'll be the boss - think preschools and interstates belong adjacent? Want your commute to be via cable car? I guess we'll see!


This is Your Brain on Drugs in Splash Fall 2019
AKA: Psychopharmacology We're going to cover a variety of potential topics relating to drugs (illicit and prescription) - their effects on behavior, how they work in the brain, and how they affect society. Feel free to bring any questions you may have!


Your Body Is a Clock: Chronobiology in Splash Fall 2019
Circadian rhythms - everyone has one, right? Turns out that some people have rhythms that make them nocturnal (hi), while some people have rhythms that better suit them for life on Mars. This class is for anyone who HATES waking up early, anyone who's ever felt like they got run over by a bus after an international flight, or anyone who is interested in why exactly the number "24" isn't just a construct but is woven into our DNA. We'll definitely be getting into some neuroscience and genetics here, but we're also gonna talk about what it's like to live in a cave and whether that sleeping cure your Grandma tells you "works every time" is real or not.


Want to Play in a Game Show? in Splash Fall 2019
My absolute guilty pleasure is watching game shows of all kind. Chain Reaction got rebooted? I'm on it. I've probably seen every episode of Cutthroat Kitchen twice. And don't even get me started when the Big Brother live feeds turn on. But I'm sick of just watching game shows - - which is why I've created my own for you all to play. There'll be teams, there'll be challenges, and there may even be prizes. Whatever your thing is - solving puzzles, thinking outside the box, competitive drive, cooperation (or manipulation... what?)... Game on.


Psychiatric and Neurological Disorder in Splash Fall 2019
"Multiple personalities," hearing color, surviving a rod being blasted through your brain, and more - welcome to an exploration of neuroscience and abnormal psychology through the things that go wrong. Please be sure to bring any questions you may have relating to psychiatric and neurological disorder!


The Science of Pokémon: Synthetic Biology and More in Splash Fall 2019
Did you grow up trying to catch 'em all? Or are you looking to answer the real questions - is it actually possible for a whale to breed with a cat? Can a creature eat like a plant, or... Breathe fire? Could we actually create an electric yellow mouse in a lab? Make no mistake - this is a class on genetics and a crazy field called synthetic biology, which you've heard of in news stories on "designer babies" and CRISPR, and in movies like Jurassic Park. So let's stretch our imagination and see what biology allows. It'll all start with a woolly mammoth frozen in ice, an elephant uterus, and a really long needle...


Want to Play in a Game Show? in Splash Spring 19
So I'm a neuroscience major and all that, yeah, but my absolute guilty pleasure is watching game shows of all kind. Chain Reaction got rebooted? I'm on it. I've probably seen every episode of Cutthroat Kitchen twice. And don't even get me started when the Big Brother live feeds turn on. But why just watch when I can instead mastermind my own "show" for you to play? And I've done just that. There'll be teams, there'll be challenges of all sorts, and there may even be prizes. Whether trivia or solving puzzles is your thing, or you're more of a "creative" brain, you're competitive as all get out, or you just enjoy working with a team (or manipulating them)... Game on.


Tick Tock, Your Body is a Clock in Splash Spring 19
AKA: Chronobiology Circadian rhythms - everyone has one, right? Turns out that some people have rhythms that make them nocturnal (hi), while some people have rhythms that better suit them for life on Mars. This class is for anyone who HATES waking up early, anyone who's ever felt like they got run over by a bus after an international flight, or anyone who is interested in why exactly the number "24" isn't just a construct but is woven into our DNA. We'll definitely be getting into some neuroscience and genetics here, but we're also gonna talk about what it's like to live in a cave and whether that sleeping cure your Grandma tells you "works every time" is real or not.


This is Your Brain on Drugs in Waterfall Fall 18
AKA: Psychopharmacology We're going to cover and discuss a variety of potential topics relating to drugs (illicit and prescription) - their effects on behavior, their action in the brain, and even societal implications agents can have. About a third of the class is fueled by your questions, so don't hesitate to bring them along!


Psychiatric and Neurological Disorder in Waterfall Fall 18
"Multiple personalities," hearing color, surviving a rod being blasted through your brain, and more - welcome to an exploration through various topics in neuroscience and abnormal psychology. Please be sure to bring any questions you may have relating to psychiatric and neurological disorder!


The Science to Science in Waterfall Fall 18
Are e-cigarettes and marijuana going to destroy today's teenagers? Do vaccines cause autism? Aren't people with mental illness violent? If you've ever wanted to know the answer to any of these questions, I have good news: Scientific literature can help you find it. If you want to be a doctor, a scientist, or just someone who can put their money where their mouth is, you'll need to learn how to think and read like a scientist. And understanding how to read scientific literature is the key to doing so. NOTE: This class is especially for anyone with an interest in biology as that is my chosen field - some of our discussion will revolve around neuroscience and microbiology techniques and data. We're gonna go through a crash course with topics that include how research studies are designed, how to read a scientific article, and what some methods are that scientists use.


This is Your Brain on Drugs in Splash Spring 2018
AKA: Neuropsychopharmacology We're going to cover and discuss a variety of potential topics relating to drugs (illicit and prescription) - their effects on behavior, their action in the brain, and even societal implications agents can have. If there are any questions you might have in particular, feel free to write them down on a 3x5 card and bring it with you! I keep about a third of the class open for questions.


Psychiatric and Neurological Disorder in Splash Spring 2018
We're going to cover a variety of topics related to both psychiatric and neurological disorder. Potential topics may include: History of abnormal psychology (Hint: demons and drilling holes in heads) What is schizophrenia and why does it happen? Tasting sounds and hearing color Why do amputees feel pain in limbs that aren't there? Dissociative identity disorder: Having multiple personalities at once Phineas Gage and HM (Or: How to survive a rod through the brain and how to remember when you forget everything)


This is Your Brain on Drugs in Splash Waterfall 2017
AKA: Psychopharmacology We're going to cover and discuss a variety of potential topics relating to drugs (illicit and prescription) - their effects on behavior, their action in the brain, and even societal implications agents can have. If there are any questions you might have in particular, feel free to write them down on a 3x5 card and bring it with you!