Latest issue of CBR magazine Connections out now

CBR Connections Issue SixIn this issue we look at creative thinking at Brain Day 2013, our plans for expanding neurosurgery research in Auckland, and review the new structure of the CBR.

Released as part of Brain Awareness Week 2013, our glossy magazine-style newsletter aims to communicate the excitement of neuroscience to the wider community, and is written for the general public. It contains articles on our researchers and their latest research, as well as updates and reviews on brain research events and activities in Auckland.

Read our ebook here, or download the PDF from the Centre for Brain Research website.


More lecture tickets available for Brain Day 2013!

Due to popular demand we are moving Brain Day to a bigger venue!

The event on Saturday 16 March will now be held at the University of Auckland Business School, 12 Grafton Road.

Event tickets remain valid at the venue and more free tickets are now available. Register here:

Hundreds of parking spaces are available for a $5.00 flat rate underneath the Business School. Mobility parking is available beside the lifts and all floors are easily accessible.

For full information on the timetable, visit the Centre for Brain Research website

Mind Reading on Our Changing World

Radio NZ Our Changing World will feature the science behind Mind Reading tonight at 9pm.

The live MRI analysis event took place in Brain Awareness Week, and featured scientists Associate Professor Brett Cowan and Dr Donna Rose Addis. As part of ‘Mind Reading’ the experts were given the task of detecting the difference between a lie and a memory using Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Could they do it? Find out more on Radio NZ tonight!

Did you miss any part of Brain Awareness Week?

All the lecture videos and photos are now online! See our website:

You can find lecture notes and videos from Brain Day here.

The theme for Auckland Brain Day 2012 was ‘brain fitness’. It featured an exciting range of lectures, discussions and workshops to keep your brain in top condition!

Leading scientists and clinicians from the Centre for Brain Research presented the latest information on topical brain issues. Discussions with community experts provided the opportunity to discover practical tips on living with brain disorders. Meanwhile interactive workshops and hands-on demonstrations revealed the wonders of the brain.

As part of the Mind Reading event, Dr Donna Rose Addis and Associate Professor Brett Cowan were asked to spot which pattern of brain activity looked most like a true memory using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans.

The event was organised by the Centre for Brain Research and the Centre for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI) at The University of Auckland. Promising to reveal the science of brain imaging, ‘Mind Reading’ offered an entertaining look at the capabilities of brain imaging thanks to MRI technology. View the event online here.


Winners announced for Brain Day competitions

Children from across Auckland were the lucky winners of fantastic prizes at Brain Day, organised by the Centre for Brain Research.

12 year old Laura Donovan won the Brain Day iPad competition

12 year old Laura Donovan was drawn as the winner of an iPad – her prize for taking part in the science labs passport tour and the Brain Day research questionnaire. The research questionnaire aimed to find out what information people want from Brain Day, as well as public knowledge about stroke. Meanwhile the passport tour weaved around the varied science labs on offer on the day, ranging from anatomy demonstrations to hearing decibel checks for ipods.

Laura says that she found Brain Day fascinating; “The hands on experiments were fun and touching a real brain and listening to the people talk about the brain was very interesting. I would like to come back again next year and take part in some of the workshops.”

Laura lives in the countryside and says she made a special trip to Brain Day. “I hope to be a vet one day and have an interest in how the human body works,” she says. “I attended Brain day mainly because my younger sister is doing a school project on the brain at the moment and also my mum was interested to find out some information about ADHD.” 

Meanwhile 11 year old Amanda Ford was crowned the winner of the children’s drawing competition. Judges PhD students Jerusha Naidoo and Jane Evans thought her diagram of the brain, which children could wear as a hat, was the most artistic. Amanda is from Parnell, and was very excited to win a $50 book voucher.

Honourable mentions for the drawing competition went to 12 year old Jes Godward, 7 year old Jackie Cao and 5 year old Te Mahara Tipuna.

Auckland Brain Day took place on 17th March 2012, and is part of the annual international Brain Awareness Week.

Public given a brain workout at Brain Day 2012

Over 3000 people took part in brain fitness activities at Brain Day 2012. Expert lecturers, brain health workshops and interactive science labs provided an insight into the latest research on brain health. 

The public open day on Saturday 17th March was organised by the Centre for Brain Research in association with the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand. Held at The University of Auckland Business School in the Owen G Glenn Building, the day was packed out from start to finish. The large capacity at the venue meant that over 1000 people attended lectures every hour, on topics ranging from drug use in pregnancy to internet use and our brains. 

Centre for Brain Research Communications Manager Laura Fogg says she was astounded by the public interest on the day. “We had children aged 2 years old right up to grandparents in their 80s attending the day – it was fantastic to see. It just shows how much interest there is in the brain, and how keen the public is to learn more about keeping our greatest asset in top condition.”


Over forty different community groups also attended the day, ranging from support groups like the Stroke Foundation to fitness clubs like Laughter Yoga. This Community Expo provided an excellent opportunity for members of the public to find information on many neurological disorders, as well as to learn exciting new ways to exercise their brains.


Children were encouraged to make ‘brain hats’, which they could use to explore brain anatomy. Alongside this, many also took part in the anatomy laboratory demonstrations, where human brain tissue was displayed in a sensitive manner. The anatomy lab was provided by the Faculty of Medical and Health Science Medical Learning Centre, in conjunction with the Neurological Foundation Human Brain Bank.


New to Brain Day this year were workshops designed to offer interactive demonstrations of brain fitness activities. As well as fascinating science experiments, people also took part in a singing workshop, physical exercise information sessions, and a Mobility Dogs demonstration. School children from across Auckland also showed off their science fair experiments to collect data from the public, as part of a LENScience collaboration with the Liggins Institute.


Science lab coordinator Dr Cathy Stinear is pleased that brain fitness is being highlighted. “People used to think that your brain couldn’t be changed, but now we know that you can do so much to keep it healthy. One of the best things you can do for your brain is to take it for a walk – so get out and pound the streets for just 30 minutes a day! I think that’s what’s so great about Brain Day, as we can really get these critical messages across to the public.”


Lectures from the day will be available online at: