Brain Day images online

Thank you so much for your support of Brain Week 2011! Images from the day and lecture presentations are now available online.
Please visit our website for more details.

Brain Week Images

Images and lectures from Brain Week are online

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Brainiacs take over Auckland!

A lifelong love of learning took centre stage at the Auckland Business School on Saturday 19th March, when the Centre for Brain Research held its annual public Brain Day.

Over 3000 people visited the free event, which forms part of international Brain Awareness Week. The open day is held inassociation with the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, and aims to raise awareness of brain research. According to the Dana Foundation, who organises the international campaign, the event is the busiest of its kind in the world.

Visitors were engaged on every level, with brain painting and ‘play-dough surgery’ for budding neuroscientists and neurosurgeons, right through to tips on ageing well for those at the other end of the life spectrum.

Scientists from across the centre gave a series of lectures in the Fisher and Paykel Appliances Auditorium, which were filled to capacity. Neurologist Professor Alan Barber, the Deputy-Director of the centre, spoke about his research into stroke and the need to treat patients urgently. Psychologists Professors Karen Waldie and Ian Kirk talked about child development and learning and memory, while movement scientist Professor Winston Byblow prescribed exercise for keeping your brain young.

Professor Suzanne Purdy talked about her team’s research on speech therapy, looking at both music and conversation. The final exciting talk of the day came from neurosurgeon Dr Edward Mee, recounting the history of surgery on the brain.

Children were also catered for, with a series of workshops and lectures helping young adults to experience the brain. One of the lecturers was neuroscientist, Dr Johanna Montgomery. “It’s really important to us to be able to tell the public what brain scientists do,” she says. “We love what we do – the brain is such an amazing organ. To be able to convey this to adults and children alike and enable them to see how cool it is to be a neuroscientist is great for the present and the future of neuroscience and health research in New Zealand.”

Community groups from all over Auckland also took part in the day, with a Community Expo providing information on many different neurological conditions. It was a chance for people with similar interests to find out vital information on the services available to people with brain disease.

New to 2011 was the addition of the ‘Brainiacs Kids Club’. Young adults of all ages made their own brain model and then used the model as a map, to explore a giant tour of the brain around the event. Science experiments were laid out on this ‘Mind Map’, demonstrating brain anatomy, our senses and movement control.

Neurophysiologist Dr Cathy Stinear was the organiser of the science labs. “We had a range of interesting activities to demonstrate some fascinating things about the brain,” she says. “If you’ve ever wondered how you can be tricked by illusions, or what a real human brain looks like, then you can discover the answers to these and many more questions at Brain Day. We’re really pleased by the success of the event and are already planning for next year!” 

Lecture presentations can viewed on the Brain Day 2011 website.

Issue Three of CBR Connections out now

CBR Connections

The Centre for Brain Research publishes an informative newsletter with all the latest news and information from our team.

Our glossy magazine-style newsletter aims to communicate the excitement of neuroscience to the wider community. It contains articles on our researchers and their latest research, as well as updates and reviews on brain research events and activities in Auckland.

Issue Three of Connections is out now. View the newsletter online here or download it from the CBR website.
In this issue:

CBR Connections
Issue Three of CBR Connections is out now

This issue’s cover story features the new Brain Recovery Clinic and the research underway to improve stroke rehabilitation. We take a look at what the new CBR Biobank will mean for patients. The latest news from the CBR including Brain Awareness Week, the CeleBRation Choir and our public lectures.

Brain Day 2011 focuses on keeping our grey matter in optimum condition

Have you ever wondered how our brain cells work? Or where your memories are stored? Then Brain Day 2011 is for you.

Visitors to the huge public event on Saturday March 19th will be able to go on a giant tour of the brain, as the new Mind Map winds its way around The University of Auckland’s Business School. Hosted by the Centre for Brain Research in association with the Neurological Foundation, Brain Day aims to raise awareness of brain research and brain disease. The open day is part of international Brain Awareness Week, which is organised by the Dana Alliance for Brain Research.

The Mind Map encompasses anatomy demonstrations, fun science experiments, informative lectures and community group stands. By touring around all the aspects of Brain Day, it’s hoped that visitors will expand their minds, and help grow some new brain cells!

“Our research shows that our brains can grow new brain cells, no matter what your age or your condition,” says Professor Richard Faull, the Director of the Centre for Brain Research. “All the evidence for staying mentally fit shows that we need to keep active- both mentally and physically. So that means doing new, stimulating activities, and also exercising. I think Brain Day offers just that!”

The lecture series during Brain Day features some of the top scientists and clinicians from the Centre for Brain Research (CBR). Deputy Director Professor Alan Barber will be speaking on stroke, looking at what causes it and what can be done about it. Professor Suzanne Purdy will talk about her team’s research on speech therapy, looking at both music and conversation. The final exciting talk of the day will come from neurosurgeon Dr Edward Mee, recounting the history of surgery on the brain.

Children won’t be left out either, with fun talks and workshops aimed at the under 16s. Children can attend on their own or with their parents. Anatomist Dr Fabiana Kubke will show children how to make a brain out of water pipes, while improvisation expert Wade Jackson will put you on the spot with his mind expanding programme. Neuroscientist Dr Johanna Montgomery will explain what brain scientists do, and will talk about her work listening to brain cells talk! She says neuroscience is a great option for students wanting to make a difference.

“It’s really important to us to be able to tell the public what brain scientists do,” she says. “We love what we do – the brain is such an amazing organ. To be able to convey this to adults and children alike and enable them to see how cool it is to be a neuroscientist is great for the present and the future of neuroscience and health research in NZ.”

Along the Mind Map visitors will find science experiments demonstrating what each area of the brain does. Each stage is designed to cater for both young and old, with informative explanations running alongside kid-friendly question and answer books.

Dr Cathy Stinear is the organiser of the science lab. “We’ve got a range of interesting activities to demonstrate some fascinating things about the brain,” she says. “If you’ve ever wondered how you can be tricked by illusions, or what a real human brain looks like, you’ll discover the answers to these and many more questions at Brain Day.  We’re hoping it’s a great day out for everyone.”

Community groups from all over Auckland are also taking part in the day, with a Community Expo providing information on many different neurological conditions. It’s a chance to meet other people with similar interests and find out vital information on the services available to people with brain disease.

CBR Communications and Liaison Manager Laura Fogg is organising the open day. “Brain Day is such a great opportunity for us to connect with the people who matter most- the people for whom our neuroscientists are doing their research. Brain disease can be difficult to cope with alone, but by working together; our scientists, clinicians and community groups hope we can really make a difference.”

Brain Day is a free event, and will be held at The University of Auckland Business School on the City Campus. The venue is easily accessible with parking ($5 all day) available under the building, and lifts to every floor. Come along to learn something new and have a great day out.

This year the CBR team will be conducting research to find out why people come to Brain Day, and what they learn. Please take part to help improve Brain Day for future years!

Brain Day 2011
Saturday 19th March 9am to 4pm
Auckland Business School
Owen G Glenn Building
12 Grafton Road, Auckland
Parking: $5 for underground parking at the Business School, disabled parking beside lifts and easily accessible on all floors.
For more information see:
www.cbr.auckland.ac.nz