June 06, 2005

New Brain Exhibit in Boston

The Boston Globe reported this week on a new exhibit that sounds like a great educational tool to help people learn more about the brain. It says:

"Brain: The World Inside Your Head," a traveling exhibit that opened over the weekend at the Museum of Science, represents the latest research on the body 's center of thought, information processing, and personality. Designed to help adults and children understand the complex function of the human brain, the show explores both the organ's mechanics and mystique with exhibits ranging from simple video games to information-laden tracts delving into the intricacies of common brain disorders.

It's a text-heavy exhibit, requiring lots of reading to absorb all the information. But it's also fun and highly interactive, with games, visual displays, hand-eye coordination tests, computer adventures, and a station where visitors can check their balance. A giant, walk-through brain shows how electrical impulses traveling through the body handle our every move and thought process. A smaller model lights up as you explore different functions of the brain. Real human and animal brain specimens let you compare the difference in size, shape, and texture among species."

Made possible by Pfizer Inc, and produced by Clear Channel Exhibitions in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, the exhibit is the culmination of the efforts of entities devoted to medical research and cutting-edge health and science education including The National Institutes of Health, The National Institute of Mental Health, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, and The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

“BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head” was designed to help adults and children understand the complex function of the human brain. Visitors can explore the mechanics and mystique of the body’s amazing organ, including brain-based chemicals, dreams and language development. “BRAIN” helps demystify the body’s most essential organ and de-stigmatize brain-based diseases and disorders. Visitors to the Brain exhibit can explore how to keep the brain healthy, and what makes it sick. Brain disorders make up five of the 10 most common health complaints in the world. Visitors will learn about schizophrenia, depression and explore the extremes of behavior—a result of electrochemical irregularities. The brain is the essence of the individual. Alive, changing and as individual as the people they operate.

The “BRAIN” exhibit features a giant model of the brain which illustrates how electrical impulses traveling throughout the body handle our every move, process and thought. Another section shares the history of exploration and understanding of the brain. Throughout the exhibit, “Brain Bytes” point to amazing facts about the brain. For example, “The brain contains as many neurons as there are stars in the Milky Way,” “By age four, the brain has grown to its full size,” and “The brain never turns off or even rests during an entire lifetime.”

“BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head” uses a variety of interactive components to explain complex functions of the brain – lean on electrodes and perform tasks to see real-time EEG measurements and simulated imaging of corresponding brain activity; look through a microscope to view real neurons from different species; and use a mirror and peephole to see how the brain attends to movement first, a sign of the survival instinct.

See the web sites for more information:

Boston Museum of Science

Brain: The World Inside Your Head


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