Science

Get Ready for Brain Awareness Week

Posted 8 Mar 2013 at 21:35 UTC by steve Share This

Brain Awareness Week starts on 11 March and organizations all over the world are preparing educational activities to highlight the importance of continued research into one of the most advanced and complicated machines we know of. As roboticists, we have a special interest in the workings of brains because the ultimate goal of robotics is to produce similar thinking machines. But there are many other reasons to study the brain. From a Virginia Tech news release: Brain Awareness Week will highlight the wonders of nature's most remarkable machine

"[the human brain is] a portable supercomputer that requires only the wattage of a dim light bulb to run and yet can decode ancient languages, invent fictional worlds, and distinguish friend from foe" ... "All brains - including those of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals - are complex organs that represent the pinnacles of the evolutionary process, capable of performing demanding tasks more efficiently and effectively than any machine. And each brain has evolved the exquisite adaptive capacity to extract, decipher, and act upon information in the world that is essential to survival.

The DANA Foundation has lots of Brain Awareness Week resources and tools available for educators. There's even a Brain Awareness Week Facebook page. Over 800 local events are planned around the world as part of Brain Awareness Week. Search the BAW calendar for one near you. The VTC Research Institute will host a lecture called "Mythbusters: The Truth about Your Brain" where they will debunk brain myths like the idea that humans use only 10% of their brain. The University of Washington plans a Neuroscience for kids event. The Brain Development Lab at the University of Oregon will have a Brain Awareness Expo for families. UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas plans a full week of neurology events for their medical students. If you can't find anything in your area, consider a trip to the coffee shop to enjoy one of the brain's favorite drugs. Incidentally, today's article is illustrated by a woodcut of the brain of mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss

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