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Learn about your brilliant brain at the Bristol Neuroscience Festival

15 March 2016

Ever wondered how your brain controls movement or creates memories? The wonders and complexities of the human brain are being explained at a free festival of neuroscience, organised by the University of Bristol to give a unique insight into the power of our cleverest organ.

The Bristol Neuroscience Festival, held on 18 and 19 March in the Wills Memorial Building and open to the public, will celebrate pioneering brain research in the city, with the chance to hear from world-leading academics in the field while taking part in hands-on activities and experiments for all ages.

There will also be a series of free short talks, with experts from the University talking about the research and major discoveries they have been involved with – covering everything from how the brain recognises facial expressions, to tobacco withdrawal and how to improve the memory of people with dementia.

Professor Bruce Hood will examine how human brains are changing as we become more domesticated at a sold-out public lecture on Friday, 18 March at 6.30pm.

Over 1,500 pupils from local schools, both primary and secondary, will be attending on the 18 March for a special school’s day aimed at teaching them more about the brain and how it works through a series of interactive exhibits, including several games you can play using your brainwaves thanks to an electroencephalography (EEG) brainwave monitor.

Visitors can interact with over 25 exhibits and hands-on activities, including looking at brains in pots, trying out psychology experiments, learning about other animals' brains and knitting a neurone.

At-Bristol will be on hand to excite youngsters aged seven to 12-years-old with its Brilliant Brains Show, which runs four times a day and lasts 30 minutes.

Festival organiser Dr Emma Robinson, from Bristol Neuroscience, said: "Staff at the University of Bristol undertake an enormous range of world-class research in neuroscience and related areas. Our previous experience has shown us that there is a huge appetite within the general public to find out about our work and we are delighted to be offer this opportunity for them to do so.

"We’ve planned a range of activities to appeal to all ages, from fun hands-on tests to serious talks and the opportunity to learn about complex neuroscience from experts in the field." 

Entries to the brain art competition will also be on display.  The festival falls at the end of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

The Bristol Neuroscience Festival is open to all and runs from 9am to 6pm, on 18 and 19 March, in the Wills Memorial Building. All events are free but tickets are required for the talks. For more information, please see the Bristol Neuroscience Festival web pages.

Follow @BristolNeurosci on Twitter or see the Facebook page.

Further information

About Bristol Neuroscience

Bristol Neuroscience (BN) was founded by the University of Bristol in 2003 to ensure that all neuroscientists in Bristol could benefit from the wide cross-disciplinary expertise and facilities in the University and its partner hospitals. It has since become a model for other cities across the UK.

Expertise within BN ranges from molecular and cellular neuroscience to clinical, patient-based research, with areas of interest including human cognition, synaptic plasticity, stress and dementia.

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