BRAIN: The Inside Story at the Ontario Science Centre




A new interactive exhibition showcases the latest research about the human brain.

BRAIN: The Inside Story offers visitors of all ages a new perspective and keen insight into their own brains through imaginative art, vivid brain-scan imaging, and dynamic interactive exhibits. The exhibition, on tour from the American Museum of Natural History, features the latest in neuroscience, highlighting the brain’s surprising ability to rewire itself in response to experience, disability, or trauma and showcases new technologies that researchers use to study the brain and treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. BRAIN: The Inside Story runs until March 29, 2015 at the Ontario Science Centre.

BRAIN: The Inside Story uses two creative and innovative ways to present scientific information: artistic interpretations and interactive exhibits. To begin, visitors walk past a real preserved human brain – a modest, small white mass – then step into the exhibition through an exhilarating "tunnel" of firing neurons, an installation created for this exhibition by the Spanish artist Daniel Canogar.

The exhibition unfolds with engaging illustrations, vivid brain scan images, brain-teaser games, and interactive exhibits that will entertain and enlighten visitors of all ages. A stunning array of visuals demonstrate the brain’s countless functions: a dynamic 180-centimetres (six-foot) homunculus, a human figure with abnormal proportions that highlights how much of the brain is devoted to the sense of touch in different parts of the body; a multimedia video piece with a clear resin brain that lights up the functional areas used by a student dancer as visitors view a video that follows her while she auditions for Julliard; an engaging neuron gesture table that shows how brain cells connect and communicate with each other; a glowing 245-centimetre (eight-foot) model of the subcortical brain that, by connections to exhibits, illustrates how the brain processes language, memory, and decisionmaking; and a deep-brain stimulation implant, the first of its kind on display in a museum. The exhibition also features a "brain lounge," where visitors can watch scans of the brain of a professional basketball player as he reacts to the whoosh of the net and the roar of the crowd. Visitors can also see how a musician’s brain lights up to classical and rock music.

The Ontario Science Centre’s researchers and programmers, in collaboration with the experts at the Ontario Brain Institute, have developed a wide range of exciting programming for BRAIN: The Inside Story.

Highlights include:

• A four-part Café Scientifique series themed "This is your brain on…" food, exercise, music, etc. where experts from diverse disciplines discuss topics relating to the brain in unique complementary venues.

• Special live-animal presentations titled Wild, Wild World where animal behaviour experts discuss research about animal communication with live animals present.

• Research Live! where visitors are invited to contribute to real-life scientific studies that explore topics ranging from genetics to cognitive development.

• Plus, a celebration of grey matter at BRAINfest!, where visitors will have fun improving their memory, confusing their senses and testing their abilities with interactive activities and family-friendly brain games.

BRAIN: The Inside Story opened at the Ontario Science Centre on November 19, 2014 and runs until March 29, 2015; it is free with general admission.

For more information, visit www.ontariosciencecentre.ca.

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