Tips for keeping brain-fit at Brain Day

27 February 2012

Strong crowds are again expected to attend the brain-fitness themed Brain Day at The University of Auckland on Saturday 17 March.

Hosted by the Centre for Brain Research in association with the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, Brain Day raises awareness of brain research and brain diseases. The open day at the University is part of International Brain Awareness Week, which is organised by the US-based Dana Alliance for Brain Research.

This year’s line-up of workshops and demonstrations include the CeleBRation Choir and the Neuron Play performance, as well as demonstrations of the world’s smartest dogs trained to call for lifts, answer phones and read cue cards.

Exercise will be a big theme this year, with specialists on hand to advise visitors on how to become brain-fit, and all attendees are encouraged to take part in science experiments.

Neuroscientist Dr Johanna Montgomery, one of the scientists from the Centre for Brain Research (CBR), says: “We have a range of talks and activities to demonstrate fascinating things about the brain. It is such an amazing organ. We are keen to show how adults and children can keep brain-fit and show them how cool it is to be a neuroscientist.”

Dr Montgomery will be delivering one of six 30-minute public lectures to be held at the Fisher and Paykel Appliances Auditorium. Her talk will discuss brain chatter and how scientists might eavesdrop on brain cell communication. Neuroscientist Dr Cathy Stinear will provide a thought-provoking talk on neural plasticity (the brain’s ability to change in response to input from the environment) and how popular technology might unintentionally change the way our brains function; insomnia specialist and psychiatrist Dr Antonio Fernando will elucidate mysteries of the science of sleep, including common disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnoea, and will outline some practical tips on better sleep. Other speakers will cover topics on “Myths of the brain”, “The science of autism” and “Alcohol, tobacco and P – effects on babies and their brains”. Brain Day attendees can also listen and pose questions to expert panels of audiologists, geriatricians and neurologists.

Community groups from all over Auckland are taking part in Brain Day 2012, with a Community Expo providing information on many different neurological conditions and the treatment and support services available to those with brain disease.

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 from Grafton Road 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.

Day: Saturday 17 March Time: 9am - 4pm Venue : Auckland Business School, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland Cost : Free Facilities : $5 parking under the building, easily accessible and cafes on site

For more information go to: www.cbr.auckland.ac.nz or www.fmhs.auckland.ac.nz/faculty/cbr/brainweek/brainweek2012/brainweek2012.aspx

Contact: Megan Fowlie, Communications Adviser P: +64 9 373 7599 extn 83257 M: +64 (0)21 802 143 Email: m.fowlie@auckland.ac.nz