Highlights of Brain Awareness Week 2016

Brain Awareness Week 2016 was a resounding success!

Professor Richard Faull

Dear Friends of the CBR,

This year’s Brain Day was an incredible “CBR”, “BRNZ” and “Neurological Foundation” team effort both in the planning and extensive preparations leading up to the day.

Your Amazing Brain: An Interactive Expo was a success, as attendees were full of praise and appreciation for the very special experience they had and for the contributions  from teams across the University of Auckland.

The feedback from all visitors and special guests was very humbling – they were excited to hear the progress our research teams are making and the ground-breaking findings they are producing. Many said it gave them hope for the future.

To everyone who collaborated at this year’s Brain Day, a big thank you from the CBR! Your enthusiasm, passion and commitment was infectious!


Warm regards,



Director - Centre for Brain Research

The University of Auckland


Brain Day Auckland 2016 Your Amazing Brain: An Interactive Expo


This year's Brain Day had activities and displays to engage all minds.

The children loved the Kids Brain Zone - having their faces painted with brain cells, the bouncy castle, Brain Fun with Suzy Cato, the interactive displays and the colouring in pictures of the brain were amongst their favourite activities.

Our Community Groups without exception were extremely grateful for the professional platform they were given to network with members, fellow charities,  academics and the general public. They were also especially appreciative of this very unique day when they get to “show what they can do to help people touched by brain disorders”.

For adults, there was a series of discussion panels and talks that cover topics around the healthy human brain and different neurological conditions.

Healthy brain sessions included interactive talks about nutrition for your brain, neurodevelopment, exercise and robotics in neuroscience.

For those who are affected - directly or indirectly - by neurological conditions, the CBR hosted talks and discussions about multiple sclerosis, music therapy, stroke in younger adults and living with brain injury.

Find the stunning image from this year's Brain Day on our Centre for Brain Research Facebook page here.


Professor Richard Faull, Sir Graeme Douglas, Lady Ngaire Douglas and Professor Suzanne Purdy
Our most recent collaboration, Nutrition and Dietetics, participate in Brain Day for the first time
Some of our youngest supporters and proof that scientists are getting younger every day!
Maria Winder and the Ellerslie School Choir children after their performance
Our sponsors and partners from the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand
Our leader, Professor Richard Faull interacts with members from the CeleBRation Choir

Neurological Foundation Research Panel Discussions


Hosted by clinicians and neuroscientists from the Centre for Brain Research, Auckland City Hospital and Auckland District Health Board, these discussion panels were an absolute hit with audiences of all ages.

Attended by well over 3,000 people, The Young Brain, The Creative Brain and The Changing Brain lectures were chaired by our members Dr Jessie Jacobsen, Associate Professor Ralph Buck and Associate Professor Cathy Stinear and all panel speakers were also collaborators of the CBR.

To view images from this year's Brain Awareness Week Research Panel Discussions, please log on to our Facebook page here.

We invite you to view the Research Panel Discussion videos, which were facilitated by the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand.


Professor Richard Faull, Associate Professor Karen Waldie and Dr Justin Dean at the end of 'The Young Brain'
Neurological's Sue Giddens, Glynnie and Max Ritchie pose after a very successful 'The Creative Brain'
Associate Professor Ralph Buch and Emeritus Professor Michael Corballis about to begin 'The Creative Brain' process
Our 'The Young Brain' chair, Dr Jessie Jacobsen poses with members of the Neurological Foundation
Deep in conversation, focused on the topic and with plenty of ideas flowing, our panelists prepare to start 'The Changing Brain'
Professor Suzanne Purdy and Mr Edward Mee listen carefully to our Director's inspiring words


The Young Brain

Dr Jessie Jacobsen explored the biology underlying neurodevelopmental conditions and examined various new targets for management and treatment of these disorders with some of New Zealand’s leading researchers in this field.

Chaired by Dr Jessie Jacobsen, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

Discussion panel: Associate Professor Karen Waldie, Dr Colette Muir and Dr Justin Dean


The Creative Brain

Professor Ralph Buck engaged with our distinguished panel to reveal the critical role that creativity plays in helping us to adapt to new experiences, learn new information and create new memories - and what happens when the links between cognitive flexibility, creativity and imagination are impaired.

Chaired by Associate Professor Ralph Buck, School of Dance, University of Auckland.  

Discussion panel: Professor Donna Rose Addis, Professor Michael Corballis and Auckland City Hospital Head of Neurosurgery Mr Edward Mee


The Changing Brain

The brain has a range of intrinsic capacities to react to damage and change the pathways of its circuitry in an attempt to recover function. Associate Professor Cathy Stinear asked our panel about their exciting research aimed at both encouraging spontaneous recovery and targeting rehabilitation to optimise the return of function.

Chaired by Associate Professor Cathy Stinear, School of Medicine, University of Auckland. 

Discussion panel: Dr Melanie Cheung, Professor Peter Thorne and Dr Clare McCann