To celebrate Brain Awareness Week (March 11 to 15), researchers from the Oxford Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute are hosting a series of activities, displays, talks on the subject of Sleep and the Brain.
A crack team of neuroscientists will take over the Museum of the History of Science’s Basement Gallery on Tuesday March 12, Wednesday March 13, Saturday March 16 and Sunday March 17, to host brain-related activities for children aged 6 and over.
Visitors will discover research through a series of interactive demonstrations and investigate the links between sleep, health and diet.
Professor Russell Foster, expert in chronobiology – the study of the circadian rhythms that govern our waking and sleeping patterns – is giving a public lecture on Thursday March 14 at 7pm explaining the role of light in regulating our bodies, and discussing the implications of today’s almost constant exposure to illumination.
Oxford has been an important centre for neuroscience research for centuries, ever since Thomas Willis coined the term ‘neurology’ here in 1664.
Brain Awareness Week also marks the start of a collaborative exhibition, Revealing the Brain, put together with Oxford University’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and The Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
The exhibition, also at the Museum of the History of Science, runs from March 12 to June 2.
The events are supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, a collaboration between Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford University to accelerate innovation.
Professor Christopher Kennard, who chairs the University’s neuroscience strategy committee said: “Understanding the workings of the human brain is one of the last great frontiers of scientific research and a field in which Oxford is particularly strong.”
“Research in this area has moved forward enormously over the past 300 years and is now yielding new hope for some of the most debilitating diseases. The exhibition and interactive activities are a wonderful way to explore these developments and bring them to the public in an exciting and easily understandable fashion. This has been a fantastic opportunity for researchers to work with the Museum and bring science to the public.”
Brain Awareness Week activities at the MHS run from 12-17 March. All events and activities are free.
For more information visit www.mhs.ox.ac.uk