Shortcut Navigation:

Brain: The Inside Story

As you read these words, your brain is taking in all kinds of sights and sounds, and zeroing in on a few. It is recalling what you have learned about the forms of letters, the meanings of words, and what information you hope to find on this website. Your brain is making decisions and forming new memories. All the while, it is helping you stay alert and steadily breathe. How does the brain do it all? We are only beginning to understand the inside story of this remarkable organ. Today, advances in biochemistry and new technologies that allow us to watch the brain in action are revealing more than ever before.

Brain: The Inside Story explores the way the human brain works, specifically as it relates to senses ("Your Sensing Brain"), emotions ("Your Emotional Brain"), thinking ("Your Thinking Brain"), how the brain ages ("Your Changing Brain"), and how technological advances may change our brains in the future ("Your 21st Century Brain").

Exhibition Highlights



Brain Introduction

Like other parts of your body, your brain is made up of cells. Many of these cells help regulate the chemistry of the brain and give it structure. But some are specialized to do far more. These cells, known as neurons, do most of the work that allows you to think, feel, and move.



Your Sensing Brain

Specific areas of the brain are devoted to seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. They communicate like the parts of an orchestra, so that your experience feels rich, seamless, and complete.



Your Emotional Brain

Your brain gets information from two different sources: Your senses tell you what's going on in the outside world, while your emotions exist inside your body to tell you what these events and circumstances mean to you.



Your Thinking Brain

If there is one thing that makes you different from other animals, it is your ability to think. Humans don't just react to the world as it is: We reflect on the past, imagine what could be, and then plan ways to make our thoughts become reality.



Your Changing Brain

Your brain changes throughout your lifetime: Neurons connect and reconnect in the give-and-take between your brain and the world. Once developed, the basic structures for sensing, feeling, and thinking last a lifetime--yet your brain continues to change.



Your 21st Century Brain

The more we learn about the human brain, the more we will have the ability to change it. Knowing how our brains work will give us exciting—and sometimes unsettling—new choices.


Special Exhibition

About the Exhibition

Drawing on 21st-century research and technology, Brain: The Inside Story offers visitors a new perspective and keen insight into their own brains through imaginative art, vivid brain-scan imaging, and dynamic interactive exhibits for all ages.

Brain: The Inside Story was organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with Codice.Idee per la cultura, Torino, Italy in association with Comune di Milano - Assessorato Cultura, Italy, Guangdong Science Center, Guangzhou, China, and Parque de las Ciencias, Grenada, Spain.

Generous support for Brain: The Inside Story had been provided by the Eileen P. Bernard Exhibition Fund and Mary and David Solomon.

Additional support for Brain: The Inside Story and its related education programming had been provided by Roche.

Brain: The Inside Story

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Maps and Directions

Enlighten Your Inbox

Stay informed about Museum news and research, events, and more!