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Showing blog posts tagged with "Brain"

The Inside Story On Summer ‘Brain Drain’

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Is it true that children face an uphill battle at the beginning of every school year to regain ground lost in the lazy days of summer? Yes and no, says Rob DeSalle, curator of the exhibition Brain: The Inside Story.  “The fact of losing what you’ve learned during the school year is fairly well known and well researched,” says Dr. DeSalle, citing a Johns Hopkins University study that showed children in general “lose” one to two months of learning, especially in math, over the summer.  “It’s not a myth. But it’s not as extreme as people think and it’s’ not insurmountable.”

One way to keep brains active before school resumes is to challenge children with a late-summer reading list, says DeSalle, a Museum curator who conducts research in the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. The John Hopkins study showed, for example, that children in more affluent socio-economic groups fared better in reading because they tended to have more access to books. Games that involve counting and strategy can also stimulate neural pathways. Visitors to Brain: The Inside Story, which closes August 14, can test their ability to strategize and plan ahead, as well as other critical functions, in brain-teasing interactive exhibits, several of which are described by DeSalle in the video below.

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The Inside Story on ‘Your Changing Brain’

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The human brain is constantly adapting as neural networks rewire themselves in response to new experiences, such as learning different skills or even recovering from trauma such as a stroke. For example, stroke patients who lose their ability to speak can often regain the skill with intensive training, which reestablishes new networks in the healthy parts of their brains.

Learn more about the brain’s plasticity and experience it first-hand through interactive games that enhance hand-eye coordination by visiting Brain: The Inside Story, open now through Sunday, August 14.

In the video below, Curator Rob DeSalle discusses how brains change throughout a lifetime.


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Brain Exhibition Wins Design Award

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Brain: The Inside Story, the Museum’s popular exhibition which gives visitors a new perspective and insight into the human brain using imaginative art, vivid brain scan imaging, and thrilling interactive exhibits, was recognized for outstanding achievement in museum exhibition design. Event Design Magazine recently announced the winners of their Event Design Awards and the Museum’s Exhibitions team won Silver honors for Best Museum Environment for their evocative work on Brain: The Inside Story. Every year the Event Design Awards—the industry’s highest honor—receives hundreds of entries across 13 categories to determine the best of the best in the world of events, exhibits, and environments.

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What’s in Store For Your 21st Century Brain?

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Mechanical devices now connect to the brain to restore lost senses like hearing and sight. What if similar technologies could end addiction, improve memory, cure a headache, or lift one’s mood? These and other amazing facets of current brain research are explored in the Museum exhibition Brain: The Inside Story in a section called Your 21st Century Brain.

Here, visitors can see a video in which researchers try to decode language directly within the brain through a brain-computer interface that has the potential for manipulating a keyboard to communicate or powering artificial limbs. Another treatment on the horizon uses non-invasive magnetic waves to theoretically treat for everything from schizophrenia to obesity.

In the video below, exhibition co-curator Rob DeSalle discusses these and other cutting-edge developments ahead for our 21st century brains. Brain: The Inside Story is open now through Sunday, August 14.


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Brain Games: Teaching Tools Get Second Life

Brain Games: Teaching Tools Get Second Life

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“It was an exciting opportunity to modify these for educational purposes,” says Samara Rubinstein, manager of the Sackler Educational Laboratory and the coordinator of five part-time science educators who staff the Brain Bench. Included in the offerings, which are recommended for visitors ages 8 and up, are the popular “build-a-brain” puzzle, which piece by piece conveys the evolutionary path from the reptilian brain to the neocortex unique to humans; artist Devorah Sperber’s clever installation on the mechanics of sight in which a famous painting is rendered—and disguised by—colorful spools of thread; a pyramid stacking station that looks like child’s play but requires sophisticated planning; and a variety of computer games designed to sharpen basic brain functions like focus and memory.

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