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Brain: The Inside Story

  1. BR_me_1.1_BrainPathwaysInstallation / BR_me_1.1b_BrainPathwaysInstallationSoundscape (Electronic Installation and Soundscape)
  2. BR_me_2.1_Intro-Theater (Video/Object Theater)
  3. BR_me_3.2_MonaLisaIllusion (Interactive Graphic)
  4. BR_me_3.3_WaterfallSoundIllusion (Interactive Graphic)
  5. BR_me_3.5_NeuronGestureTable (Tabletop Interactive)
  6. BR_me_4.5_Build-a-Brain (Physical Activity)
  7. BR_me_4.1_EmotionsProjection (Video)
  8. BR_me_4.7_NeurotransmittersInteractive (Kiosk Interactive)
  9. BR_me_5.2_LanguageAcquisition (Kiosk Interactive)
  10. BR_me_5.7_SongBird (Soundscape)
  11. BR_me_5.8_StarTracingIA (Electronic Interactive)
  12. BR_me_5.9_LondonTaxiIA (Electronic Interactive)
  13. BR_me_5.10_ChunkingNumbers (Physical Activity)
  14. BR_me_5.12_StackingGame (Physical Activity)
  15. BR_me_5.13_WordColorTest (Interactive Graphic)
  16. BR_me_6.3_BrailleIA (Physical Activity)
  17. BR_me_6.7_BrainGames (Kiosk Interactive)
  18. BR_me_7.1_21st-Century_Brain (Video)
  19. BR_me_7.2_BrainLounge (Video)

1. BR_me_1.1_BrainPathwaysInstallation / BR_me_1.1b_BrainPathwaysInstallationSoundscape (Electronic Installation and Soundscape)

This video/light installation over a jumble of cables suggests the movement of electricity in the brain. An atmospheric sound installation accompanies the video and light display.

No translation necessary.

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2. BR_me_2.1_Intro-Theater (Video/Object Theater)

“Welcome to the Brain” is an object-theater program that allows visitors to take a virtual “tour” of their brain while following along with a high school student, Lea, as she auditions for entrance to the prestigious dance program at the Juilliard School.  Through Lea's dance audition story visitors learn the basics of brain anatomy and the key role that the brain plays in controlling senses, emotions, thinking, memory and decision-making—all major themes of the Brain exhibit. “Welcome to the Brain” introduces key terms and topics of the Brain exhibit while elegantly weaving together: video, music, sound effects, and, most spectacularly, a large model of the brain with internal lighting. Projected on stretched fabric that architecturally defines the theater space, the video portion has a minimal, iconic look that helps focus visitor’s attention to the large brain model. Regions in the brain model light up as relevant parts of the story arise. At the end of each nine-minute program, a 30-second video countdown allows time for another seating of visitors.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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3. BR_me_3.2_MonaLisaIllusion (Interactive Graphic)

This installation presents users with a wall covered with colorful spools of thread in an apparently random order. But when visitors look at it through a glass sphere they discover that the threads form a recognizable image.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_3-2_MonaLisaIllusion - it is a physical activity and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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4. BR_me_3.3_WaterfallSoundIllusion (Interactive Graphic)

In this graphic and sound installation, users will see an image juxtaposed with a sound that would be logically produced by the depicted object. As they walk on they discover that the sound is actually produced by an entirely different event.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_3.3_WaterfallSoundIllusion - it is an interactive graphic and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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5. BR_me_3.5_NeuronGestureTable (Tabletop Interactive)

In this multi-user tabletop interactive, visitors’ hands become neurons that communicate with each other. Additional projections over the table and the participants’ hands provide further information.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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6. BR_me_4.5_Build-a-Brain (Physical Activity)

In this puzzle, users assemble parts of an oversize, 3D model of a human brain. Four separate puzzle pieces interlock and reflect the evolutionary path of the human brain beginning with the “oldest” part of the brain, the brain stem. The final part of the brain puzzle is the enlarged frontal lobe—found only in humans, it is the newest part of the human brain to have evolved. Users will come away with an understanding that humans share brain structures with many other animals, yet only human brains have an enlarged frontal lobe.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_4.5_Build-a-Brain - it is a physical activity and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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7. BR_me_4.1_EmotionsProjection (Video)

A human face is projected on a 6’-high oval surface, which forms the natural perimeter of a head. In a silent, seamless loop, the face exhibits the six most basic (and recognizable) human expressions: Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sadness, and Surprise.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_4.1_EmotionsProjection - the projection is a silent loop.

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8. BR_me_4.7_NeurotransmittersInteractive (Kiosk Interactive)

In this interactive kiosk users will learn the effect neurotransmitters have on our emotional, fear and affective systems. The exhibit consists of two stations with a screen and a control panel with buttons.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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9. BR_me_5.2_LanguageAcquisition (Kiosk Interactive)

This computer interactive will challenge visitors to repeat words accurately in some very different languages, revealing that while all humans are “wired” for language, we develop expert intonation in the languages we speak at an early age—and we may lose the ability to pronounce unfamiliar phonemes and other sounds if we don’t develop those brain circuits early in life.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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10. BR_me_5.7_SongBird (Soundscape)

A model of a bird is enhanced with audio of the bird's song to support a story about the role of sleep in song learning.

No translation necessary.

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11. BR_me_5.8_StarTracingIA (Electronic Interactive)

Procedural memory is the long-term memory of skills and procedures, or "how to" knowledge." Over time and repetition, difficult procedural tasks can be learned and stored in a specific area of the brain. In this electronic, hands-on interactive, the user will attempt to trace a shape by looking at a reflection of the shape and of his hand, rather than at the shape and hand themselves.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_5.8_StarTracingIA - it is a physical activity and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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12. BR_me_5.9_LondonTaxiIA (Electronic Interactive)

This electronic interactive challenges visitors to navigate a small, maze-like section of London streets set in an enlarged section of a London street map. A few specific routes are suggested to help users discover the complexity of navigating the city. The activity encourages multiple attempts and demonstrates improvements in performance through the use of visual memory.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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13. BR_me_5.10_ChunkingNumbers (Physical Activity)

“Chunking” is a technique to associate seemingly random bits of information in order to store them in short-term memory. With this hands-on interactive, users are challenged to “chunk” a long sequence of numbers. Step-by-step instructions and tips such as “think of numbers that represent a date or your age,” are nearby to ensure that visitors come away having used this short-term memory technique.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_5.10_ChunkingNumbers - it is a physical activity and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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14. BR_me_5.12_StackingGame (Physical Activity)

In this hands-on interactive, two stations on a bi-level tabletop invite visitors to solve one or both versions of a puzzle using strategy and planning.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_5.12_StackingGame - it is a physical activity and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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15. BR_me_5.13_WordColorTest (Interactive Graphic)

In this graphic interactive, names of colors are written out in a different color than is named. Visitors are provided with a timer to compare how long it takes them to read the colors correctly.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_5.13_WordColorTest - it is an interactive graphic and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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16. BR_me_6.3_BrailleIA (Physical Activity)

In this touchable interactive, users will literally try their hand at reading Braille as they learn about brain plasticity. Among people with limited or no sight, brain regions that would have been used for vision are used instead for the sense of touch. The Braille interactive challenges visitors to increasingly rely on their sense of touch as they decode Braille. This interactive allows visitors to tangibly understand the plasticity of their own brain. Two identical interactive stations face each other with a graphic panel in between.

Please note that there is no script for BR_me_6.3_BrailleIA - it is a physical activity and all related text is in the Travel Package for Graphics.

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17. BR_me_6.7_BrainGames (Kiosk Interactive)

Many activities can slow the decline of brain function – and can occasionally improve it. Visitors can try their hand at computer games targeted toward sharpening specific brain functions. Of the Posit Science software we will feature Jewel Diver, Sweep Seeker, and Bird Safari.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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18. BR_me_7.1_21st-Century_Brain (Video)

“Listening to the Brain” is a short video profile of the work of research scientists at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, NY, who have developed sophisticated computer software to analyze brain signals in real time. Epilepsy patient volunteers are shown participating in brain-computer interface studies where they manipulate a virtual hand and play a computer game using only the power of their brain waves. Furthermore, the brain-computer interface system is shown mapping out what a patient is speaking, or—incredibly—what word a volunteer is merely imagining. The research depends on electrocorticography (ECoG)—an array of electrodes placed directly on the surface of the brain in preparation for epilepsy surgery. As Dr. Anthony Ritaccio explains in the program: “The brain is an electrical organ, and brain cells communicate through electricity.” Dr. Gerwin Schalk adds: “…it’s possible to tap into this ongoing conversation that the brain has, and what we are now able to do is listen into this conversation and start to make sense of it.”

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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19. BR_me_7.2_BrainLounge (Video)

An immersive, amphitheater-like space surrounds a video projection of scanned brain imagery, showing the active areas of the brain in response to different scenarios. These may include: listening to or performing music, hearing spoken language, understanding humor. The audience hears all these activities while watching a brain in action.

For the scripts click here >> (DOC, PDF)

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American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
All rights reserved 2010

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
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