Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign, but groups in North America and the United States in particular are some of its most active participants. However, the United States is not alone; the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico also hosted Brain Awareness Week events.
With hundreds of events planned in 41 different states plus Puerto Rico, it is difficult to pick individual events to highlight from the United States. There were a few that really stood out. Undergraduate psychology majors from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania set up a neuroscience exhibit at the local mall that included stations to build candy neurons and a robot mascot called Brainy. Children visiting the exhibit could control Brainy’s behavior by throwing bean bags into different holes in a corn-hole board with a brain on it. At another event, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tennessee hosted a series of health lectures on the anatomy and physiology of the brain as well as lifestyle practices that strengthen the brain and the rest of the body. These presentations included cooking demonstrations for a healthy plant-based diet. In Illinois, the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor launched an international social media campaign on the benefits of humor on the brain. The association shared articles and resources via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for people interested in the positive impact of humor on their work and daily lives. In Cincinnati, the University of Cincinnati hosted a showcase of art submitted by members of the community who were inspired by the brain.
Outside the US, the Universidad de Quintana Roo in Mexico hosted a conference on the effects of sociocultural disadvantages on central nervous system development. And in Canada, the University of Victoria hosted an event called Brain Myths Busted, where professors and students denied or confirmed the most popular myths about the brain.