Be braiNY in the Big Apple

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Brain Awareness Week begins on Monday, and partners all around the world have been working hard coordinating events and activities—now it’s up to you to attend! If you live in the New York City area, our good friends at braiNY, the Greater NYC Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, have put together a diverse series of events happening throughout the month of March.

The BioBus will be parked uptown (on W. 125 St. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.) on March 9, from 10 am to 3 pm, for kids and adults wanting to hop onboard the Mobile Lab for some hands-on science. Attendees will also have a chance to speak to real scientists who study the brain.

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The BioBus during a past Brain Awareness Week campaign

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Official Brain Awareness Week Hashtags

Are you ready for Brain Awareness Week? With less than one week left before it begins, there are still plenty of ways to get involved.

The global campaign takes place every March, but the evolving ideas, growing number of partners, and new ways to share information continue to make each year a little different. Social media plays a huge role in how the world sees the creative ways our partners around the world are sharing information about the brain. Not to mention, it’s a great way to recap the day’s events, in case you missed anything. When sharing anything about Brain Awareness Week (including your #HealthyBrainChallenge posts), be sure to use the official hashtags: #BrainWeek  #BrainAwarenessWeek

 

With so much happening all at once during the week, we want to help you stay up-to-date with all the amazing work our partners are doing to provide fun and informative events to the public (most of which are free!).

Join the Healthy Brain Challenge

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As we gear up for Brain Awareness Week 2019, the global campaign to increase awareness of the progress and benefits of brain science, we challenge you to share how YOU live a brain healthy life. The Healthy Brain Challenge begins March 11, and anyone can participate!

Here’s how it works:

Do you play board games to challenge your mind? Maybe you exercise and participate in social gatherings three times a week. If so, you are already part of the challenge! Post a picture on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook showing ways that you lead a brain healthy life. Tag your post with #healthybrainchallenge during March 11-17, and your photo may get featured on our social media.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@danafoundation), Facebook (The Dana Foundation) and Twitter (@dana_fdn), where we will post seven healthy tips (one for each day of Brain Awareness Week) on how you can lead a brain healthy life.

Visit dana.org/baw to look up events in your area and for more information on Brain Awareness Week.

Four Stars: Who Are Movie Reviews For?

Watching a recommended movie is risky business. If the stars don’t align in your favor, you might find yourself nurturing a distrust of your source, forever altering conversations with friends and colleagues. Even when Oscar season rolls around, which should reliably provide lists of “good” movies, you might question if everyone sat through the same movie after scanning a few social media feeds. Does data science offer us evidence of something we might be missing?

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Pascal Wallisch, Ph.D.. Photo credit: Yadin Goldman

“There is a tremendous diversity in appraisal for any given movie,” said Pascal Wallisch, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor at NYU. “It’s actually quite striking.” Wallisch, seeking to measure the reliability of movie critics, gathered ratings from critics, aggregator sites (think Rotten Tomatoes and The Internet Movie Database (IMDB)) and a multi-year study with 3,000-participants. After determining the correlations of reviews from a pool of over 200 movies, he admits to being astonished—there was not a single film with any hint of a “moderate degree of agreement.”

“The Science of Movies,” presented by Wallisch and organized by Think&Drink NYC’s Gil Avidor, is a stimulating yet relaxed evening talk, suitably tailored to seekers of intelligent nightlife. Wallisch, whose research interests hone in on the intersection of psychology and neuroscience, extolled the virtues of finding your “movie twin,” bemoaned the scarcity of originality (ahem, creativity) in present-day Hollywood, and explained what happens to a brain exposed to a healthy dose of M. Night Shyamalan. Continue reading

New York City’s 2019 Regional Brain Bee

Students from 23 schools across the five boroughs and Westchester County came together to test their smarts in the New York City Regional Brain Bee this past Saturday. Held in the Great Hall at The City College of New York, the 2019 competition concluded after eight rounds of five brain-related questions each, with the top three winners walking away with cash prizes, plaques, and the knowledge that they probably knew more about the brain than most of the audience.

From left: Bianca Jones Marlin, Ph.D. (judge), Daphna Shohamy, Ph.D. (moderator), Kelly Chan (first-place winner), Rainer Engelken, Ph.D. (judge), Nafew Mustafa (third-place winner), Amelia Korniyenko (second-place winner), Jerome Staal, Ph.D. (judge), and Kathleen Roina (BAW Director). Photo: Jacqueline Silberbush

“The New York City Regional Brain Bee competition is in celebration of Brain Awareness Week,” said Kathleen Roina, director of outreach and education at the Dana Foundation, in her welcoming remarks. “The global campaign was created by the Dana Alliance to advance public understanding about the brain and the promise of brain research.” The Brain Bee is just one of many Brain Awareness Week activities designed to help students become more interested and active in learning about the brain and the research surrounding it.

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