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Brain Awareness Week teaches kids how their brains work

Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH's presentation, "The Wonders of the Brain," is about perception. Led by young scientists in the NIMH Division of Intramural Research, students explore how the mind plays tricks with images it sees, such as an optical illusion drawing of an elephant with too many legs. One interesting scientific anomaly that the students explore is the Stroop effect. Students are asked to say the color of a printed word, not to read the word itself. For example, for the word, 'red' printed in blue ink, the student should say "blue." However, the word itself can interfere with the process of naming the color of the word. The exhibit encourages participants to think about how their brains work and to become brain-aware.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Step inside NIAAA's novel, multi-sensory exhibit and see the amazing "Drunken Brain," pulsating with electricity and basking in a world of colored lights and eerie sounds. An NIAAA neuroscientist will explain why alcohol interferes with sensory perception, movement, balance, and memory, and demonstrate which brain circuits are involved in alcohol dependence and alcoholism. Then, students will visit "Roger's Party," where another NIAAA scientist will talk about why people decide to drink and what happens to the brain and body during an episode of binge drinking. Party guests will also attempt to navigate an obstacle course while wearing "Fatal Vision" prism goggles. These goggles throw off eye-muscle coordination, which allows students to experience the loss of muscle coordination and balance that occurs during alcohol intoxication.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Eating: It's A Brain Thing. It is often difficult for young people to understand how their brain controls behavior. Dr. Andrea Sawczuk of NINDS will take students on a guided tour of how their brain controls the every-day activity, y
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Contact: Jennifer Loukissas
nimhpress@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
7-Mar-2005


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