In celebration of International Brain Awareness Week March 12–16, CU Boulder will offer a series of public lectures by expert faculty, revealing new insights on everything from how to preserve cognitive function later in life to how the adolescent brain is unique to how cannabis use impacts the brain.
“Everyone wants to know how to help their brains grow better, stay healthy and function optimally throughout life,” said Nicole Speer, director of operations at the Intermountain Neuroimaging Consortium (INC). “Current neuroscience research is telling us how we can achieve these goals, but that research sometimes takes decades to make it into public awareness. Brain Awareness Week gives us the opportunity to bring this knowledge directly to the public.”
Sponsored by the INC and the Institute of Cognitive Science, the week will also include hands-on activities and demonstrations from psychology and neuroscience-related research labs and the CU Neuroscience Club and a guided meditation session.
The Dana Foundation founded International Brain Awareness Week in 1996 to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March, partner organizations around the globe organize brain-related events designed to educate and engage members of their communities.
Now entering its third year of participation, CU Boulder is joined by universities, hospitals, government agencies and a range of other organizations in the campaign.
The week will kick off at the city of Boulder East Senior Center with a lecture by Psychology and Neuroscience Professor Angela Bryan. Bryan will discuss age-related changes in the brain and the impact of lifestyle choices, such as exercise, on brain function during later years of life.
The week will also include expert presentations by psychology professor and neuroscientist Marie Banich, who will discuss how unique aspects of the teenage brain shape their behavior, and ICS researcher Cinnamon Bidwell, who will discuss the latest research on cannabis and the brain.
CU Boulder students will also have the opportunity to showcase their work. On Tuesday, March 13, the CU Neuroscience Club will host a demonstration of current laboratory experiments and methods used to conduct neuroscience research at CU Boulder.
All events are free and open to students, faculty, staff and community members of all ages.
“We are at the forefront of research exploring the ways factors such as our genetics, our behaviors and our experiences in the world influence our brain’s development and health across the lifespan,” said Speer. “We are very excited to share what we are learning with the broader community.”