Members of the Miami University Gamma Chapter of the Neuroscience Honor Society, Nu Rho Psi, ran several exciting events during Brain Awareness Week 2016. On Monday March 14th, there was a table set up in the Armstrong student center with information about the Neuroscience Honor Society and a Brain Trivia Wheel. Questions ranged from easy to difficult and even managed to trip up some Neuroscience faculty!
On Tuesday March 15th, again in the student center, there were a number of interactive and educational activities running simultaneously. Visitors were able to sample “miracle berries” and experience how changes in taste buds can alter the perception of sour to that of sweet. Vision impairment goggles allowed users to gain insight into the difficulties that people with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and retinitis pigmentosa experience when trying to manipulate small objects, distinguish among objects, and judge distances. A Backyard Brains “muscle spiker box” allowed individuals to see their muscle action potentials and learn about the signaling that controls movements and initiates and maintains muscle contractions. Also from Backyard Brains, a “human-human interface” enabled one individual to use their muscle activity to control the movements of another individual’s hand. This demonstration provided insight into the technological advances in functional electrical stimulation returning function to those suffering from amputations, or from disorders resulting in muscle weakness for instance. Along with these activities, there were brain models, posters, and handouts, and fun items such as brain erasers from the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, all serving to educate visitors about Nervous System function and dysfunction.
On Wednesday March 16th, there was a student research poster session and invited seminar sponsored by Nu Rho Psi, Miami Medical Education Development, and the Genetics Club. Undergraduate students presented their research to other students, faculty and invited speaker, Dr. Timothy Vogel, MD. After the poster session, a public lecture by Dr. Vogel capped off the Brain Awareness Activities. Dr. Vogel discussed his combined clinical and research career and his research and treatment approaches for pediatric hydrocephalus. After the seminar, Dr. Vogel opened the discussion to questions and all enjoyed a lively discussion about career paths in medicine and research.
Thank you to all who helped out and participated in Brain Awareness Week, we look forward to another exciting series of events next year!