Held at the University of Auckland Business school, the theme of Brain Day 2013 was ‘Your Creative Brain’. Fears of an overt focus on dysfunction or illness were quickly dispelled by highly accessible presentations which delved into some of most fascinating aspects of the brain. There were a number of different lecture and workshop streams on offer which left one feeling spoilt for choice.
Emerging as a common thread was the importance of our experiences and environments in shaping our brains and keeping them healthy. Although there can be negative effects from experiences like trauma, experiences of stress or even boredom there is also tremendous capacity for the brain to rewire and heal itself.
The lecture on ‘The Wandering Mind’ and the workshop ‘Why do children play? Should adults play more?’ were particular highlights for me. The lecture was very encouraging in normalising and even celebrating the very common and undervalued experience of ‘drifting off’ (though was not without its cautions) and the workshop more than slightly vindicating for those that feel that ‘growing up’ hasn’t quite lived up to its promise. For the members of the audience that were still youthful (and not just in mind) there were interactive art, music and neuroscience demonstrations in the large foyer to keep them entertained.
The event was well attended by the capacity crowd of over 3000 people and was a thought provoking and stimulating experience. Highly recommended. You can view the lectures by following this link and scrolling down to the relevant section. Videos of the workshop/ discussion sessions from will be available to view online from 4 April 2013.
*Established in 2009, The Centre for Brain Research excels in world-class neuroscience research carried out by cross-faculty research teams, alongside clinical collaborations with leading neurologists, neurosurgeons and physicians in the Auckland region.