Seeing the brain in action

19 Mar 2009 18:42:00.000

PA 75/09

Mind games are the activities of choice at the Brain & Body Centre this week as experts and secondary school pupils celebrate international Brain Awareness Week (16-22 March 2009).

The pupils are getting a special behind-the-scenes look at the Brain and Body Centre at The University of Nottingham.

The pupils will be given a comprehensive tour of the centre, and the work that is carried out there. In addition to other activities they will learn more about:

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EEG - The Electroencephalograph (EEG) which measures electrical activity in the brain. Pupils will learn how EEG is used in current research and how EEG electrodes are placed on the skull to record EEG waves and different actions.

Brain Scanning - A unique opportunity to visit the 1.5T MRI magnet at the Brain and Body Centre and learn more about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a ground-breaking technique, work on which earned the University's Professor Sir Peter Mansfield a Nobel Prize for medicine.

Finding structures and "˜painting' the brain - Pupils will get the opportunity to see the latest technologies which are used to delineate brain structures and draw images using computer tools.

Each group will be divided into groups of 5-10 which will rotate through six experimental stations, manned by researchers who will be on hand to introduce students to the techniques and explain how they are used in current research, which will include live demonstrations.

Brain Awareness Week is an international event to raise and enhance understanding of brain research and why it is so vital.

Professor and Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Tomas Paus said:"The importance of the brain can never be underestimated, and as we discover more we begin to unravel complex new areas of research which impact on our everyday lives.

"The Brain and Body Centre is very focussed on these types of events. Hopefully it will encourage these pupils to not simply observe what our researchers are doing now, but to potentially become those researchers in the years to come."

The Brain and Body Centre is a pan-faculty centre that investigates how genes and environment shape our brains and bodies from birth through adolescence to adulthood.

For more information on the Brain and Body Centre, please visit:

Email Nadja Heym at

- Ends -

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as "˜world-leading' or "˜internationally excellent'. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.

The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy), and was named "˜Entrepreneurial University of the Year' at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( ) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from, Prof. Tomas Paus , on +44 (0)115 951 5362,
Andrew Burden

Andrew Burden - Digital Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8313 Location: University Park

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