Know Your Brain: Montreal universities, institutes and research centres team up for Brain Awareness Week


Explore your brain with the experts. Montreal neuroscientists join forces next week to shed light on the grayest of matters–our gray matter–during the upcoming Brain Awareness Week (March 12-16). The week sees neuroscience graduate students visiting over 340 classrooms all over Montreal providing 10,000 elementary and high-school students a chance to learn more about the brain. Youngsters will learn about the five senses while adolescents will be learning about the effects of drugs on the brain. In addition, the public is invited to participate in a lecture series covering a variety of topics (see schedule below).

Brain Awareness Week, created by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, is an international initiative to teach the public about brain function and new research. The Montreal organizing committee, consisting of neuroscience graduate students from schools across Montreal, makes use of the fact that Montreal has one of the largest concentrations of neuroscientists in the world, and brings together students from the the Montreal Neurological Institute/Hospital, Concordia University, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, the Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Brain Facts – Did you know that:

  • The adult brain contains about 100 billion neurons;
  • The brain uses 20% of the oxygen we breathe, although it accounts for only 2% of the body's total weight;
  • Neurons multiply at a rate of 250,000 neurons/minute during early pregnancy;
  • Your brain generates 25 watts of power while you're awake – enough to illuminate a light bulb.

For the past ten years, Montreal's neuroscience community has also hosted public lectures during Brain Awareness Week. The following lists the topics and locations of this year's events. Come join us and learn more about your brain.

Functioning with a Floating Brain
Luchino Cohen, PhD
Monday, March 12, 2007 – 7:00 p.m.
Montreal Planetarium, 1000 Saint-Jacques St. W.

La théorie d'Howard Gardner sur les intelligences multiples & Prévenir le vieillissement cérébral par la stimulation intellectuelle et l'activité physique: mythes et réalités (in French)
Francois Neveu and Louis Bherer, PhD
Tuesday, March 13, 2007 – 7:30 p.m.
Université de Montréal, Paul Desmarais Pavilion, Room 1120, 2960 Ch. de la tour

L'origine sociale des souvenirs imaginaires & Guérir: Comment notre état d'esprit influence le fonctionnement de notre cerveau? (in French)
Dominic Beaulieu-Prevost, PhD, and Vincent Paquette Wednesday, March 14, 2007 – 7:30 p.m.
Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Room R-0715, 4565 Queen Mary Rd.

Insights into bilingual language development: do's and don'ts & Communicating with the right side of the brain
Elin Thordardottir, PhD, and Marc Pell, PhD
Thursday, March 15, 2007 – 7:30 p.m.
Montreal Neurological Institute, Jeanne Timmins
Amphitheatre, 3801 University St.

Visit Brain Awareness Week's website:

Sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Fonds de la recherche en santé Québec (FRSQ), Groupe de recherche sur le système nerveux central (GRSNC), AstraZeneca, Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Concordia University, JSS Medical Research, International Brain Research Organization, Neurochem, Centre de recherche Fernand-Séguin (CRFS), McGill Psychology, Neuroscience Canada, Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en réadaptation du Montréal métropolitain (CRIR), Canadian Space Agency, CKUT.


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