This is Brain Awareness Week, so keep your wits about you.
The Brain Awareness Campaign is a worldwide celebration of the brain that brings together scientists, families, schools, and communities. Although Brain Awareness Week is officially March 11-17, 2013, there are many ways to get involved throughout the year. [Society for Neuroscience]
It’s Brain Awareness Week! The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives would like to wish all BAW partners great success with their activities and efforts on behalf of the campaign. [The Dana Foundation]
You won’t be able to miss it. There’ll be lots of images of young people marvelling at simulated brains overlooked by smiling neuroscientists in white coats. In fact, everyone will be smiling and having fun. (Especially the neuro-marketers lurking in the shadows.)
Now, personally, I find this ‘celebration’ of the brain rather odd, bordering on the creepy. It goes without saying that it is just human brains that warrant this adoration. But how many human brains do you personally know that you would like to ‘celebrate’.
This cult of the brain is quite a recent development. It began on July 18th, 1990 with the announcement of the Decade of the Brain by George H.W. Bush, then President of the United States and ex-Director of the CIA.
There’s nothing wrong in trying to understand the brain, of course. But this is the blog of an inter-disciplinary course on emotions and so I approach ‘the brain’ in this light. Everything works together and we must try to understand the brain in the context of the entire body and that body in its social context. (I’ve written several posts on this so I’m not going to repeat myself here.] Achieving that takes some doing.
The Great Brain Experiment is a (free) mobile app:
Be part of a unique scientific experiment by playing games on your phone.
Test your memory, your impulsivity, your attention and decision making. Learn about the neuroscience of every day life.
You could, of course, test ‘your impulsivity, your attention and decision making’ by giving it a miss—for neuroscience tells us that these gadgets do nothing but harm to those—but I think the idea is that you download this thing and ‘play’ with it.
Why not have a go and tell me what it’s like. Test your impulsivity, attention and decision making further by following it on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BAWmillsaps. Good luck.
One final point, following on yesterday’s post TWITTER EMPLOYEES MAPPED: HOW ARE THEY CONNECTED?, are we and our brains now just neurones in a vast collective brain that, for want of a better term, we call the ‘internet’?
Isn’t that where our memory now lies? We no longer remember things because the information is on the internet. In every sphere of activity, our intelligence is transferred to a computer. Who now knows how to read a map and use a compass, let alone read the sky and use a sextant? There’s an app for that.
Commit a crime and the police will ransack your mobile phone or computer, for there lies evidence not just of your movements but also of your thoughts, motives and intentions. Not only will that information be used to reveal what you have done, it can also be used to reveal what you are about to do.
Happy Brain Awareness Week