Neuroscience has received great interest of the population. Despite wellgrounded criticisms, especially from the emergent field of critical neuroscience, a better understanding of the brain is not only exciting, but also relevant to a better understanding of several “normal” behaviors, brain degeneration (e.g. dementia) and plasticity (e.g. learning, damage), among others. Therefore, is important that scientists interact more frequently with society. Moreover, since science communication should be informal and subject must actively engage in the process, we decided to implement a science communication event on the beach of Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro). Integrated with the Brain Awareness Week (BAW, Dana Foundation), we placed two stands on the sand of Copacabana with several activities in order to illustrate a variety of brain functions. The main practical activities and brain concepts developed with the public were as follows: 1) Motor representation and learning - subjects had to draw a star looking through a mirror, a very difficult task because of the reversed visual representation; 2) Brain attentional-motor pathway and reaction time – a ruler measured people’s reaction time in milliseconds; 3) Basic neuroanatomy - subjects had to draw a brain in a shower cap, before and after our explanation of brain basic organization and functions; 4) Visual illusions - visual system interpretation principles, such as movement, color and size; 5) Attention task: selective attention videos displayed through computers and iPads. In addition to the practical activities, we also exhibit posters containing neuroscience important topics, such as exercise, nutrition, drugs, dementia, neuroplasticity and brain decoding. We also distributed flyers and provided additional information online. We received people from all age and educational backgrounds. Event impacts included a very warm feedback from the public, media coverage (11 total reports; 4 radio, 1 TV, 6 online) and accesses to our neuroscience website (300 accesses during event) containing all the informative material and repercussion on social networks. Finally, we also greatly benefited from the event: all the scientists/students involved acquired a better understanding of people’s main questions and curiosities about the brain. This is an important bilateral gain in science communication, since people can actively participate in science by posing questions and pointing relevant knowledge for them.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Neuroscience goes to the beach
Basic concepts of brain functioning

Patricia Bado   Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Instituto D‘Or de Pesquisa e Ensino, Brazil

Theo Marins   Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Instituto D‘Or de Pesquisa e Ensino, Brazil

Cristiane Teles   REDE DOR-IDOR, Brazil

Flavia Gomes   Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Instituto D‘Or de Pesquisa e Ensino, Brazil

Jorge Moll   Instituto D‘Or de Pesquisa e Ensino, Brazil

Neuroscience has received great interest of the population. Despite wellgrounded criticisms, especially from the emergent field of critical neuroscience, a better understanding of the brain is not only exciting, but also relevant to a better understanding of several “normal” behaviors, brain degeneration (e.g. dementia) and plasticity (e.g. learning, damage), among others. Therefore, is important that scientists interact more frequently with society. Moreover, since science communication should be informal and subject must actively engage in the process, we decided to implement a science communication event on the beach of Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro). Integrated with the Brain Awareness Week (BAW, Dana Foundation), we placed two stands on the sand of Copacabana with several activities in order to illustrate a variety of brain functions. The main practical activities and brain concepts developed with the public were as follows: 1) Motor representation and learning - subjects had to draw a star looking through a mirror, a very difficult task because of the reversed visual representation; 2) Brain attentional-motor pathway and reaction time – a ruler measured people’s reaction time in milliseconds; 3) Basic neuroanatomy - subjects had to draw a brain in a shower cap, before and after our explanation of brain basic organization and functions; 4) Visual illusions - visual system interpretation principles, such as movement, color and size; 5) Attention task: selective attention videos displayed through computers and iPads. In addition to the practical activities, we also exhibit posters containing neuroscience important topics, such as exercise, nutrition, drugs, dementia, neuroplasticity and brain decoding. We also distributed flyers and provided additional information online. We received people from all age and educational backgrounds. Event impacts included a very warm feedback from the public, media coverage (11 total reports; 4 radio, 1 TV, 6 online) and accesses to our neuroscience website (300 accesses during event) containing all the informative material and repercussion on social networks. Finally, we also greatly benefited from the event: all the scientists/students involved acquired a better understanding of people’s main questions and curiosities about the brain. This is an important bilateral gain in science communication, since people can actively participate in science by posing questions and pointing relevant knowledge for them.

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