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Our brain is the most complicated thing in the known universe, so it makes a great topic for an event! We will be hearing about how the brain plays tricks on our perception of the world, and what happens when things go wrong and a brain develops diseases like Parkinson's disease. Come along to learn about the brain, then use yours to win yourself some goodies!
A dream within a dream? How the brain plays tricks on us
Our ability to study the brain has advanced significantly over the past century, yet there are many unknowns regarding its intricate functions that allow us to perform many day-to-day tasks with little thought. The brain allows us to learn, navigate, speak and interact with our dynamic world. We often take our perception of the world as a given truth, yet this is not always the case. In this talk I will present some mind-bending demonstrations of how the brain can play tricks on our perception of the world, and why we think this is the case. Prepare to have your eyes opened!
Can we build a brain in a dish?
Professor Rosemary Fricker (Professor of Neurobiology, Director of Medical Science)
Scientists need better tools to model the brain so that they can test new therapies for disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. However, the brain has many complex circuits and we cannot yet re-grow these circuits easily in the laboratory. This talk will show how we are trying to engineer mini circuits of nerve cells in a cell culture dish. We will demonstrate how we control the way nerve cells form connections with each other, how we can measure electrical signals passed between the cells, and how we can change the circuit to mimic Parkinson’s disease.