A dizzying dive into the human brain

Brain research is constantly taking new steps forward and currently permeates large parts of the University. Brain research is in a phase of rapid development, not least thanks to the continuous emergence of new technology.

From 4 to 10 September, Lund University will invite the public on an exciting trip into our mental universe!

New ways of studying the brain are continually being developed, thereby also broadening the research field which currently spans many disciplines.

“Two areas in particular stand out among the scientific challenges of the twenty-first century: understanding the universe and understanding how the human brain functions. And both are dizzying and endless”, says Anders Björklund, professor of neurobiology at Lund University.

Lund University’s three strategic research programmes within brain research – diseases of the nervous system, nano-neuroscience, and thinking, learning and cognition – gather researchers from many different faculties in creative research environments.

The idea behind the Science Week on The amazing brain from 4 to 10 September is to showcase this breadth. A number of top international researchers, including Norwegian Nobel Prize laureate Edvard Moser, have been invited to speak at the main event, The Amazing Brain in Lund City Hall on 6 September, to be held in English.

“We want to reach an interested general public that finds the brain exciting. So we have chosen researchers who are good at bringing the subject to life in a rich and stimulating way”, says Anders Björklund.

With outstanding researchers such as Robert Zatorre from Canada, Dorothy Bishop from the UK and Stanislas Dehaene from France on the programme, many exciting talks are expected about the human brain’s function, from how we perceive music to how we learn languages and process numbers and letters.

Miguel Nicolelis from the USA will show how, using our brain, we can control a robot arm, for example, while Antonia Hamilton from the UK will take an interesting deep dive into the teenage brain.

The latter theme is a good fit with upper secondary school pupils being an important target group for Science Week.

“We are keen to elicit interest in young people so that they will choose to specialise in brain subjects later on. The brain as an object of study touches on all aspects of life, after all, from the most theoretical to the most practical”, says Anders Björklund.

The week also features other events, including some lectures primarily intended for academia. There are also more general events such as a brain-themed open house day for the whole family at the Vattenhallen Science Centre. A researcher from the Department of Biology will be on hand to show and tell how animals use their brain and their senses to function in their surroundings. Entrance is free of charge all weekend.

On 4 September, around 15 patient organisations will hold a mini-fair in the atrium of Lund City Hall (in Swedish but you can ask questions in English), to present their activities and draw attention to their respective illnesses with support from Lund University researchers. Come and get to know the brain!

On the evening of 5 September, researcher Sir Colin Blakemore will lead Debatt i Lund in Café Athen on the question of whether neuroscience can ever explain the human mind. This event promises to be thought-provoking, according to Anders Björklund.

“Our understanding of the human mind is multifaceted. There are many ways to approach it: everything from neuroscience to philosophy and religion. So we thought this would be a suitable subject for debate.”

On the same day, researchers are offering a talk on 3D printing and the opportunity to print in 3D at Design Sciences at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH). Learn more (in Swedish but you can ask questions in English).

3D printing, now available to create instruments and much more.

Learn more about the jubilee and its third science week.

This article was originally published in a jubilee annex, produced by CrossMedia.

 

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