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Free brain sharpening this weekend at Lincoln Square in Urbana


Jeff Unger, News Bureau

Bring your brain to Lincoln Square in Urbana this Sunday (April 13) for a quick tune-up on the latest brain research, courtesy of the neuroscience program at the University of Illinois.

Now in its eighth year, Brain Awareness Day is held each spring.

U. of I. neuroscientists will be on hand at the free event, held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the east wing of the mall to educate the community about brain research.

Several hands-on and educational exhibits about brains from different types of animals, including humans, will be on display. Among the many activities, participants will be able to touch real brains, compare the brains of different species, observe bee behavior in a hive, make model brains and neurons, create a giant brain collage, learn about fish senses and watch a sleeping brain in action. This year, the interactive exhibits are highlighting diversity – in research approaches, in brains of different animal species, and in the neuroscientists. 

There will be an art contest based on the theme, “Brain Power!” Students can submit artwork prior to Sunday’s event, bring art to Lincoln Square or make their art at the event at the artists’ corner. Judging will take place from 3:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.; awards will be announced at 4 p.m. Artwork will be displayed at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in Champaign after the event.

The event is intended for all ages and is part of a larger initiative sponsored by the Dana Foundation and the Society for Neuroscience as a part of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Each year these two groups sponsor Brain Awareness Week to launch events throughout the year. This year’s official BAW was March 10-16. The U. of I. event generally is held off schedule to accommodate spring break and other scheduled events on campus.

For more information about the local event, e-mail Donna Korol,;  or Sam Beshers,