My Brain Awareness Week project was supposed to take place in March 2020 in Debrecen, Hungary like last year. Unfortunately, due to the virus and closing of schools, the event had to be postponed.
On September 18th, 2020, I could host the event virtually on Youtube and I invited students from all over Hungary.
The lectures were very educational and interesting. All professors sent me 5 multiple choice questions individually relating to their lecture. The questions are in Hungarian and if anyone is interested in them, please send me an email and I will forward them to you.
Thank you to FENS and Dana Foundation for awarding me with the grant for the second year in a row. Thank you to the Hungarian Neuroscience Society for the funding as well!
I created this presentation about the addicted brain. First, I talked about basic neuroscience and then about substances, alcohol, nicotine and their harmful side effects on our brains. Based on statistics, during quarantine and in this current period after quarantine, the alcohol consumption amount and substance abuse has risen drastically. I hope this presentation teaches people about the harmful effects of various substances.
I would like to thank everyone who attended the conference live and I would like to thank the professors for holding the lectures. I believe it was successful and everything went relatively smoothly as I had hoped. In case you couldn’t watch live or want to rewatch parts, above is the link to the conference. The link in the emails I sent out should be working as well.
It was great to see that people are interested in an event like this and the topics were amazing as well. If you have any topics or parts of neuroscience you would like to see in a future event, please contact me under firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to organize a professor lineup with that topic included.
If you have any other questions to the professors or me, you can contact me and I will forward the questions to the professors or you can post any questions in the comments on Youtube.
Book/article recommendations we heard from professors:
Prof. Francis: Dr. Marc Schukit, Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Prof. Arnsten: Yackle K, Schwarz LA, Kam K, Sorokin JM, Huguenard JR, Feldman JL, Luo L, Krasnow MA. Breathing control center neurons that promote arousal in mice. Science. 2017 Mar 31;355(6332):1411-1415. doi: 10.1126/science.aai7984. Epub 2017 Mar 30.
Thank you for your interest in the conference. Below are the Youtube links to the conference, which starts at 11am EST on Thursday. (If you are outside of the US, please convert to your own time zone) I’ve come to the realization that Youtube might block the stream if they sense a copyright slide or anything against community guidelines. For this reason I have made three backup links. Please join us on the main stream link. In case that gets taken down, we will continue the conference on the backup link in a few minutes.
I am contacting you regarding a virtual neuroscience conference I am planning for teenagers and would like to invite your class and students.
An online conference is an engaging opportunity to teach high school students more about neuroscience. Well known US neuroscientists and top university professors from Harvard, Yale and more are invited. The live stream will be streamed on Zoom and made available via a Youtube live stream. Short 30 minute lectures will be offered with corresponding powerpoint presentations on topics attached in the pdfs. The pdfs have the professors listed, their lecture titles and descriptions, and the exact timeline of the day.
The date is May 21st, Thursday from 11am EST.
If you are interested in this conference, please contact me under email@example.com to confirm and approximate the number of participants. I will send you the youtube link to the stream the day prior per email.
Thank you for your help, as a past organizer of Brain Awareness Week with over 500 high school participants, I can tell you that neuroscience information is of great interest to teens around the world.
Here is an article on Peterson’s about online schooling. I gave tips for students new to online learning and how to make the transition process due to Covid-19 easier for high school students all over the world.
I attended the 16th ANA conference in Innsbruck as a Young ANA member. Here is the conference in pictures. There were researchers and professors from multiple countries and cutting edge research, new techniques and poster sessions were presented. Lectures ranged from Firing Rate Homeostasis in Visual Cortical Circuits (Gina Turrigiano) through Loss of the Autism Associated Gene Cul3 Leads to Abnormal Neuronal Migration and Behavioral Defects in Mice (Jasmin Morandell) to On the brain of sleeping dragons and ancient claustro-cortical networks (Lorenz August Fenk)
The project I organized was aimed at approximately 550 high school students, aged 14-18, in Debrecen In Hungary, there are limited possibilities outside of Budapest for students to learn science interactively. High school students especially, are only able to learn about anatomy and neuroscience in textbooks. As a high school sophomore interested in neuroscience, I believed that providing students with opportunities to learn neuroscience topics was needed. My BAW project took the science of our brain and nervous system directly to these students and engaged them with interactive lectures, competitions, mouse dissections, lab exhibitions and posters. Below are the lecture topics presented by professors from the University of Debrecen. Thank you for the sponsoring from FENS, The Dana Foundation, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Neuroscience Society.
1. Dr. Péter Szücs: Sensing and Realizing Pain Requires Complex Neuronal Networks
Our knowledge about the neurons in these networks, their connections and their function in health and disease is still very limited. In this talk, Professor Szücs gave a short overview of “good” and “bad” pain and the technical possibilities and methods of studying neuronal networks responsible for processing pain signals.
2. Dr. Zoltán Kisvárday: How Does the Brain See?
The visual system is one of the favoured objects in brain research because the basics of its anatomical connections and functional properties are reasonably well known. The aim of the presentation was to demonstrate the multiplexed nature of visual cortical signal processing using examples from animal experimenting and human psychophysics, from the possible functional role of neuron types through functional brain maps up to the reliability of visual perception.
3. Dr. Zoltán Mészár: Why Does Our Brain Age?
Neurons populating our brain maintain their plasticity throughout our lives, meaning that they can change their physiology and morphology upon variable environmental conditions. This ability decreases with age and in case of neurodegenerative diseases. What are the major steps of these processes and how we can examine them by using transgenic models, was the main focus of this lesson.
4. Dr. Aletta Harman: Stroke: Why Is Early Detection Important?
There are two types of cerebral stroke. Unfortunately, this disease in some cases causes permanent damage, so the patient may be bed ridden for all his life. The sooner the patient enters the hospital, the sooner the treatment can be started and the damage is less irreversible. Time is brain!
5. Dr. Balázs Pál: Drumbeats for the Brain: The Reticular Activating System
The reticular activating system is comprised of a group of nuclei in the brainstem. Their role is relatively simple but important: They are responsible for regulating sleep and wakefulness. Their task is similar to the percussion instruments in a symphonic orchestra: They are probably not the most sophisticated ones, but they have a significant impact on the integrity of the whole symphony.
6.Dr. Balázs Pál: Glial Cell: “Smartglue”or Partner in Thinking?
Besides neurons, the brain consists of non-neuronal cells known as glia. Their importance was underestimated in the past as they were considered as “glue” between neurons. In the last two decades, a quiet revolution of understanding glial functions took place and nowadays glial cells are known as important contributors to neuronal functions. However, the question is still open whether they are “smart devices” of the brain to provide neuronal functions or partners of the neurons in thinking.
7. Dr. Attila Laczovics: We are Our Brain
In this lecture, the different anatomical regions of the brain were discussed. The physiology was explained, including regions like Broca’s Area, Wernicke’s Area and the various lobes. The lecture described different diseases.
8. Dr. László Oláh: Cerebral Circulation
The lecture described the basic function and anatomical structures of the cerebral circulation. Dr. Oláh also gave a few clinical applications relating to it.
Dr. Péter Szücs: A mouse’s nervous system was showed through a dissection.
Dr. Zoltán Kisvárday: In the lab at the University of Debrecen, Dr. Kisvárday held a visual system exhibition explaining about the visual cortex and the neurological connections using experimental models.
In summary, a lot of students seemed very interested in the project. Many students interest towards research seemed to be awakened and many of them strengthened their goal of going into a medical field. The feedback from students and teachers alike, was very positive.