Keep the neurons firing after Brain Awareness Week

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BAW-2014-logo-330wThis year, Brain Awareness Week took place from March 10th-16th. Led by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, it aimed to involve the research community in disseminating the benefits and advancement of brain research around the world.

To celebrate, Springer and BioMed Central launched ‘#Neurostars’ – the top cited, shared and downloaded articles of 2013 in our neuroscience portfolio. Springer also sponsored the 2014 Art of Neuroscience, a yearly competition and seminar to stimulate dialogue between neuroscientists and artists, to explore the human (artistic) experience. One of the speakers at the seminar, Peter Meijer, told us about a tool he developed, an image-to-sound conversion system aka “The vOICe”, which enables blind people to ‘see through sound’. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga gave us some insights of Borges on memory as well as on the ‘Jennifer Aniston cell’. You can take a look at all the winners of the competition here.

BioMed Central ran a widespread campaign on brain research across the BioMed Central blog and social networks, Biome and the Neuroscience Open Access Twitter account. In Biome, we shared the opinions of our Editors-in-Chief on the latest developments in autism research and most significant advances in Alzheimer’s research. Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy editors also offered their thoughts on the outcomes of the G8 dementia summit, along with Alzheimer’s Disease International’s Marc Wortmann.

On the blog, we explored the role of open access and future of brain research, gathered perspectives from our editors on advances to watch in brain research, and ended the week with why white matter is important for brain function.  We also featured a guest blog on ‘sorting the neurotrash’ from Professor Gina Rippon.

It was fascinating to get to know all the different points of views on the latest scientific advancements and future of brain research, and it’s been great to see such a positive response.

But of course, recognition of brain research and awareness doesn’t stop with the end of Brain Awareness week. Later this year, the Dana Foundation and European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) in collaboration with the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), will award individuals and organizations such as hospitals, universities, national societies or NGOs that have contributed significantly to brain awareness through public outreach. These awards are part of the Neuroscience Outreach Awards Programme, and will be presented at the FENS Forum in July.

If you want to continue supporting this great cause, you can nominate initiatives that successfully raised awareness of brain research in your community. It’s a great opportunity to thank volunteers worldwide for all the effort to support brain research – let’s keep the conversation going!