Brain Awareness, everywhere!


Today is the start of Brain Awareness Week, which has been led by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives since 1996. Running from today until 16th March, the week seeks to raise awareness of the benefits and advancement of brain research around the world.

It’s great to see that this year, many leading research institutions and awareness organizations are hosting events aimed at students and the general public. In fact, more than 600 events are taking place worldwide, including open days at neuroscience labs and institutions, social media campaigns (#brainweek), exhibitions, workshops, lectures and much more (you can find the events in your area by visiting the calendar for the week at:

To begin celebrating we’ve put together some of the most interesting content about neuroscience published by our BioMed Central journals in the last year, and we hope you take a look and spread the word!

• Do you want to know more about brain-machine interaction and neurorehabilitation? Check out our Research Highlights in Neurorehabilitation, edited by Dr. Marta Pajaro-Blazquez and Prof. José Luis Pons

• We are happy to present NeuroStars 2013: a ranking of the top mentioned, cited & accessed articles from our Springer and BioMedCentral neuroscience journals in 2013

• On our thematic series on Current controversies in Psychiatry, you can read about the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders

• Get to know more about the latest research connecting genetic risk factors to specific symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder, in our author Q&A with Hilgo Bruining and Patrick Bolton

• Read about current concepts in Alzheimer’s disease research, focusing on molecular biology, animal models and translational perspectives, in our article collection edited by Dr Bart Rutten and Prof Harry Steinbusch

• Find out more about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in sports and military services, as well as studies in imaging and neuroprotection in the article series edited by Robert Stern

• Learn about the developmental basis of mood and anxiety disorders through our series edited by Dr. Nim Tottenham

To show our support for this great initiative and the extraordinary effort of volunteers worldwide, we’ve also picked out a few highlights from the events being organized for Brain Awareness Week, that promise to bring an innovative perspective on brain research and engage the public around the world:

• The Max Planck Science Gallery in Berlin (Germany) opens the week with an exhibition called ’Zukunft Gehirn’ (Future Brain), showcasing current research of the Max Planck Society on neural plasticity, networks, human-machine interaction, neurological diseases, and current methods; and closes with the Science Slam ’Lasst die Neuronen feuern!’ (Let the neurons fire!) where young scientists have the chance to engage the public with 5-minute explanations of their research projects

• In Serbia, the School of Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade is hosting the ‘Brain-Computer Interface from Student-Student Interface 2014’, an interactive day featuring lectures, poster presentations and live demonstrations focused on brain-machine interaction and its application in neurorehabilitation

• In Switzerland, ETH Zurich is opening BrainFair 2014 ’Angst im Gehirn’ (Anxiety in the brain) with the lecture ’Angst: Gefühl, Symptom, Krankheit? Die psychiatrische Perspektive’ (“Anxiety: feeling, symptom, disease? The psychiatric perspective”) by the neurologist, psychiatrist and philosopher Paul Hoff, followed by discussion forums, exhibitions and lectures for schools

• In New York City (USA), the ArtLab, part of the Brainwave Music Project, will show how to use brain activity to create music

This remarkable international initiative is an opportunity to support the efforts of thousands of scientists and clinicians to generate invaluable knowledge about brain function and therapeutic treatment of neurological diseases. We’ll continue to bring you much more brain-related content this week across the BioMed Central blogs, Biome, our journals, and Twitter, so make sure you keep an eye out and let us know how you celebrated Brain Awareness Week!


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