Local universities partner with Cure Alliance for Brain Week Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – From March 10 to 18, the third annual Brain Week Rhode Island will be hosted by Providence-based Cure Alliance for Mental Illness with aid from Brown University’s Institute for Brain Research and the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Institute for Neuroscience.

Coinciding with international brain awareness week, the weeklong event includes creative learning opportunities, expert panels, workshops, film screenings, dance for the aging and movement-challenged, storytelling, an art exhibit and a performing arts performance by people with autism.

Victoria Heimer-McGinn, chair of Brain Week Rhode Island 2018, said in a statement: “There is rapidly growing interest in the brain, how it works normally, what happens in disease and how to sort myth from fact.”

She added, “During Brain Week, we try to address some of these questions … such as: Am I right-brained if I’m creative? How are my memories formed? Why do I sleep? What do drugs do to your brain?”

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In addition to the weeklong event, Brown University neuroscientists will visit local prekindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms over a two-week period to encourage the study of neuroscience. Demonstrations will involve human brains and be conducted in English and Spanish.

Paula Grammas, executive director of the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience at URI, an event sponsor, said, “Neuroscience is booming in Rhode Island, and our state’s reputation is growing as a center for brain research and treatment of neurological disease.”

The culmination of the weeklong festival features concurrent brain science festivals at Brown University on March 17 at the Engineering Science Research Center, 345 Brook St. in Providence, and on March 18 at URI’s Avedesian Hall, 7 Greenhouse Rd. in South Kingstown. Both will feature interactive exhibits for all ages showcasing current research at local neuroscience laboratories and other related organizations.

While most events are free, advanced registration is highly encouraged. For a full schedule of Brain Week events, and to reserve event tickets, visit: brainweekri.org.

Support for Brain Week Rhode Island comes from the Brown Institute for Brain Science and the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, with additional support from the Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology at the Providence VA Medical Center, the Association for Migraine Disorders, Butler Hospital and the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.