Cardiff brains hit BBC big screen
9th March 2011
Striking brain images help kick start University's Brain Awareness Week.
Fluorescing neurons in the brain. The fluorescent dye travels between assemblies of neurons that communicate with each other.
Some of the University’s most impressive images of the nervous system will hit the BBC’s Big Screen as part of a series of week-long events designed to increase public awareness about the benefits of brain research.
Researchers from across Cardiff University were asked to submit their images as part of a competition to mark this year’s Brain Awareness Week, March 14–20, with the winning entries shown on the BBC’s big screen in The Hayes during the week.
Dr David McGonigle, Schools of Psychology and Biosciences and RCUK Fellow in Imaging the Body and Brain, who organised the competition said: "The last 50 years have been witness to an incredible increase in the number of imaging techniques available to neuroscientists.
A cornea stained and imaged under the microscope to better understand its structure. Swelling in the cornea caused lattice like pockets within the stroma known as 'corneal lakes'.
"From advances in microscopy to new brain imaging methodologies, from single neurons to entire brains, many neuroscientists now regularly produce images that are not only scientifically informative, but aesthetically pleasing as well.
"As part of the 2011 Brain Awareness Week celebrations and events, we asked our researchers to submit images that were particularly striking visually – and we weren’t disappointed with the quality of our entries.”
The winning entry was submitted from the School of Biosciences, and shows neurons stained by a method invented by Camillo Golgi over 100 years ago. The image shows parts of the cortex and hippocampus, an area important for cognition and memory.
Other events, organised by Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, during the week include:
- A Neuroscience open afternoon showcasing the breadth of neuroscience research undertaken across Cardiff University;
- A public lecture by Professor Simon Baron Cohen entitled: "Do hormones affect how your mind develops? The foetal testosterone theory of Autism”;
- An afternoon discussing Autism Spectrum Disorder and the brain (in conjunction with the Brain Bank for Autism);
- Neuroscience workshops for primary school children as part of the 'learn about life' workshop series;
- A brain trail, as part of Techniquest's 'Communication weekend'.
Neurons from the brain, stained by a method invented by Camillo Golgi over 100 years ago. Pictured are parts of the cortex (above) and hippocampus (below), an area important for cognition and memory.