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October 24, 2002 Brain Awareness Week sends psychology students into schools



Canada is a world leader in neuroscience research. Across Canada, the US, and Europe, Brain Awareness Week is a public information camp- aign created in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Init-iatives and promoted by the Soc- iety for Neuroscience.

In 1998, graduate neuroscience students from the Douglas Hospital Research Center in Verdun introduced the Brain Awareness Week campaign to Montreal for the first time.

Every year, graduate students volunteer presentations on the brain, its role, and its functions to English and French elementary and secondary schools located throughout the Montreal area.

Brain Awareness Week has been filled with activity, as graduate students in psychology bring their message to schools.

The school presentations have been a great success, thanks to their animated, interactive style. Between March 10 to 16, students will visit 250 elementary and high school, reaching approximately 6,000 students.

In the Grade 6 classes, the demonstrations consist of interactive activities that use the five senses as a model of brain functioning.

The high school presentations focus on the effects on the central nervous system of drugs like marijuana, ecstasy and heroin.

These demonstrations have been highly successful due to their non-judgmental style in explaining addiction and tolerance of the reward centre in the brain.

As part of Brain Awareness Week, Dr. Andrew Chapman of Concordia and Dr. Marilyn Jones-Gotman of McGill will speak on “The Plastic Brain: How Are Memories Stored?” on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Jeanne Timmins Amphitheatre at the Montreal Neurological Institute, 3801 University St.