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Sixth Annual Brain Awareness Day Set for March 13

By Dr. Malathi Srivatsan, associate professor of biology,  and Dr. Amy Pearce, associate professor of psychology

March 4
, 2010 --
“Get Fired Up” is this year’s theme for the Sixth Annual Brain Awareness Day and that is exactly what volunteers are planning.  Brain Awareness Day will be held in the Round Room of the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library on Saturday, March 13, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 

This event is free and open to the public. The program, co-sponsored by the Arkansas State University Society for Neuroscience and the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, is filled with exciting hands-on events for all ages. 

The brain enables us to sense the changes inside and outside of the body and respond appropriately for our own survival. Imagine if we could not detect the touch of a loved one, the difference in temperature between a hot and cold oven, or the pain when our fingers are jammed!

The brain not only allows us to feel these sensations, but it is also vital for our vision, hearing, taste and smell. If our brain and spinal cord, the major organs of the central nervous system, do not function properly, we will lose all of our motor skills as well and remain paralyzed. 

More importantly, it is our brain that makes it possible for us to learn and retain information in our memory. Therefore, learning how the brain works and about ways to improve our brain fitness are important for all of us regardless of our individual areas of interest. 

Neuroscientists perform research to understand the complex process of brain function. Most neuroscientists are members of a large science society known as the Society for Neuroscience. This organization has about 40,000 members from many different countries.

One important goal of this organization is to spread ‘Brain Awareness’ in the local communities and schools all across the globe.  Brain Awareness Day is held in recognition of Brain Awareness Week and is part of this inspirational global campaign uniting people who share an interest in promoting and sharing the progress and benefits of brain research.

Brain Awareness Day activities seek to fulfill four goals: 1) to inspire the next generation of children to develop an interest in science education and become scientists, 2) to contribute to general understanding of basic brain functions and brain fitness, 3) to improve public health by expanding awareness of neurological disorders, and 4) to promote an understanding of the connection between increased support for biomedical research and benefits to public health.

A day filled with activities is planned for the people of Craighead County.  Starting at 11 a.m. attendees may participate in various activities designed to enhance understanding of brain structure and explore the functions of the brain.  Some of the activities include make
a brain, make a neuron, test reaction time, the egg drop, and wiring in the brain.

As in previous years, the neuroscience students and faculty will be joined by ASU engineering students, who will be demonstrating robots and sensor-embedded football helmets.  ASU students from the physical therapy program will also participate and lead activities on rehabilitation and the brain.

New to this year’s program are two guest speakers.  Dr. Syed Ali, a senior biomedical research scientist from the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, will speak to the public on “Drug Addiction and The Brain: What, Where, Why, and How”  in the Civic Room at 11 a.m.  He will be followed by Tommy Ganton from the Arkansas Alzheimer’s Association who will give an interactive talk on “Maintaining Your Brain.”

For more information contact Dr. Amy Pearce, 870-972-3282,, or Dr. Malathi Srivatsan, 870-972-3167, , or the ASU Department of Biological Sciences at

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