Brain: The Inside Story

Jonas and I were challenged to:

1) Provide heuristic questions for 5 Minds for the Future

Please feel free to find our questions (as well as pose some of your own questions) about 5 Minds by going to our earlier blog post.  You can access those by clicking here.

2) Preview the Brain Exhibit

You can find out more information about the location of the exhibit by clicking here.

The remainder of this post is devoted to previewing the exhibit for you.  The first link you might be interested in exploring is the Official Brain Exhibit website.

The official press announcement (link below) describes the exhibit as “using imaginative art, vivid brain scan imaging, and thrilling interactive exhibits” to explore “cutting-edge research from the treating of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to the recent studies of more intangible aspects like the mapping of our emotional response.”  The preview continues:

Visitors will learn “intriguing facts about our five senses, our emotional brain, our thinking brain, our changing brain, and our future brain. The action starts with a multimedia presentation that offers a captivating introduction to the brain. Images are projected on a scrim surrounding a clear, 5-foot-tall sculpted model of the brain. Various parts of the model light up as they are described in the narrative, helping visitors better visualize brain structure and function.

In a section exemplifying how the brain changes with age, an interactive video lets visitors try pronouncing words from unfamiliar languages, a task that is more difficult for people whose brains weren’t exposed to these sounds in early childhood. Relaxing in the “Brain Lounge,” visitors will see how different parts of the brain are stimulated by various activities—like listening to music, sporting events, or foreign languages—by viewing colorful functional brain scans, or fMRIs, of people as varied as musicians, athletes, and U.N. translators.

Additional highlights in the exhibition include an installation by artist Devorah Sperber that brings hundreds of spools of thread into focus as an image of a world-renowned painting, a dramatic metaphor for how the brain organizes the visual world; an interactive map representing the streets of London that explores how the brain stores long-term memories; and a 6-foot-tall sensory homunculus, a figure sculpted with enormous hands and lips to demonstrate the proportional amount of the brain devoted to the sense of touch in different parts of the body.”

The official announcement can be found in its entirety by clicking here.

Reviews of the Brain exhibit

New York Times Review

The Huffington Post



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3 Responses to Brain: The Inside Story

  1. Jonas Reitz says:

    Justin, thanks for providing this excellent overview. I’d like to pose a couple of questions to consider as we explore the exhibit. Keep in mind we’ll be discussing both the exhibit and Gardner’s 5 Minds afterwards.

    Just as Gardner’s book circles around ‘5 Minds,’ the Brain exhibit is organized around ‘5 Brains’. Is this anything but serendipity? Keep your minds and brains peeled for correspondences, connections, or lack thereof.

    The questions constantly posed in our seminars seem especially appropriate to both Gardner and the Brain exhibit: What could this mean for my
    classroom? What could this mean for General Ed at CityTech?

  2. I do not know if I will find the answers to any of the questions we have presented either on this blog or in our workshops but I celebrate the the use of a field trip to explore this subject matter. It will helps us wrap our individual minds around our shared challenge to revitalize our students’ 1st year expereince.

    Though at first I did not enjoy Gardner’s “5 Minds” I have come to appreciate what he is communicating and hope that this Friday will help me better understand how he came to his understanding of the way our minds synthesize, create and evaluate ethical situations.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Karen, I also had very mixed feelings about Gardner — my reading experience was: long stretches of irritation punctuated by moments of total agreement. I’m curious to hear what you and the others got out of it, and I’m especially curious to hear about how we might bring his ideas into our classrooms.

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