Brain Awareness Week

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Reports

Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Organized by:
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Participating Organizations:
Laboratório de Ecofisiologia e Comportamento Departamento de Biologia Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:

We organized three events during BAW from March 11 to 17, 2019.

Year:

2019

Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit
  • Other
  • School Program
  • Other: We have created a page at Facebook "Brain Week at USP"
  • Other: where the general public had access to 10 phrases. Seven of those were neuromyths: 1) Humans have five senses; 2) Humans use 10% of their brain capacity; 3) Humans with great creativity have the right hemisphere as dominant
  • Other: while rational humans have the left hemisphere as dominant; 4) The human brain development is complete at puberty; 5) The mental capacity of humans is genetically determined and cannot be modified by experience or environmental influences; 6) There are temporal windows of learning in childhood; outside these time frames learning can no longer occur; 7) Animals with high cognitive abilities have large brains. Three phrases should be recognised as correct: "the normal development of the human brain involves both neurogenesis and neuronal death"; "the nervous system is active 24h/ day"; "learning occurs through changes in neural networks". Each phrase were assessed using three optional answers: i. Yes
  • Other: I agree; ii. No
  • Other: I do not agree; iii. I do not know. After answering all questions visitors had access to the correct answers and references. Visitors were invited to disclose their geografical origin
  • Other: age
  • Other: educational level or profession
  • Other: and if they had previous contact or training in neurosciences.

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • Professionals
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:

600

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

We have surveyed the existence of neuromyths, in Brazil, among: (a) undergraduate students of Biology at USP, campus of Ribeirão Preto, SP (n= 60) and (b) the general public that had access to the Facebook page “Dana Foundation Brain Awareness Week at USP” (n= 293). 57% of the visitors at the Facebook page were biologists and 20% belong to humanities; 70% aged 19 to 30 years, 30% had a Bachelor degree, and 28% were graduate students. All states of Brazil were represented. Our main results were the following: around 80% answered correctly that "the nervous system is active 24h/ day". The phrase "Humans with great creativity have the right hemisphere as dominant, while rational humans have the left hemisphere as dominant" was answered as "I do not know" by approximately 60% of undergraduate Biology students, and also answered incorrectly by 36% of the visitors at the "Brain Week” page at Facebook. We can conclude that neuromyth are present even among biologists, as has been showed in other countries around the world. Visitors present at an exhibition in a public garden had access to posters about neuromyths and anatomical models of brains. Trained personal was there to answer questions and to stimulate conversations regarding the scientific approach to understanding the brain. This event attracted the attention of children, youngsters and elderly as well. We considered that our main objective - calling the attention to the importance of the neurosciences as well the scientific method that supports it - has been achieved. We consider these experiences to be the beginning of further events of “Brain Awareness” endeavors.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Our page at the Facebook was on during the Brain Awareness week and 293 persons accessed the link and answered the questionnaire posted there. We consider it was a good approach to reach other locations and a reasonable number of persons.

Resources

Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • BAW Logos
  • BAW Web site banner
  • BAW Facebook Cover Photo

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

Yes, it encourages us to do more next time! Thank you all!

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

N/A

Contact Name:

Elisabeth Spinelli de Oliveira

Contact Phone:

55 16 33153655

Contact Email:

lispinelli@hotmail.com

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