U of L neuroscience research in the spotlight during annual Brain Awareness Week

Residents of southern Alberta are invited to learn more about the brain research being done at the University of Lethbridge’s Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) during an open house on Saturday, March 19 as part of the yearly Brain Awareness Week.

The open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. gives visitors the chance to explore the CCBN, tour the labs, talk to researchers and learn about the groundbreaking discoveries being made right here in southern Alberta. Youngsters will enjoy engaging in educational brain-related activities. More information is available online through the neuroscience department and in an event poster.

Dr. Matthew Tata, chair of the Department of Neuroscience, will give a free public talk on cognitive robotics and how neuroscience can be used to make robots smarter on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in the Yates Memorial Centre.

“The idea of helpful machines that exhibit intelligent behaviours goes back at least as far as ancient Greek mythology. We now live at a time when the technology of robotics has caught up with human imagination,” says Tata.

Recent advances in robotics have been inspired by discoveries about how our own brains work. The Cognitive Robotics lab at the U of L is working at the front of this field. Tata will describe and demonstrate some of the innovations and explain how they follow from basic neuroscience research. He’ll also discuss how artificial intelligence and robotics is likely to affect our lives and communities in the future.

“We welcome everyone to take part in this year’s Brain Awareness Week activities,” says Dr. Artur Luczak, a U of L professor and neuroscience researcher, and one of the organizers of Brain Awareness Week. “CCBN researchers are happy to talk about their work, show people around the building, and answer any questions they may have.”

Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Local activities are organized by the Lethbridge Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.