On February 14th, the Brain and Behavioral Science Lab hosted the Conversation Club for “Brain Day,” a brain-themed interactive event. The Conversation Club is a UT organization, directed by Prof. Jessica Franco. “We are a group of young adults with developmental disabilities and UT undergraduate students who meet every week to interact during fun, theme-based activities,” explains Prof. Franco. A group of 20 Conversation Club members, student clinicians, mentors, and parents joined the BBSL students, faculty, and staff for a morning of human brain exploration and demonstrations.
Graduate student Rachel Reetzke and Professor Liberty Hamilton exhibit real and model human brains.
The event kicked off with viewing (and touching) a preserved human brain. Next, participants toured the mock-MRI scanner and looked at pictures of brain activation. The club members visited the Multimodal Neuroimaging Suite to participate in demonstrations of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), EEG, and eye-tracking. Experiments included neural processing of speech and real-time changes in brain activity associated with arm waving. The Brain Day events concluded with home-made brain-decorated cupcakes, which were enjoyed by all!
Lab manager Jacie McHaney puts an electroencephalography (EEG) cap on a Conversation Club member for the multimodal brain imaging demonstration.
Learn more about the Conversation Club on their website: