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Your Amazing Brain Lectures

21 January – March 2023
Discover more about Your Amazing Brain in 6 exciting lectures brought to you by scientists from the University of Oxford

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Ever wondered what your brain looks like in pictures, or how it changes over time? Want to know how your brain makes decisions? Or find out how our brains have evolved?


Discover the answers to all these questions plus much more in 6 lectures we are excited to bring you from scientists at the University of Oxford. Each lecture is a standalone so you do not need to see the one before for the next one to make sense and you can come to as many as you like. The lectures are FREE and suitable for 11 years plus and each last roughly an hour. Places are limited so book your places today to avoid disappointment.

These lectures form part of our events programme for our new Your Amazing Brain, a users guide exhibition, which was first created for Banbury Museum & Gallery in collaboration with the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging at the University of Oxford and funded by the Wellcome Trust.



Tickets are FREE but must be pre-booked. Please see below.

If you would like to visit the rest of the Museum including the Your Amazing Brain, a user’s guide exhibition and / or the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery while you are here and you don’t already hold a Discover Pass, you will need to also purchase a Discover Pass (Museum Galleries) or Explorer Pass (Museum Galleries & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery). If you are already a Discover Pass holder, please remember to bring it with you when you visit.

Discover passes gives you access to the Discover Bucks Museum. They are £5.50 each which gives you 12 months FREE entry to the Museum Galleries. Children go free.

Explorer Passes gives you single entry to the Museum Galleries & Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery. Please note the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery is open on Saturdays and Bucks school holidays.




🧠 Lecture 1: Your Brain In Pictures: From MRI to microscopes

21 January at 2pm

by Professor Stuart Clare

The human brain is a fascinatingly complex network of cells, that sits on the shoulders of each one of us. In this talk, I’ll take you on a picture journey of how scientists see the brain and the tools they use to peer inside. I’ll explain how MRI scanners give us exquisite detail not only of what the brain looks like, but also what it is doing and how all those cells are connected. Then, to get an even closer view, I’ll look at how a range of microscopes can show us a close-up of cell networks and even inside individual brain cells.



🧠 Lecture 2: Your Ever-Changing Brain

Saturday 4 February at 2pm

by Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg

Our brains are changing all the time. They change when we learn something new, as we get older, or following damage such as stroke. Changes in our lifestyle, like taking up exercise or altering our sleep patterns, can also change our brains. Understanding how the brain adapts to change can help us to design new rehabilitation treatments, to promote healthy ageing, or to enhance learning.

This talk will discuss how brain scanning technology is used to investigate how the brain changes with experience, learning and recovery from damage. Such investigations shed light on the possibilities and limits for changing the brain and help inform design of novel clinical treatments and diagnostics for brain disorders.



🧠 Lecture 3: Your Decisive Brain: How does your brain make decisions?

Saturday 11 February at 2pm

by Professor Mark Walton

Our brain circuits and chemistry shape the decisions we make. The activity in particular brain networks can make us more or less likely to be impulsive, more or less likely to take on risky options, more or less likely to be willing to work for reward. I will discuss what we know about how our brain weighs the costs and benefits of a choice to allow us – at least some of the time! – to make appropriate decisions.



🧠 Lecture 4: Your Evolved Brain: Where our brain came from and why

Saturday 18 February at 2pm

by Professor Rogier Mars

Our brain is both amazing and strange. On the one hand, it gives us all the benefits–general intelligence, advanced social skills, tools use, and language—that have made us such a dominant species. On the other hand, our brain takes 20 years to develop, is very vulnerable to disease, and requires a lot of energy to maintain. To understand how this happened, we need to understand how our brain evolved. Since we can’t go back in time to do this, we are left with comparing our brain to that of other animals. We can try to understand how our brain came to be by investigating how our brain is similar and different to the brains of reptiles, fishes, dogs, and chimpanzees. In this talk, I will take you on a journey of 365 million years of brain evolution to see what it is that makes our brain so special.



🧠 Lecture 5: Your Ageing Brain

Saturday 25 February at 2pm

by Professor Sana Suri

More information to come.


🧠 Lecture 6: Depression and Anxiety

TBC March at 2pm

by Professor Angharad de Cates

More information to come.


Discover more about our new exhibition Your Amazing Brain, a user’s guide here.

Discover More

13 – 17 February 2023
2-5pm, Sunday 5 February 2023
18 January – 24 March 2023

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