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UNE’s Brain Fair provides educational experience for families

April 11, 2017

For one day, more than 400 kids, teens, adults and UNE students got the science museum experience without making a trip to Boston.

The Brain Fair, presented by the University of New England Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, provided several exhibits with activities for children, teens and adults to teach them about memory, the senses, addiction and brain injuries and neurological disorders. Exhibits at the fair included microscope exhibits, optical illusions, virtual reality displays, cow eyeball and sheep brain dissections and games that test the power of the brain, as well as free ice-skating and helmet giveaways. 

Chris Rizzo, UNE associate clinical professor and Certified Athletic Trainer, delivered a talk called, “Concussion: Advances in Recognition and Management.”

The Brain Fair also included a community discussion about marijuana and the adolescent brain, covering proposed and current marijuana legislation and the research around marijuana use in young people.

This was fourth year UNE has held this event, with the goal of educating the public about brain health and overall body wellness, as well as getting more young people interested in neuroscience. “The brain is not something that’s so complicated and something that we could never understand,” said Ian Meng, Ph.D., director of the UNE Center for Excvellence in the Neurosciences. “Who wouldn’t want to grow up to be a neuroscientist? To me – it’s like space exploration.”

Neurological diseases represent enormous health, economic and social burdens to the United States as well as the rest of the world. Chronic pain, for example, is estimated to affect more than 50% of the U.S. population, and its direct and indirect economic impact is estimated to exceed $100 billion annually. The Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences aims to foster creativity and collaboration among people who have a passion for understanding the complexities of the nervous system and applying this knowledge to improve human health, productivity and quality of life.

Watch a video about the 2017 Brain Fair.

Listen to Professor Michael Burman promote the Brain Fair on The Coast 93.1.

To learn more about the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, visit

To apply, visit

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