Exploring Concussions, Mental Illness, At First-Ever RI 'Brain Week'

Mar 11, 2016

An anatomical illustration of the human brain viewed through a mid-line incision from Sobotta's Human Anatomy 1908.
Credit Public Doman

Rhode Island’s first-ever "Brain Week" launches Saturday. It’s a week of activities focused on brain science and other brain-related pursuits, like art and storytelling.

The week is sponsored by Providence-based non-profit Cure Alliance for Mental Illness. Co-founder Hakon Heimer said the brain remains a final frontier in understanding the human body.

“I sometimes say that the heart is very complicated, but it’s a bit like a toaster compared to a Lamborghini, when you’re talking about the brain,” said Heimer.

Heimer also sees the week of events as an opportunity to inspire a new generation of neuroscientists.

“We’re hoping to raise awareness about brain illnesses, specifically mental illnesses, but also we really want to show people that there is a lot of interesting brain research going on in Rhode Island,” Heimer said.

Brain Week will include panel discussions about mental illness and sports-related concussions. The week wraps up with a “Brain Fair” at Brown University, where nearly 20 neuroscience labs will present their research with hands-on activities.