A great new book and five fun brain teasers to celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2022

A great new book and five fun brain teasers to celebrate Brain Awareness Week 2022
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Neurons of the spinal cord and connections as seen in a photomicrograph using a staining method pioneered by Santiago Ramón y Cajal. PHOTO: ALAMY

Brain Awareness Week 2022 just started!

Let’s celebrate our human brains by learning more about neuroscience pioneer Santiago Ramón y Cajal via a great new book about his life and by challenging our minds with a few fun brain teasers and illusions below ?

First, some fascinating insights into the “father of modern neuroscience” from a superb book review:

It was during a trip to Madrid for his exams that Cajal visited a lab where he learned how to look at cells under a microscope. He fell in love. He had dreamed of exploring new worlds, Mr. Ehrlich tells us, “and he thought of microscopic anatomists as ‘Columbus.’ “His ship was launched. Cajal spent hours alone, staring at cells and sketching.

Spain played a unique role in Cajal’s discoveries—that is, in the progression of neuroscience. The country was not a hotbed of scientific research. Lacking mentors, Cajal nearly abandoned his efforts. But working independently may have forged his autonomy and freed him from the influence of traditional theories. He also longed to disprove the stereotypes about Spain. “One could admit that Spain produces some genius artist, such as a long-haired poet or gesticulating dancer of either sex,” Cajal later wrote, “but the idea that a true man of science would emerge from there was considered absurd.”

And here’s a selection of five stimulating brain teasers that readers enjoyed the most so far in 2022:

  1. Where’s the baby?
  2. Please complete these proverbs to exercise your brain in familiar and novel ways
  3. Want to test your stress level?
  4. Which way is the bus heading?
  5. Can you connect these pairs of words?

About Brain Awareness Week:

Every March, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) unites the efforts of partner organizations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages. Activities are limited only by the organizers’ imaginations and include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on brain-related topics; social media campaigns; displays at libraries and community centers; classroom workshops; and more. This year BAW takes place March 14–20th, 2022.

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