This week we partnered with The Zuckerman Institute to help kick off Brain Awareness Week here in New York. This special event previewed a new visualization tool, Neurodome, designed to allow audiences to discover and explore the inner workings of the brain in a planetarium setting. The lecture was a blend of astronomy and neuroscience tracing the path of light through the Universe and into the brain.
We started the evening with a fun quiz of "Space or Brain?" in which the audience had to guess if a given image was a picture of an object in space or a picture of part of the brain. Surprisingly most people were stumped at every turn! Next Matt Turk, a post-doc in the Department of Astronomy, spoke about how a particle of light, a photon, can travel from the farthest reaches of the observable universe and all the things that can happen to it along the way such as: reddening, scattering, absorption, and reemission. Matt left us and the light here on Earth and handed off the mic to Jonathan Fisher, a neuroscientist at New York Medical College. Jonathan and his colleagues then walked us through the various levels of the structure in the brain that the photon encounters and how Neurodome is allowing us to see the brain like never before.
After the lecture, the audience was invited to tour to the rooftop observatories and further explore excerpts from Neurodome on our 3D Wall.
We hope everyone enjoyed the interdisciplinary fun!
-- Summer Ash (Director of Outreach)