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Kids, parents explore the mind at Fernbank Museum
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The “Brain: The Inside Story” exhibit demonstrates the activities of the organ with an lights, wires and colorful displays at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta.

‘Brain: The Inside Story’

When: Now through Aug. 23
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta
Cost: $18 adults, $17 seniors, $16 children ages 3-12 and free for members
More info: www.fernbankmuseum.org or 404-929-6300

The inner workings of the most complex and fascinating structure — the human brain — can now be discovered at a special exhibition this summer at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Now through Aug. 23, “Brain: The Inside Story” offers a new perspective and keen insight into the mind through imaginative art, vivid brain-scan imaging, brain teaser games and dynamic interactive exhibits for all ages.

Drawing from 21st century research and technology, “Brain: The Inside Story” brings visitors up to date on the latest neuroscience, highlighting the brain’s surprising ability to rewire itself in response to experience, disability or trauma. It also showcases new technologies researchers use to study the brain and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

With a multitude of diverse topics to explore, the exhibition is divided into seven sections: introduction, introductory theater, your sensing brain, your emotional brain, your thinking brain, your changing brain and your 21st century brain.

“The exhibition provides a wealth of information about the body’s most complex organ, while at the same time it’s fun and features hands-on activities that visitors of all ages will find fascinating,” said Bobbi Hohmann, vice president of education, collections and research.

The journey through the mind begins as visitors walk past a 3-pound preserved brain — a modest, small white mass — then step into the exhibition through an exhilarating tunnel of firing neurons. The tunnel projects lines of light onto hanging wires to represent brain connectivity and highlight its electrical impulses.

After immersing visitors in the electric firings of the human brain, the exhibition unfolds with an array of visuals bringing the brain’s myriad functions into view: a 6-foot tall homunculus, a human figure with larger-than-life proportions that highlight how much of the brain is devoted to the sense of touch in different parts of the body; a multimedia video encounter with a model brain that lights up brain regions used by a student dancer auditioning for Julliard; a neuron gesture table showing how brain cells connect and communicate with each other; a glowing 8-foot-tall model of the subcortical brain illustrating how the mind processes language, memory and decision making; and a deep-brain stimulation implant, the first of its kind on display in a museum.

Other intriguing features within the exhibition include the brain lounge, artistic interpretations of the brain created by visual artists and many games and interactive activities. In the brain lounge, guests can watch a brain scan of a New York Knicks shooting guard reacting to the swoosh of the net and the roar of a crowd. To enhance and deepen the understanding of the brain and its functions, visitors may partake in build-a-brain puzzles and brain-exercising games.

“Anyone who is excited about how the human body works needs to attend this exhibit because the brain is the core of how our bodies function,” said Dr. Laura Carruth, associate professor of the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University, which will lead Brain Labs during the exhibition. “New neuroscience discoveries are being made all the time, yet there is still so much to learn about the brain. This exhibit will help people discover and appreciate how one 3-pound organ can do so many amazing things.”

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. “Brain: The Inside Story” is included with museum admission.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for seniors, $16 for children ages 3-12, and free for Fernbank members. Tickets and visitor information are available at www.fernbankmuseum.org or 404-929-6300.

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