Institute of Experimental Medicine CAS

The Brain Week festival begins, offering lectures and experiments

Published 15. 03. 2021

Several popular lectures, memory training, a virtual tour and films are offered by this year's Brain Week festival, which starts today! For the first time in its history, due to the current situation, it will take place completely online. The traditionally popular and well-attended lectures and the accompanying program will be available to an even larger audience interested in news in brain research and neuroscience, and access is free. All information is available at

The main pillar of the festival will traditionally be the popularization lectures from leading Czech experts in the fields of theoretical and clinical neurosciences, which will take place on weekdays. There will be a total of thirteen of these. Lecturers will be by, for example, neurologist Soňa Nevšímalová, who will present advances in sleep medicine, psychiatrist Cyril Höschl with a paper on the Neurobiology of Depression and a neuro-teacher and scientist from the Institute of Physiology of the Academy of Sciences Aleš Stuchlík, who will present "The Universe in Our Head".

The IEM CAS will be represented by the recognised neuroscientist and founder of the festival, Prof. Josef Syka, M.D. DSc. with an introductory lecture - Hearing, hearing disorders and auditory neuroprostheses and Assoc. Prof. Lydia Vargova, PhD with the lecture Neurons and glia - their relationship, interactions and communication.

All lectures will be broadcast on the Facebook festival and YouTube of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Even in the online environment, viewers will not lose the opportunity to ask scientists questions on a given topic. Each lecture will be followed by a discussion, during which the lecturer will answer the questions. Czech Television moderators Barbora Černošková and Lucie Křížková will give discussions throughout the week. The festival will be opened virtually before the first lecture at 16:00 by Eva Zažímalová, President of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

"Despite the unfavorable covid pandemic, research into the brain and its disease continue by leaps and bounds. In the lectures of Brain Week, our leading experts will inform you about what has happened in our country and the world in the research of the brain and its diseases”, invites the festival's founder, Professor Josef Syka, to this year's festival. "Many of them will include up-to-date information on how covid-19 threatens our brain and what the long-term consequences of a pandemic are on our nervous and mental activity," he adds.

Practising memory and showing movies

In cooperation with many organizations, the festival will also include a rich accompanying program. Lectures on topics such as Alzheimer's disease or the chemistry of psychedelic substances, will be complemented by almost twenty interactive contributions. Among them, practical workshops on memory training and effective learning methods, as well as attempts to train the brain for younger children from about 6 years of age in cooperation with the Debrujáři association will be held on Saturday morning.

Thanks to a virtual tour of Brno's CEITEC, people can look into a state-of-the-art laboratory and under the cover of research by international scientists. The festival also includes films, and even the documentary “Brain. Evolution in cooperation with the popular science film festival Academia Film Olomouc (AFO) in its premiere.

Discussions and seminars are also in the program. In one, people can practice expanding their vocabulary with short stories that begin with the same letter, and in the other, they tell us what happens when the brain is offline.

Useful information

The 22nd Brain Week festival begins on March 15 and lasts until Sunday, March 21. The event is organized by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the Institute of Experimental Medicine of the ASCR and the Czech Society for Neurosciences. It is part of Brain Awareness Week (BAW), a global campaign to raise public awareness of the successes and benefits of brain research.

Access to the content is free, and due to the format, registration is not usually necessary. A detailed program, including records, is available on the Brain Week website.


Source:  Official Press Release - Brain Week Festival (Available only in Czech)

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