So little is understood about the dialogue between body and brain.
It might seem obvious that our physical state can affect our ability to think:
Not getting enough sleep can impact your ability to pay attention.
Feeling under the weather or recovering from an illness can make you slower at solving problems.
Hunger can lead to irritability and makes it harder to switch tasks—the hanger is real!
Feeling stressed can give you headaches, make your body sore, and make it hard to concentrate.
But there are many fundamental questions that neuroscientists would like to answer—with your help.
Some researchers think that there are ways to improve and protect the functioning of our brains as we get older, and that our bodies may hold the key …
Are there activities we can do, or lifestyle changes we can make, to improve or maintain the functioning of our brains? For example, does being physically active also make our brains stronger? Can leisure activities that that require mastering precise movements alongside mental challenges, such as video games and puzzles, improve our problem-solving abilities?
Why should I participate?
The Brain and Body experiment—which you can join by clicking the link below—is a collaboration between researchers at Western University, Canada, and the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, United Kingdom for the Manchester Science Festival.
Everyone who takes part is helping to find the answers to these questions, and will be invited to explore the findings at the Manchester Science Festival in October 2024, which will also be shared online. You could also win one of forty $100 CAD (or equivalent) gift cards to Amazon.
It’s fun and easy to take part!
Take part in 3 easy steps
Begin by reading about the study and agreeing to participate.
You will complete a series of questionnaires and play an engaging set of “brain games”—all within your internet browser, from the comfort of your home. Play games in the name of science! Don’t worry, your data will be completely anonymous.
When you’re done, you’ll get to see your scores and learn about what they mean. Are you better at remembering where you put things, or remembering a list of items? What about using deductive reasoning (just like Sherlock Holmes!) to identify something that doesn’t belong? Find out your cognitive superpower!
About the Researchers
The Owen Lab
Dr. Adrian Owen is a Professor at Western University, Canada and the former Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging. His research combines neuroimaging (MRI and EEG), with cognitive studies in brain-injured patients and healthy participants.
The Owen Lab at Western University works with patients who have sustained brain injuries that result in disorders of consciousness, and patients with neurodegenerative diseases, in order to understand more about the causes and consequences of the memory, perception and reasoning problems that many of them experience. The lab uses Creyos, a web-based tool for the assessment of cognitive function, to measure cognitive functioning across many domains in healthy participants and in patients with disorders of the brain.
Manchester Science Festival
Manchester Science Festival immerses visitors in the fascinating world of contemporary innovations and shines a light on future developments that have the potential to change our world. It attracts visitors from across the UK and beyond, welcoming over 1 million people over the last decade.
In 2024, the theme is ‘Extremes’. Manchester Science Festival will offer opportunities to take part in live, interactive events and world premieres, get hands on with some of science’s most cutting-edge developments while exploring some of the biggest questions facing humanity.
Manchester Science Festival is produced by the Science and Industry Museum, part of the Science Museum Group.
Creyos (formerly Cambridge Brain Sciences) leads the field when it comes to accurately quantifying brain function and brain health. Our cognitive assessments and health questionnaires—all delivered and scored digitally—are used by healthcare practitioners and researchers around the world.