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National Science Week events Wrap Up

CCD researchers ran quite a few events during the 2018 National Science Week. Here's a brief overview of the events:

Muireann Irish started off the National Science Week events with her talk, ‘This sounds like science: Music and memory’, on 9 August at the City Recital Hall. At this free, lunchtime talk, she spoke about the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying memory loss in dementia and the potential to use music as therapy for people living with dementia

Titia Bender participated in ‘Speed meet scientists’ at the Powerhouse Museum on 8 August. Thirty-eight scientists talked to almost 400 people about their fields of research and how important science is to society.

Once again, Vince Polito, Regine Zopf, Erika Contini and colleagues wowed the public at their ‘A Night of Illusions’ events. This year they went for double the impact by holding events at 107 Projects in Redfern, Sydney (11 August) and at the New England Regional Art Museum (25 August) in Armidale. Over 300 people attended each event. You can get a feel for the excitement of the event by watching this video:

On 12 August, researchers from the Child Language Lab ran four hours of non-stop interactive games and demonstrations at the Powerhouse Museum as part of the Sydney Science Festival's Big Family Science Day. The different activity stalls included: ‘Being Bilingual’ (guess the language games), ‘Speech gymnastics’ (seeing an ultrasound image of your tongue!), ‘Laurel vs. Yanny’ (a chance to join the debate and learn about the science of why this sound file went viral!), ‘How kids learn words’ (a demonstration using Wug-test-type-card games), ‘Can you predict the future’ (guessing games to learn about language processing) and ‘Looking while listening’ (a chance to try out the mobile eye-tracking machine). Over 200 people pre-registered, several hundred attended on the day, and 75 children were signed-up by their parents to participate in future studies at the Child Language lab.

From the 14-17 August, Bianca de Wit, Nik Williams, Nick Benikos, Shwetha Sambasivam, K-lynn Smith and Talia Burden (the CCD's intrepid PACE student) were at the Australian Museum Science Festival event giving hands-on demonstrations of the EMOTIV headset, a portable EEG device, and explaining how technology is used in neuroscience research. Over 2,400 high school students from a wide range of schools across the greater Sydney region attended the event. The setup included a slideshow, showing visual illusions and explaining how the brain works, and a demonstration of the EMOTIV headset. Students were invited to try on the headset to see the electrical signals in different parts of the brain as the they performed different tasks. The EEG component was a huge hit with a new student volunteering to try it on every 6-10 minutes throughout the day.

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