Brain Day 2017

On 13th September 2017 lots of visitors came to the Convention Centre of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum .

They received a warm welcome ...

... and were able to chat over a cup of coffee and biscuits.

Prof. Dr. Denise Manahan-Vaughan, speaker of the SFB 874, gave the introductory keynote ...

... to an audience of almost 500 visitors.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. med. habil. Hanns Hatt gave a talk on new mechanisms of olfactory receptors ...

... while the audience listened eagerly.

Afterwards Jun.-Prof. Dr. Nadja Freund spoke on bipolar disorder and its state of research.

During the break the 'Neuropsychologisches Therapie Centrum' presented itself.

The booths of the self-help groups offered opportunities for animated discussions ...

… with friendly people …

… and a wealth of information material.

There were ample opportunities to get in touch with others and chat about current brain-related topics.

Prof. Dr. Carsten Theiss explained how the brain is structured …

… and his assistants from the Institute of Anatomy, Department of Cytology, illustrated the brain's structure by disassembling it.

The booth of Marie Krüger and her colleagues from the Neural Plasticity Lab was all about measuring and improving the tactile sense.

The visitors took a look into virtual realities and explored whether language is processed in the right or the left hemisphere of the brain.

By means of these virtual glasses the visitors were able to control a robotic arm.

The visitors could put their navigation skills to the test by playing computer games on the computer of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neuropsychology.

Looking through a microscope …

… and learning about brain slices was possible at the booth of the Institute of Anatomy, Department of Cytology.

The chamber of illusions …

… attracted the visitors with a variety of optical illusions.

Some of them required you to look really closely in order to see the illusion ...

… others moved all by themselves.

In some cases you had to turn a blind eye for the illusion to work.

The rotating spiral attracted attention from afar.

Jun.-Prof. Olivia Masseck was happy to explain how the brain processes illusions.

Everyone gathered in the big hall for the second round of talks.

Dr. Christian Klaes talked about his work on robotic arms which make the life of paraplegic patients easier.

The audience paid close attention …

… and listened to Prof. Dr. Dr. Horst Przuntek's talk on the gut-brain-axis.

Photos: Susanne Troll

You can see the photos in better quality here.

"Ask me anything! I am a brain researcher" - these bright yellow stickers made sure that the visitors of the BRAIN DAY 2017 were able to identify every neuroscientist in the room and encouraged the visitors to ask them everything about neuroscience. About 500 people, more than ever, accepted the invitation and visited the 7th BRAIN DAY on 13th September 2017 with its colorful programme and talks (right column).

Plunge into the world of virtual reality

Two different research groups invited the visitors to leave their reality behind and wander through virtual realities. The team of the Emmy-Noether group leader Dr. Christian Klaes displayed how you can test a robotic arm with the help of virtual reality glasses. The robotic arm is meant to help paraplegic patients in their everyday life someday. The Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, department of Neuropsychology presented an experiment on testing your navigational skills in a computer game.

A look into the brain

What is going on in our brain and what do those famous grey cells look like? The members of the Institute for Anatomy, department of Cytology showed big models of brain cells and the visitors could explore neurons under a microscope. Another brain experiment came from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, department of Biopsychology ‐ they tested if the visitors processed speech with the right or left brain hemisphere and showed them if they were really left or right handed in another test. At the opposite desk, from the Neural Plasticity Lab of the Institut für Neuroinformatik, people could deliberately control their brain function and make a pufferfish on a monitor jump with the help of EEG. They also showed people how to measure and even improve their tactile sense.

Do not believe your eyes

Is what we see really the reality? Visitors were confronted with this question in the room of illusions and the answer is: no. With the help of some optical illusions the members of the research group of Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy showed the visitors how the brain corrects everything we see with our eyes and how it cheats on us every day. This is what happens when colours seem to change and rigid pictures appear to start moving.

Thank You!

Such a multi-faceted programme is not possible without the help of many dedicated people. You helped make the BRAIN DAY 2017 a big success. We would like to thank:

Prof. Dr. Carsten Theiß, Dr. Verena Theis, Jonas Tjaden, Frederique Wach, Mareike Zwilling, Felix John, Daniel Terheyden- Keighley, Prof. Dr. Nikolai Axmacher, Rebekka Heinen, Anne Bierbrauer, PD Dr. Hubert Dinse, Marie Krüger, Marion Brickwedde, Marie Dominique Schmidt, Dr. Christian Klaes, Robin Lienkämper, Muhammad Saif-Ur-Rehman, Dr. Sebastian Ocklenburg, Frederika Stuhldreier, Judith Schmitz, Prof. Dr. Boris Suchan, Sabine Bierstedt, Monika Owczarek, Patrizia Thoma, Elena Piepereit, Julia Schnar, Juniorprof. Dr. Olivia Masseck, Jill Baumann, Martin Kubitschke and the members of the following patient groups:

  • Autismus, Autismus Dortmund und Umgebung e.V., Autismus-Therapie-Zentrum Dortmund
  • Clusterkopfschmerz, Clusterkopfschmerz-Selbsthilfe-Gruppe Recklinghausen
  • Epilepsie, Epilepsie-Selbsthilfegruppe Essen
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrom, Deutsche GBS Initiative e.V.
  • Kinderneurologie, Kinderneurologie-Hilfe Münster e.V.
  • Myasthenie, Deutsche Myasthenie Gesellschaft e. V., Regionalgruppe Bochum/Dortmund
  • Restless Legs, Deutsche Restless Legs Vereinigung Bochum, SHG Bochum
  • Alzheimer, Alzheimer Gesellschaft Bochum e.V. / Demenz-Servicezentrum Ruhr

Save the date!

BRAIN DAY will return to the Ruhr-Universität Bochum next year. We look forward to seeing you back in the conference centre on September 19th, 2018.

Brain Day 2017

Flyer (in German)


Ursula Heiler, MA

Phone: +49(0)234-32-26682

Fax.: +49(0)234-32-14490



Programme 2017

Brain Day 2016

Brain Day 2015

Brain Day 2014

Brain Day 2013

Brain Day 2012

Brain Day 2011


Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. med. habil. Hanns Hatt,

Download audio podcast
(27 MB | 33:13 min)

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Nadja Freund,

Download audio podcast
(25,5 MB | 32,46 min)

Dr. Christian Klaes,

Download audio podcast
(16,7 MB | 22,06 min)