MPFI’s Brain Exploration Day Kicks off National Brain Awareness Week in Palm Beach County

MPFI neuroscientists welcomed local residents to an immersive open house and a peek into the inner workings of a premiere research institute

On Saturday March 10, as part of the Brain Awareness Week initiative, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) welcomed over 200 eager guests to an immersive, family oriented open house event like never before.

Originally launched by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, Brain Awareness week is an international campaign aimed at highlighting the critical need for brain related research and informing the public about impactful discoveries in neuroscience. Due to the week’s significance and special focus on community outreach, MPFI created an event that would provide a more personal and educational experience. Unlike previous Neuroscience Discovery Days, a large annual open house event celebrating MPFI’s grand opening in 2012, the Brain Exploration day was designed as a smaller more intimate gathering.

Featuring an in-depth tour of the state-of-the-art institute with presentations at each stop along the way and an immersive “Discovery Zone” filled to the brim with interactive activities, members of the local community had the exciting opportunity to see, touch and hear about the exceptional science being done at MPFI. The intimate setting allowed attendees a chance to interact one-on-one with neuroscience researchers throughout the entire event; asking questions about the brain, topics of research and the brain specific diseases studied at MPFI. In addition, event goers received a rare behind-the-scenes look at the advanced imaging technologies used every day by MPFI neuroscientists to expedite groundbreaking discoveries about the brain. About 80 percent of the Brain Exploration Day attendees were visiting the Institute for the very first time.

In between learning at the educational stations, guests enjoyed fun, family-oriented activities like face painting, viewing images of the brain in virtual reality, family yoga classes, dress like a neuroscientist photo booth and even conducting hands on experiments. With more than half of the institute staff volunteering, the event was a wonderfully interactive collaboration between the community and the scientists working right in their back yards.

MPFI has several signature events and programs to reach the local community. At the end of March, locals can attend another installment in the 2018 Science Meets Music series, an event that aims to bring the community together for a night of virtuosic music and scientific discovery. The March 28 event will feature a special lecture by one of MPFI’s Research Group Leaders, Dr. Jason Christie, detailing the intricacies of motor learning and how the brain encodes muscle memories. In addition, the night will include performances from the immensely talented pianist, Sofiya Uryvayeva Martin. Science Meets Music is a free event; however, seating is limited, and reservations are required. For more information, or to RSVP, please call 561-972-9027 or visit