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Brain camp – 2018: a memorable experience

Exposure to the science behind our memory, and some real world applications based on it

‘Brainstorming with Science’ the 4th Brain Camp, organized by Bombay International School was held on 28 and 29 September, 2018 with 99 participants from 14 other schools, including some from Pune and Surat, in addition to over ____ from BIS.

The theme this year was ‘Memory’, and as always, the programme provided a valuable exposure to the various facets of memory, from the biological and neurological systems to real world applications based on its reliability.

The first day saw presentations by Ms Suhita Nadkarni, from the Computational Neurobiology Lab, IISER, Pune, and Professor Sweta Anantharaman from SNDT University. The former spoke about the biological correlates of memory and the complexity of this cognitive system and the latter discussed the everyday errors in memory, the forgetting curve and the different levels that information can be processed at to ensure better recall.

Justice Gautam Patel from the Mumbai High Court then entertained the audience with examples of how easily memory is distorted through a demonstration involving some of the participating students. He went on to elucidate, using real life examples of cases from the judicial system, how easily memory can be influenced and how difficult is it to verify one’s recall of events.

The afternoon had students involved in lab sessions – The Forensic Lab, conducted by Forensic Scientist Riva Poncha allowed students to be put through four different crime situations that influence one’s memory. The crime scenes included gruesome crimes, white collar crimes and other situations that needed the students to observe and recall information.

The session conducted by Prof Vidita Vaidya and Dr Meher Ursekar showed students the anatomy of the brain and it’s many structures that are important for memory.

One the second day, Rian Shams, a machine intelligence researcher from New York spoke about the role of biological and computational memory. The sessions were interactive, with students working in groups to answer questions about the role and importance of patterns and prediction in memory.

The labs of the second afternoon allowed students to see a computer simulation of neurotransmission, done by Mr Nishant and Ms Suhita Nadkarni.

Students also participated in memory games, testing their working memory, which was conducted by neuro-psychologist Dr Shraddha Shah.
The aim of the Brain Camp is for students to gain a deeper understanding of the brain, it’s structure, function and links to behavior. Through the sessions, the students were exposed to professional neuroscientists, they saw their work first hand and had the opportunity to interact with them and have their questions answered.

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