World of Neuroscience Research

2017 08 22 project real 02As part of Project REAL this year, students have been studying the module on Brain, memory and neuroscience. On 22 August, Project REAL students (Years 10-12) visited UNSW to experience the world of neuroscience research in real time. It was a wonderful privilege and a first for Pacific Hills students to visit two well-established research labs with sophisticated and state-of-the art technology equipped in studying the inner workings of all aspects of the brain. These labs have published significant breakthroughs in prevention and treatment of epilepsy as well as genetic modification of neuronal growth in conjunction with cochlear implants. It was an exciting and inspiring day for all involved. This excursion definitely “activated” their brains while having fun in exploring the possibilities in research.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Museum of Human Disease – Students were fascinated to learn about different types of diseases documented to date. They also got to visualise blood flow through the artery using the Oculus 3D goggles.
  • Lecture On Neuroscience Research – Associate Professor Andrew Moorhouse gave a wonderful introduction on neuroscience breakthroughs and challenged the students to never be afraid to ask questions as this could be the beginning of many new discoveries.
  • Neurobiology Research Lab – The students were taken on a tour to Associate Professor Moorhouse’s lab where they were very blessed to see an experiment in progress. They watched as an experimental mouse was anaesthetised and a drug given to induce an epileptic seizure. This was followed by testing the experimental drug designed by the lab for its efficiency in reducing and/or cessation of epileptic episodes.
  • Translational Neuroscience Facility – Dr Jennie Cederholm took the group to the Imaging Facility where fluorescent proteins are tagged onto brain neurons. The students were able to look through a 3D confocal microscope and visualised brain activity lighting up in real time.
  • Sound Localisation Lab – The students were exposed to how the brain processes sound and gained insights into how lateralisation leads to binaural fusion in hearing.

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