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Knit Your Way to a Healthy Brain at National Science Week Event

neural_knitworksKnitters are being invited to craft their way to a healthy brain at a free event hosted by the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney as part of a National Science Week event being held tomorrow (19 June).

The University of Sydney has joined forces with Inspiring Australia to host Neural Knitworks: craft a healthy brain, a free collaborative art and science project aimed at raising awareness and understanding of mind and brain health.

Participants will use colourful yarn and textiles to create knitted neurons – the electrically excitable cells of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves that receive signals from every sense, control movement, create memories and form the neural basis of every thought. The woolly neurons will be woven together as a sculptural knitted ‘neural network’ as part of a travelling art exhibition.

Neural Knitworks are based on the principle that yarn craft, with its mental challenges, social connection and mindfulness, helps keep our brains and minds sharp, engaged and healthy.

The event will also feature short talks by leading academics, including patron of Neural Knitworks Professor Ian Hickie, Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney, and Associate Professor Amanda Salis from the University’s Charles Perkins Centre, who will discuss why it’s important to feed your brain to stay (or become) healthy.

“I’m pleased to support this hands-on community awareness project that has relevance to people of all ages, including children, in raising awareness of brain health in relation to mental illness, ageing, Parkinson’s Disease, neurodegeneration and more,” said Professor Hickie.

Other speakers include Dr Sarah McKay, neuroscientist and blogger at Your Brain Health; Dr Jenny Whiting, science communicator and avid crocheter from the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis; and researchers from the Bosch Institute Advanced Microscopy Facility.

Textile artists Pat Pillai and Rita Pearce will also be on hand to help participants create their colourful neurons.

No knitting experience is required, and all materials will be provided free of charge.
Event details:

What: Neural Knitworks: Craft a Healthy Brain

When: 12 to 2pm, Thursday 19 June

Where: Seminar Room 6.1, Level 6, the Charles Perkins Centre, Johns Hopkins Drive (off Missenden Road), Camperdown Campus, the University of Sydney

Cost: Free, register here
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