Follow Northumbria University, Newcastle

It’s all in the mind as new exhibition uncovers secrets of the brain

Press release   •   Jun 10, 2015 00:00 BST

One of the largest biomedical research charities in the world, the Wellcome Trust, has pledged £650,000 towards a new exhibition opening in 2016 that will tell the story of the brain and how it works, revealing some of its secrets and exploring the techniques scientists use to study it.

Investigating everything from how messages are relayed in the brain to the role of sleep and disease, the exhibition will offer different zones designed to develop visitors’ understanding of our senses, consciousness, perception, emotions, and behaviour and how we learn.

Life is working with experts from across the world to develop the exhibition, including academics from Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham Universities. The exhibition will also enable the universities to work with visitors to carry out research and talk about their latest work.

Greta Defeyter, Professor of Psychology and Director of ‘Healthy Living’, at Northumbria University, who is involved with the development of this exhibition, said: “The brain is our most fascinating and essential organ, responsible for every motion, every reaction and every thought.”

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive at Life, added: “The human brain is a highly complex and fascinating structure. Understanding it better is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st Century. This exhibition will help visitors explore its inner workings, discover how it’s wired, how it learns and how it thinks.”

Tom Ziessen, senior national programmes adviser at the Wellcome Trust, said: “Our brains are central to who we are, and how we interact with each other as well as with the world around us. However, it is still one of the most mysterious organs in our bodies. This exciting exhibition will provide a window into the ways in which we are trying to understand how it all works.”

Northumbria University and the Life Science Centre work in partnership to encourage the public to engage with the world of science. Both organisations are trying to enhance learning and teaching in STEM subjects and promote employment in STEM-based careers.

The partnership has resulted in an innovative new Science Communication masters course, which is the first of its kind in the UK. The course, which is available on both a full- and part-time basis, provides students with the skills, knowledge and experience to develop and stage science shows, create exhibitions and events and deliver successful education programmes to the public.

Click here to read about student Stephen Boddy’s experience of the course and how he believes it will benefit his career.

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at or call 0191 227 4571.