About the BrainBank project


The BrainBank is based on a series of lectures presented by Professor Bruce Hood for the 2011 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures entitled ‘Meet Your Brain’. Audience members were surveyed before and after the lectures to explore what demonstrations were the most effective, the most memorable and the most enjoyable. Subsequently, we tested 300 pupils from widening participation schools around Bristol before, immediately after the lecture and 7 weeks after the lecture to examine which demonstrations were most effective and which were remembered best. The BrainBank is the culmination of that work, incorporating the 60 demonstrations that worked best and were best remembered by the largest number of students.

The BrainBank

The BrainBank was created by Dr. Nathalia Gjersoe and Professor Bruce Hood at the University of Bristol. The website was built by and the initial beta model was tested by staff at the At-Bristol Science Museum. The work was funded by a grant to Nathalia Gjersoe and Bruce Hood from the Bristol University Enterprise and Impact Development Fund.


The BrainBank is based on a collection of demonstrations and activities used by psychologists and neuroscientists to communicate different aspects of brain function. Some of these are in common use but have not previously been evaluated and some we created specifically for the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. The content of the website is broken into three sections – Brain Biology, Brain Function and The Social Brain – which follows the structure of the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Throughout the website are embedded videos of the relevant parts of the Christmas Lectures if you would like to incorporate them into your presentation or to see how the demonstrations were originally presented. On the landing pages – Instructor Notes, Teaching Materials, Brain Biology, Brain Function and The Social Brain – are a full list of all the sections and demonstrations in each category and links to access them directly.