March 14th marks the beginning of a global initiative known as Brain Awareness week, or BAW. A celebration of neuroscience and its fruits, BAW is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the organ that makes you you. Read on for a primer on this annual event.
What is brain awareness week?
BAW was created in 1996, with the goal of recognizing and catalyzing advances in brain science. To achieve this goal, organizers across the world sponsor activities that bring neuroscience out of the lab and into local communities. Universities and other research institutions offer public talks, hands-on exhibits for kids, and late-night entertainment for adults–all centered around the theme of brain science and how it affects everyday life.
Why you should care
BAW was founded on the principle that, whether or not we realize it, brain science affects us all. 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental illness; 5.8 million have Alzheimer’s disease; and 16% of American households have at least one person living with a brain impairment.1,2
Even people without a diagnosed psychiatric or neurological condition stand to benefit from advances in neuroscience. Some of the field’s most exciting research drives techniques and technologies that help people enhance their mental wellbeing–innovations from which we can all benefit.
Indeed, even seemingly basic neuroscience can lead to tangible improvements in daily life. Cove, for example, was inspired by the science of affective touch, as well as research mapping connections between receptors on the skin and pathways in the brain. This work informed Cove’s patented vibration technology, which now helps people sleep better, stress less, and boost mental performance. Cove, like all major breakthroughs in brain research, would not be possible without contributions from an extended community of neuroscientists, biologists, and psychologists.
How you can celebrate
BAW is all about expanding your understanding and interest in the wide world of brain science. As such, celebrating may be as simple as reading up on brainy topics that interest you. To start, consider these posts from Cove’s blog:
- The science of everyday interoception
- The insular cortex: your brain’s connected island
- Are you riding the alpha wave?
You can also check your local university for BAW activities or head to the Dana foundation website for a calendar of events and additional resources. Finally, you can honor BAW by giving your own brain a little love: use Cove twice daily to strengthen brain connections critical to mental wellbeing.
 Alzheimer’s Association. “2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.” Alz.org.
Available at: https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures-2019-r.pdf
 Pal, S. “Incidence and Prevalence of Major Neurologic Disorders.” US Pharmacist.
Available at: https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/incidence-and-prevalence-of-major-neurologic-disorders