Brain: The Inside Story – Exhibition – AMNH 2010

Brain: The Inside Story – Exhibition – AMNH 2010

Brain: The Inside Story – Exhibition – AMNH 2010

In 1010 we designed what would become the most interactive exhibition ever shown at the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibition was a balanced mix of science, art and visitor experience which involved every medium of the show, from the graphic panels to the computer interactives.

My interactive strategy for this show, was to allow visitors to use the most important interactive device: their own brain. Therefore, the exhibition became experiential, allowing visitors to test their brain capacities. We added a handful of innovative technologies –gesture recognition, arduino & micro-controlers, voice recognition- and innovative storytelling techniques –an object theater, videogames- which made this year one of the most challenging and satisfactory in my department.

Here is a sample of some of the interactive & media pieces of the show. Some of them are explained in more detail in other posts, so check the menu in the front page for more recent updates.

An object theater explains the brain through the life of a dancer. An acrylic brain powered by LED lights was programmed to follow the video's narrative. (Lead: Sarah Galloway)

In this piece visitors were invited to listen to a sound that seemed to be the rain, just to later discovery that it was the sound of frying bacon. (Lead: Karen Santiago)

The Neuron Table invited visitors to "connect" like neurons. Powered by a new technology called "gesture recognition" the table detected the placement of hands on its surface and projected a neuron on every hand. Proximity of hands allow these neurons to connect and exchange signals. (Lead: Cameron Browning)

A large projection of an actress face showed our visitors how we express our emotions (Lead: Mindy Weisberger)

We offered a puzzle that explained how the structure of our brains evolved. (Lead: Camila Benitez)

Neurotransmitters, one of the mst complext subject to explain was made into a video game. Here, visitors get to decide what our character does, releasing different hormones, depending on the emotional reactions. (Lead: Camila Benitez)

This Language interactive invites people to try some words in six languages. The goal is to demonstrate the difficulties of not only pronouncing a word new to our brain, but also our limited capacity to recognize the sounds. Visitors have the chance to listen to a phrase (3 levels of difficulty), record themselves, and compare. (Lead: Harry Borrelli)

The Star tracing game is based on a famous experiment where patients try to trace a star by following its reflection in a mirror. The goal is to show that our brains get better with practice, since it gives the brain the chance to memorize the body movements. This was one of the most popular interactives of the exhibition. (Lead: Sean Redmond)

This London map invites people to follow a taxi route.

The stroop test is a famous test where people must read names of colors written in different colors themselves. Our brains slow down considerably. (Lead: Ben Wilson)

The Stacking Game is based on the famous Hanoi Tower. The goal is to demonstrate our capacity to plan ahead. (Lead: Mindy Weisberger)

We partnered with Posit Science to offer this series of video games. They demonstrate how the exercise of specific tasks allows your brain to stay young and agile.

The "Brain Lounge" is an innovative theater that takes visitors inside the brain of four people – Musicians Ken Yeang, Jose Luis Pardo, and others (Lead: Lee Patrick) .

American Museum of Natural History, 2010
Brain: The Inside Story
Exhibition Team:
Helene Alonso, Camila Benitez, Harry Borrelli, Cameron Browning, Kelvin Chiang, David Clinard, Rob DeSalle, Margaret D, Sarah Galloway,  Kurtis Hairston, Lauri Halderman, David Harvey, Dina Langis, Dean Markosian, Michael Meister, Sasha Nemecek, Cine Ostrow, Dan Ownbey, Lee Patrick, Melissa Posen, Gisella Quiroz, Karen Santiago, Jose Ramos, Sean Redmond, Aaron Shoon, Martin Schwabacher, Joel Sweimler, Vivian Trakinski, Catherine Weese, Mindy Weisberger, Ben Wilson.


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