Cheltenham Science Festival is one of the UK's biggest science fairs, offering six days of debate, discovery, experiments, enjoyment and hands on fun that allow the public to explore the latest scientific research. This year, researchers from Professor Rebeccah Slater’s Paediatric Neuroimaging group in the Department of Paediatrics are running activities around treating and measuring pain in infants.
The topic of pain in babies generates immense public interest and challenges medical assumptions. Using life-size infant and adult brain models, researchers from the group give the public the opportunity to see how the human infant brain develops and interacts with the outside world and understand the dramatic structural changes that occur in the human brain throughout early development.
The team also displays a life-size interactive sculpture to demonstrate how adults and infants experience pain, while an animated film about infant brain imaging explains how we can better understand what happens in a baby’s brain when they are experiencing pain. Children and adults can make their own “brain hats” and try to match baby facial expressions with their emotions (a very deceptive task!).
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