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Brains: The mind as matter

Thursday 29 March 2012 - Sunday 17 June 2012


Brains is now at MOSI in Manchester and runs unitl 4 Jan 2013.

This major new free exhibition seeks to explore what humans have done to brains in the name of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change.

Featuring over 150 artefacts including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos  and photography, 'Brains' follows the long quest to manipulate and decipher the most unique and mysterious of human organs, whose secrets continue to confound and inspire.

'Brains' asks not what brains do to us, but what we have done to brains, focusing on the bodily presence of the organ rather than investigating the neuroscience of the mind.

  • Image galleries

    Image galleries

    Browse through a range of images from the exhibition.

  • Events


    A series of events are taking place to support the 'Brains' exhibition.

  • Dissecting Brains

    Dissecting Brains

    A short documentary made at Hammersmith Hospital in London where recently preserved human brains are dissected according to an international protocol.

  • Axon


    Grow your neuron and connect new brain regions in this fast-paced game.

  • 360 degree brain

    360 degree brain

    View and explore the external surface of a real brain.

  • Brains: the book

    Brains: the book

    Take a look inside the book that accompanies the exhibition.

  • Perspective tours

    Perspective tours

    Enhance your visit to 'Brains' by joining one of our free perspectives tours.

  • Big Picture debates the brain

    Big Picture debates the brain

    How well do you know your brain? From smart drugs and love to alcohol, the free Big Picture Debates the Brain discusses social and ethical questions about the human brain. Download the free app for iPad or access the online version.


'Brains' image credit: Headache (2008) by Helen Pynor. Courtesy the artist and GV Art.

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