As we celebrate Manchester’s achievements in the world of science, the Town Hall will be taken over by The Brain Box – an interactive labyrinth of invention and innovation. 

The Brain Box

The Brain Box is an exciting science extravaganza celebrating the wonders of the brain: explaining how it works, how it is studied, what can go wrong in our brains, and how this might be fixed.

This will be a unique opportunity for you to interact with scientists, clinicians, creative practitioners and artists at a unique event with exciting and thought-provoking exhibits, displays and hands-on activities for all ages.

Come and celebrate with us and have your own EUREKA! moment as you learn about the wonders of the brain, at Manchester Town Hall, 10am to 6pm on Sunday, 19 June. 

The Brain Box is a unique collaboration between Manchester City Council, The University of Manchester, Salford University and Manchester Metropolitan University, with contributions from the Museum of Science and Industry, the Stroke Association, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and the National Autistic Society, along with many other contributors. The Brain Box is also funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Physiological Society



Grey matter matters

85198.06 Grey Matters 300x300The basics

Come and learn about the basics of our nervous system. Find out what happens in the brain, spinal cord and your nerves when you move your arm. See simple animations and perform experiments to understand how nerve cells function. Find out more.

Now you see me…

85198.06 Now you see me 300x300Eyes and the brain

Come see the world around you in a different light! Find out what happens in the eyes and brain as we see and learn what it means to be colour blind. Discover how new light technology can help us feel more awake and learn how other animals view the world. Find out more. 

Lifting the lid…

85198.06 Lifting the lid 300x300Imaging the brain in action

Come and take a deep look into our brains in action! Which bits in our brain do we use for what? How does it change as we get older? How do we make a hologram appear? We show you the technologies that can be used and many fascinating images of our brains. Find out more.

Brain train

85198.06-brain-train-300x300Learning and the brain

Find out how we think and what happens in your brain when you learn. Take part in experiments and play games which challenge your brain in surprising ways, and explore what’s behind your cravings. Find out more.

Broken brains

85198.06 Broken Brains 300x300Disease and the brain

Controlling everything we do and think, the brain is the most amazing thing. However, diseases that affect the everyday workings of the brain affect millions of people. Come and join us to learn more about how diseases like stroke and Alzheimer’s affect the brain and what scientists are working on to stop this happening. Find out more.


85198.06 Ouch! 300x300 2Pain and the brain

Come and learn about pain… how the brain can deceive the pain experience and how flies can help us to understand pain. And you can take part in a nationwide experiment led by Arthritis Research UK. Find out more.

A beautiful mind

85198.06Beautiful Mind 300x300Art and the brain 
Come and experience the power of brain art. Experience your senses, reflect, watch dance performances, and delight in colourful videos and images that bring the brain to life. Find out more.

Down memory lane

85198.06 Memory Lane 300x300A history of brain science

Scientists have long been studying the brain. Join us to take a look at historical brain maps, admire historical objects from the University’s Museum for Medicine and Health, or travel back in time to receive advice from our phrenologist in residence, who will judge your mental abilities by studying the shape of your scull. Find out more.

Support and Talks

There will be plenty of chances to find out more from a range of organisations like Dementia Friends, the MND Association and Parkinsons UK along with brain scientists in our support and talks zone.