Spreading the Word About Sleep and Concussion

Sleep Center at the Franklin InstituteIn celebration of its new Brain exhibit, the Franklin Institute invited a number of area institutions, including Jefferson, to show off their brain science with interactive activities earlier this month. The event was a sort of date night for science lovers, with refreshments available near the entrance.

Collette Glatts and Meghan Mattson from the Jefferson Comprehensive Concussion Center gave attendees a first-hand look at concussion tests that doctors use in the clinic. Participants could don goggles that simulate concussion by distorting vision, and test how well participants kept their balance in different stances using an iPhone app, with and without the goggles.

The Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center, led by Robert Tavella and Shivani Desai with help from Gail DiStefano, Jackie Banecker, let participants look at the electrical chatter of their own brains, by hooking up willing volunteers to a machine that reads their brainwaves. The shape of the brainwaves changes through the various stages of a sleep cycle and helps doctors determine whether the wave patterns represent a healthy and restful sleep or not.

Approximately 500 people attended the event, exploring the different halls with activities including eye-ball dissection, and looking at slices of real brains to games that tested your powers of perception.

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