Public Release: 

SfN announces winners of Brain Awareness Video Contest

Society for Neuroscience

Washington, DC -- The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) today announced the winners of the fifth annual Brain Awareness Video Contest, with winning topics covering visual processing, coding in the brain, and our "sixth sense." Contest participants work with an SfN member to produce an educational video that explains a neuroscience concept in a way that a broad audience can understand. Scientists evaluated the video submissions for accuracy as well as creativity, and the top nine videos will join more than 1,000 resources on the brain and nervous system available on

"The Brain Awareness Video Contest is an exciting way to engage and educate the public about the wonders of the brain," said Scott Thompson, chair of SfN's Public Education and Communication Committee. "This year's submissions cover a range of neuroscience topics that will appeal to diverse audiences. Thank you to all who submitted videos to help further the public's understanding of neuroscience."

1st Place: "Do We See the Same Red?"

Matthew Sugrim, a recent college graduate from the United Kingdom, won $1,000 and a trip to this year's SfN annual meeting in Chicago for his video on how the brain and eyes work together to process color. Sugrim worked with SfN member Cheryl A. Hawkes of Open University in the United Kingdom to submit the video.

2nd Place: "How Powerful Illusions Reveal Coding in Your Brain"

Guillaume Riesen, a graduate student at Stanford University, won $500 for his video on how our brains distinguish between different colors and how that process can be tricked by optical illusions.

3rd Place: "Your Sixth Sense"

Graduate student Alison Caldwell of the University of California, San Diego, and her co-creator and husband, Micah Caldwell, won $250 for their video on the "superpower" we didn't know we had, called proprioception. The Caldwells won second place in the 2014 contest.

Honorable Mention: "The More You Hear, The Less You Hear!"

This video by Brown University alum Vania Cao, an application scientist working with a neuroscience technology startup in Silicon Valley, explains what happens to our ears and our brains when we listen to really loud music.

People's Choice Award: The top nine videos will go on to compete for SfN's $500 People's Choice Award. Beginning on September 8, the public is invited to view the videos and vote for their favorite at Voting closes on September 29.

The Brain Awareness Video Contest is one of many ways that SfN participates in the global Brain Awareness Week campaign -- a series of events held each spring at institutions around the world to promote, advocate for, and support brain science and research. Launched by The Dana Foundation in 1996, the global coalition of Brain Awareness Week partners now includes more than 2,000 universities, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, patient groups, museums, government agencies, service organizations, and professional associations. The next Brain Awareness Week campaign is scheduled for March 14-20.

Awards and prizes for the winners of the Brain Awareness Video Contest and People's Choice Award will be presented at SfN's annual meeting, Neuroscience 2015, taking place October 17-21 in Chicago. With more than 30,000 attendees, the meeting is the world's largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.


The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. More information about the brain can be found at, a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and SfN.

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