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Your Amazing Brain is a family-friendly neuroscience exhibition developed by WIN and Banbury Museum & Gallery. From February 2024 it will be on longterm loan to the Rumble Museum at Cheney Secondary School, Oxford. It previously ran 26 November 2022 - 15 April 2023 at the Discover Bucks museum in Aylesbury and February - June 2022 at Banbury Museum and Gallery.

Interior shot of the exhibition. Pink walls with a black intro panel reading "Your Amazing Brain" and indistinguishable smaller text. Walls and floor are covered with optical illusions; checkered bending lines, dazzle patterns, etc.
Download the Gallery Guide

This project was a partnership between the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN) and Banbury Museum and Gallery. There was a brain-related exhibition and an associated ambitious programme of events for a range of audiences in the Banbury community in spring/summer 2022. In autumn 2022, the exhibition traveled to the Discover Bucks museum in Aylesbury. During its run at Discover Bucks until April 2023, another exciting programme of public engagement events was delivered alongside the exhibition. The exhibition now lives at the Cheney School in Oxford, in partnership with the Rumble Museum, on longterm loan. 

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition and events programme!

The aim

'Your Amazing Brain: A User’s Guide' aimed to use neuroscience to show visitors how amazing their brains really are. From emotions to senses, visitors discovered how their brain interprets what it sees, hears, smells, and feels. 

The Reviews

From the visitor comments book for the exhibition, at Banbury Museum and Gallery:

  • The current exhibition has much to interest me. As I had very lively grandchildren with me, I am hoping to return either on my own or with a friend to have more time to reflect on the material on display.
  • The Amazing Brain exhibition was brilliant, great value for money in half term, entertained 3 kids and 2 Mum's. The interactive elements superb. Great fun and learning at the same time. Have recommended it already.
  • The Amazing Brain exhibition was excellent, and really well-pitched, since it appealed equally to a 7 year old and a 70 year old.
  • We did the brain crafts before going into the exhibition and the children really enjoyed it, the people running the crafts were really friendly and the children liked showing them what they had made.


From WIN's external evaluation consultant, Dr Clodagh Miskelly:

  • Your Amazing Brain brought research and information about the brain, neuroimaging, neuroscience and WIN research to a new audience outside of Oxford in a location with few opportunities to engage with science and scientists.
  • The exhibition and events were high quality and drew on the expertise and experience of the partnership and specialist consultants.
  • There was no means to formally evaluate the experience of individual visitors to the exhibition, however evidence from the other evaluation methods suggest that the events and the exhibition contributed to a greater understanding of the brain, neuroscience and neuroimaging and the work of WIN as well as scientists and scientific process; and informal feedback also suggests that the exhibition contributed to learning.
  • Your Amazing Brain provided many and varied opportunities for 75 researchers take part in public engagement and to develop and improve communication skills
  • There was good uptake of these opportunities by researchers including staff and students with different levels of experience in public engagement which reflects the strong culture around public engagement at WIN.

the story of 'your amazing brain'

The exhibition was the result of several years of discussions between researchers at the University of Oxford and the team at Banbury Museum and Gallery. We then brought on board an external team of exhibition creative specialists: Stephen Foulger (exhibition consultant), Polly Lewis and George Lewis (exhibition and graphic design)

People sit around a table


 People sit around a table

The exhibition installation process finally got underway in February 2022 at Banbury Museum & Gallery...

Messy room with half-installed exhibition

and the exhibition opened to the public in late February 2022:

multicoloured sign at exhibition entrance saying Your Amazing Brain


3D printed brain in foreground, with exhibition in background - bright blue walls

Orange room with two people in opposite corners. They appear vastly different heights due to a visual illusion.

Wooden boxes with animal plushies and 3D printed animal brains

Children exploring the exhibition

Children exploring the exhibition

Children exploring the exhibition

While the exhibition was open at Banbury Museum & Gallery, we worked with the museum staff to develop and deliver a range of events connected to it. This included a primary schools' programme of class visits to the exhibition and researcher visits to classrooms...

Three researchers in masks stand in a school classroom

...and a "live experiment" day, where thousands of children watched a livestream of our researchers conducting an MRI experiment designed by primary school children. We provided lesson materials for teachers on how to design an experiment, and then held a competition to select which one we would conduct live. You can watch the livestream video here. Here's a behind the scenes peek at the livestream recording process...

A man and woman talk to each other smiling in the background; computer and camera equipment in foreground


We also offered a variety of programmes for secondary school students: we brought our "Big Brain Roadshow" to multiple Banbury secondary schools, and also held an "A-level Day" at the museum where interested students could attend talks and interact informally with researchers through hands-on activities:

Researchers pose with banner reading "The Evolving brain: to live, feel, think"


Researchers stand in front of banner reading "The visual brain: see with your eyes, see with your brain"

Researcher wearing prism goggles poses with arms up in front of banner reading, "The learning brain: all the learning you retain, changes the structure of your brain"

Four adults stand under a large projector screen on a stage, at a distance


Students talk to a researcher standing in front of large brain scan images

Students face away from the camera leaning over a table where a researcher plays a card game

We also developed two events working with specific audience groups: neuroscience-themed sessions of the museum's existing Reminiscence Sessions for older adults, and an art workshop in partnership with the local chapter of the mental health charity 'Mind', for their service users:

Two women pose in a classroom in front of a table filled with historical objects

Four women wearing white shirts with emojis depicting different emotions

Hands at work on a large collaborative drawing

The biggest event we ran was an after-hours Museum Late, in which we turned the museum into a neuroscience-themed carnival. We brought 50 staff members to run the event, and the 100+ tickets sold out. This was the first time the museum had ever held a Museum Late; they now do so regularly!

Researchers in grey pose in front of a long corridor of visitors, under red and white bunting


One of the performances we commissioned for the evening was an acrobatic performance on brain health, performed by members of the Oxford Acro Society who are also scientists! Read their blog post about their performance. 

Three acrobats perform in blue and red and white striped tops

After the exhibition closed in Banbury, it moved to Discover Bucks Museum in Aylesbury, from autumn 2022 - spring 2023. The launch event in November 2022 was an opportunity to celebrate this new phase of the exhibition's journey. We said goodbye to the "Ames Room" (distortion room) walk-in illusion element of the exhibition, and hello to the Beuchet Chair illusion instead, cleverly designed and installed by the exhibition team at Discover Bucks.

Three people pose in front of Your Amazing Brain exhibition

Man "sits" on a chair, which is actually deconstructed pieces that appear as a chair due to camera angle. Woman in foreground pretends to touch his head

We developed a different events programme in partnership with the museum, to suit the needs and interests of local audiences: including half term activities featuring this giant inflatable brain kindly loaned by our colleagues in the Psychiatry Department....

a giant inflatable brain

.... a "touch tour" of the exhibition for blind and visually impaired visitors...

Four people watch as a man touches a 3D printed brain

....a nearly sold-out series of six neuroscience lectures at the museum....

Researchers present to a crowded lecture hall

 the first-ever run of our escape room, "Escape the Lab: Rogue Brain Takeover" (watch the trailer), which sold out....

Poster reading "Escape the Lab: Rogue Brain Takeover"

and another sold-out after-hours Museum Late:

Group photo of dozens of people in grey shirts under carnival awning

Researchers speak to members of the public in a research "cafe" at tables

Two men perform a play in front of a red cloth backdrop

Three researchers pose against a dimly lit background

As well as a repeat performance of the acrobatic performance on brain health, this time two of our staff developed and performed a musical set, interspersing songs with explanations of what each one does to our brains. (Watch the performance)

Two women play guitar and cello against a red cloth backdrop

After the exhibition closed in Aylesbury, it went into storage while we searched for another partner museum. Then along came the Rumble Museum at Cheney School, who offered it a permanent home. We installed the exhibition in the school hallways during February 2024 half term:

A series of brain scan images at various magnifications, on a stairwell wall

Boards with visual illusions propped on tables in hallway

Small wooden table with animal brains activity

At the exhibition launch at the school in late February 2024, students, families, and the public explored the exhibition and tried their hand at interactive neuroscience games that the students developed, some in partnership with our researchers:

Students play with the exhibition, with amazed expressions

Students pose with brain scan images

Students demonstrate activity with 3D printed animal brains

If you wish to arrange a visit to the exhibition for your family or class, please contact the Director of the Rumble Museum, Dr Lorna Robinson, at