Fringe Success

It may not be the kind of thing you’d expect in a yurt during the Fringe, but CCACE member Dr Alan Gow packed the Stand in the Square to put ‘Brain Training on Trial’.

Alan (pictured in action right) was pitched as the ‘expert witness’, with the audience as jury, prosecution and defence, and comedian Susan Morrison as Judge.  What it amounted to was an entertaining, interactive and informing show.

The show started with a demonstration of brain growth using balloons, to the strains of Simple Minds ’Don’t you forget about me’ which of course culminated in a flurry of flying balloons. Brain networks were demonstrated with wool, again more flying, wool this time.

Assisted by darts, human bar graphs and a game of jargon bingo (called Braingo), Alan covered some of the science behind how we might get better at tasks (or games and puzzles) with practice, research that underlies the market for brain training type products. The show urged caution about the apparent age-defying claims of some brain training games.

The show had the highest ticket sales (121 in total) of all Edinburgh Beltane’s Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas shows this year.  Alan said: “As an avid Fringe goer, signing up seemed like a good idea at the time! Thankfully with the teams at the Beltane, Heriot-Watt Engage and most notably Robin Morton supporting me along the way, I’m pleased to say this was a genuinely worthwhile and (fun) experience. The excellent audience helped too!”

The trailer for the show (bottom) had over 450 views on YouTube and since the show Alan has prodcued a video (below) and blog about the subject. 

Brain Training on Trial: Summing-up

Brain Training on Trial