NMC 2022 Kids Escape Room

At Neuromatch we wish to open up science conferences to everyone and that is why we have included a session for kids and the young at heart. For this year’s NMC 2022 for Kids event we have made a virtual escape room. Here you will learn about how neuroscientists use mathematics to understand how we make decisions.

To make the science more accessible to everyone, we have made versions of the escape room in different languages. To start your adventure grab an adult with an email address and click on your language below:

We hope you enjoy and good luck to all our young and old neuroscientists.

At the end of the escape room you can ask us a question, the answers will be posted here.

Teachers and researchers you can find links to the slides in all the different languages at the bottom of this page please feel free to use them.

Who Made the Videos and Escape Rooms

Anne Urai

I am Anne Urai and I live in Leiden, a small city in The Netherlands close to The Hague. I work at Leiden University as an Assistant Professor in Cognitive Psychology, which means I teach students about the brain and mind and also do research. I collect data in the lab (for instance by letting people play little video games while we record their brain activity or eye movements) and use this to understand how we combine different types of information when making choices. I also find it fascinating to learn more about the brains of different animals. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy running, reading, playing the saxophone and eating homemade bread.

Dutch/NL: Ik heet Anne Urai en ik woon in Leiden, waar ik universitair docent cognitieve psychologie ben. Dit betekent dat ik aan studenten lesgeef over ons brein, en onderzoek doe. In het lab meten we bijvoorbeeld breinactiviteit terwijl mensen een spelletje spelen op de computer. Hiermee proberen we dan proberen uit te vogelen wat er in het hoofd gebeurt als mensen verschillende soorten informatie tegenkomen, en die combineren om een goede beslissing te maken. Ik vind het ook fascinerend om meer te leren over de hersenen van andere diersoorten. Buiten mijn werk houd ik van rennen, lezen, saxofoon spelen en zelfgebakken brood eten.

Dante Kienigiel

I’m Dante Kienigiel and I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, though I am currently on exchange at Rice University in Houston, Texas. I am currently working on my thesis with Xaq Pitkow, who I actually met through Neuromatch! I work on brain data trying to figure out how different parts of the brain are connected and how they send and process information. I am a part of two neuroscience student clubs, Brainware (at my local university) and the Rice Neuroscience Society, the latter of which organizes many events for high school students interested in neuroscience! In my free time I really enjoy cooking, reading and stand up comedy.

Spanish: Soy Dante Kienigiel y vivo en Buenos Aires, Argentina, aunque actualmente estoy realizando un intercambio en Rice University en Houston, Texas. Estoy trabajando en mi tésis con Xaq Pitkow, que conocí voluntariando en Neuromatch! Estoy trabajando con información del cerebro tratando de entender como distintas partes del cerebro están conectadas y como mandan y procesan información. Soy parte de dos clubes estudiantiles de neurociencias, Brainware (en mi universidad local) y la Sociedad de Neurociencia de Rice (Rice Neuroscience Society) que organiza muchas actividades para alumnos de secundario interesados en neurociencia! En mi tiempo libre me gusta mucho cocinar, leer y el stand up.

Isabelle Hoxha

I am Isabelle Hoxha and I am currently living in Paris. I am a PhD student at the Université Paris-Saclay in France, where I study decision-making. In particular, I am interested in knowing how are expectations shape our decisions. I also teach neurophysiology and biomechanics at my university. Besides being a scientist, I love dancing and most importantly playing the piano.

(FR:) Je m’appelle Isabelle Hoxha et je vis à Paris. Je suis doctorante à l’Université Paris-Saclay, où j’étudie la prise de décision. Je m’intéresse particulièrement à la manière dont nos attentes influencent nos décisions. Je donne aussi des cours de neurophysiologie et de biomécanique dans mon université. A part les sciences, j’adore danser et, plus encore, jouer du piano.

(ES:) Soy Isabelle Hoxha y vivo en Paris, Francia. Soy estudiante de doctorado en la Université Paris-Saclay, donde estudio la toma de decision. Me interesa particularmente como nuestras anticipaciones influenza nuestras decisiones. Tambien doy clases de neurofisiología y de biomecánica en mi universidad. Ademas de ser cientifica, me gusta bailar y tocar el piano.

John Butler

My name is John Butler and I live in Dublin. I am a mathematics lecturer in the Technological University Dublin, Ireland. I use mathematics and neuroscience to design experiments and analysis methods to understand the world. I have researched how the brain uses vision, touch, hearing, and body motion information for walking, driving, and flying, using robots to fly people through virtual reality. When not teaching or researching, I like to play with my daughter.

As Gaeilge:

John Butler is ainm dom agus tá mé i mo chónaí i mBaile Átha Cliath. Is léachtóir matamaitice mé in Ollscoil Teicneolaíochta Bhaile Átha Cliath, Éire. Úsáidim matamaitic agus néareolaíocht chun trialacha agus modhanna anailíse a dhearadh chun an domhan a thuiscint. Tá taighde déanta agam ar an gcaoi a n-úsáideann an inchinn faisnéis fís, tadhaill, éisteachta agus gluaiseachta coirp le haghaidh siúl, tiomáint agus eitilt, ag baint úsáide as róbait chun daoine a eitilt tríd an réaltacht fhíorúil. Nuair nach bhfuil mé ag teagasc nó ag déanamh taighde, is maith liom a bheith ag súgradh le m'iníon.

Megan Peters

My name is Megan Peters, and I live in Irvine, California, just outside Los Angeles. I am an Assistant Professor at UC Irvine, where I study the brain and the mind using math, behavior, and neuroscience like brain scanning. I am interested in trying to understand how our brains use signals from our eyes, ears, and other senses to make sense of the world and make us consciously aware of ourselves and our surroundings. I teach psychology and neuroscience, and run a lab here where we do experiments on these topics. Outside science, I love traveling and singing, and hanging out with my pets!

In Japanese (日本語): 私はピータズメーガンで、ロスのとなりにあるカリフォルニア州Irvine市に住んでいます。数学、脳科学で脳と心を研究しているUC Irvine大学の先生です。私たちの脳は目、耳たりの情報を世界について理解する事ができる。で、私たちが自分のことも意識がある。どうやってこれはできるの?UC Irvineでこの事について心理学と脳科学を教えて、勉強しています。科学以外、旅行や歌うのや私のペット(犬と猫)が大好きです。

Mohamed Abdelhack (محمد عبد الحق )

اسمي محمد عبد الحق وأعيش حاليا في تورونتو كندا. أعمل كباحث في معهد كرمبل للمعلوماتية العصبية حيث أدرس كيف يحلل المخ البشري وتوصيلاته الداخلية ماتراه العين للوصول إلى معاني الأشياء وكيف عند اختلال هذه التوصيلات قد يؤدي هذا إلى أمراض نفسية وعصبية. في اوقات الفراغ أحب لعب الرياضات المختلفة والقراءة والمشي.

Noga Mudrik (נגה מודריק)

My name is Noga, and I am a 2nd year biomedical-engineering PhD student at Johns Hopkins University. Before I moved to the US, I lived in Tel Aviv where I studied biomedical-engineering and neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. In my research, I use computational tools to study how neural activity encodes behavior, and develop methods to understand how robust brain activity is to changing conditions.

קוראים לי נגה, ואני סטודנטית לדוקטורט (שנה ב') בהנדסה ביו-רפואית באוניברסיטת ג'ונס הופקינס בבולטימור שבארה"ב. לפני שעברתי לארה"ב גרתי בתל אביב ושם למדתי הנדסה ביו-רפואית ומדעי המוח באוניברסיטת תל אביב. כיום אני לומדת וחוקרת כיצד פעילות מוחית יכולה להסביר התנהגות כיצד באמצעות כלים מתמטיים וחישוביים, ומפתחת שיטות להבין כיצד הפעילות המוחית מושפעת מרעשים ומתנאי סביבה משתנים.

张洳源(Ru-Yuan Zhang)


陆新泉(Xinquan Lu)


I'm glad you like our work! I am Xinquan Lu. I am a junior at South China Normal University Majored in psychology. I am passionate about doing psychological research. I am very interested in using computational modeling to reveal cognitive processes, especially visual-perceptual attention. I am currently working on a project to study the neural mechanisms of top-down attention and top-down attention, and I am now at the final stage of the project. Hopefully, I can have a paper published next year. In my spare time, I like to play video games, read, write, and cook.

Resources for Researchers/Teachers

All the resources used to make these escape rooms are freely available to all. Here are the slides in:

Escape Room Questions and Answers

Isabelle Hoxha (IH)

John Butler (JB)

Noga Mudrik (NM)

Q. Can you only use this kind of maths to decide between biking and walking?


JB: No this kind of maths is used for loads of different decisions like will I turn left or right. It is even used in physics to see how a particles move and in eco

Q. Do you get to live different places as a scientist.


JB: Yes, I have lived in Singapore, Germany and New York working as a Scientist.

Q. What do you like best about your job?


JB: I love learning new things.