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AUA Students Rank Among Top 10 in International Brain Awareness Video Contest

2 min read

What had started as a seemingly routine classroom assignment and final project (Spring 2018 The Human Brain) undergraduate seniors majoring in English and Communications at the American University of Armenia (AUA), Christina Nercessian, Diana Nersisyan and Valeri Hakobyan, turned their project to a bigger challenge. Encouraged by their instructor, Rubina Danilova, they registered in the Brain Awareness Video Contest (BAVC) for their final group assignment.

The Brain Awareness Video Contest is organized by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and requires participants to produce videos of neuroscience concepts in a fun and captivating way.

Top 10 winning works from each year become included in the repository of BrainFacts Journal, a collection of educational videos.  For this AUA team, the challenge was to choose a topic from the course material and to make a video that meets both course and contest requirements. What the team produced aimed at depicting how reality and dreams interrelate in the sleeping process. By taking into account the dimensions of their individual topics, the team fittingly titled the collective video “How Your Brain Paints Your Dreams.”

The video provides a brief introduction of how the brain functions and how brain cells communicate with one another during sleep. The video then goes on to explain how the brain sorts through and makes sense with recent real-life experiences to form the dream narrative from the random fragments signaled during sleep, which is how dreams are created.

“We designed the video with a program called VideoScribe. Then we wrote the script, which we were supposed to hand in as our final class project. We divided the script into three parts arranged in a certain order. We applied to participate in the contest on June 8, 2018, and received the letter placing us in the Top 10 on September 1, 2018,” the students said.

They are excited to be rated in the Top 10  among many talented students and alumni from world-renown institutions, such as Stanford and UCL.

As a follow-on to the project, the team will participate in the “People’s Choice” prize category with the same video for which your vote determines their win. Please take a moment to watch the video on YouTube and like it.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. For more information about the American University of Armenia and its donor opportunities, please visit


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