Think Big

Think Big: A Night Out With Your Brain is a series that is currently in its eighth year. The series seeks to engage with the Calgary community and create an awareness and curiosity about the brain.

Think Big is a collaboration between the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and the Calgary Public Library (CPL), aiming to share knowledge about the brain and brain research, as well as involve the community in discussions about brain and mental health. The series also provides an opportunity to engage HBI and University of Calgary researchers and trainees in community outreach and knowledge translation activities.

Think Big events occur three times a year and are consistently over-subscribed, attracting more than 200 members of the Calgary community to each event.

Upcoming Events

View Past Events

Click the Watch Here links to see recordings of previous events.

think big 20

Think Big 20: Is Social Media Impacting Your Mental Health?

May 5, 2022 - How does the use of social media impact your mental health? Join our experts to learn how increased social media use coupled with pandemic-related stress has led to the emergence of functional tic-like behaviours and the rise in eating disorders among the youth.

Join Host Jay Ingram and Drs Tamara Pringsheim and Gina Dimitropoulos as they explore this topic. 

In partnership with the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education, and the Calgary Public Library.

Think Big 19

Think Big 19: Let’s Talk About Intimate Partner Violence

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens and Ms. Carolyn Mitchell

Teen dating violence is a form of intimate partner violence (IPV), and refers to all forms of violence committed in the context of teen dating and sexual relationships. One in three youth in Canada experience teen dating violence. Youth who experience dating violence report higher rates of mental health problems. Join our experts to learn what research says about intimate partner violence in teens and adults and how to respond and prevent it. This event will mark Bell Let’s Talk Day (January 26, 2022).

Think Big 18: Let’s Get Deep About Sleep

Thursday October 21, 2021
Drs. Poulin and Holroyd-Leduc

Do you ever wonder how sleep changes as we get older? Most of us have heard of Sleep Apnea, but do we know that this can be affected by external and environmental factors? Join Jay Ingram and experts from the University if Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute as they discuss evidence-based research on sleep as we age.

Think Big 17: Seasonal Affective Disorder — More than the Winter Blues?

Thursday January 28, 2021
Dr. Scott Patten and Ms Aysha Lukmanji


Do the short, dark days of winter get you down? Most of us have heard of Season Affective Disorder, or SAD, but how do we know if it’s more than the ‘winter blues?’ Join Jay Ingram and experts from the University of Calgary’s Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute as they discuss the latest research impacting our understanding of SAD, and its causes and treatment.  

Presented on Bell Let’s Talk Day.

Think Big 16: The Brain-Gut Connection

Friday, October 2, 2020
Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta and Dr. Keith Sharkey

Did you know your brain and gut are constantly “talking” to one another? This dialogue plays a vital role in physical and mental health. Join Host Jay Ingram and experts from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine for this online event as they discuss how new research into the brain-gut connection is impacting our understanding of aging, mental health, and even sleep.

Think Big 15: Loneliness in the Time of COVID-19

Tuesday, May 5, 2020          
Dr. Jaideep Bains and Dr. Susan Boon

It’s one of the greatest challenges for our community during the time of COVID-19: maintaining physical distance just when we need each other the most. What triggers loneliness? Is the loneliness of quarantine somehow different? What can we do to combat it? Join Think Big host Jay Ingram and experts from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Faculty of Arts as they share the latest research on loneliness and the importance of living connected lives.

Presented during the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Week (May 4 – 10).