The original BrainPoke had its beginnings as an assignment given to Doug Matia and Tim Thompson who developed a "simulation" of Penfield's experiments on brain stimulation during neurosurgery. The name BrainPoke was derived from a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon pinned to a bulletin board in the lab. A portion of its caption reads: "....Try it Hobbs - just poke his brain right where my finger is."
Brain Poke 3.0 was developed by J.R. Leitch and Tyler Lorig of Washington and Lee University using a brain image that was generously supplied by Wally Welker of the Wisconsin Comparative Mammal Brain Collection. Former student Barney Ireland was responsible for bringing Brain Poke to the World Wide Web while working at the University of Alabama, Birmingham Medical School.
Due to its popularity in colleges and grade schools worldwide, current labsters Samia Alam, Reilly Kidwell, and Brian Stirling are working to develop BrainPoke 4.0, a remake of the original that will continue to educate students about the relationship between brains and experience.