The large variability in experimentally measured mechanical properties of brain tissue is due to many factors including heterogeneity, anisotropy, age dependence and post-mortem time. Moreover, differences in test protocols also influence these measured properties. This paper shows that the temperature at which porcine brain tissue is stored or preserved prior to testing has a significant effect on the mechanical properties of brain tissue, even when tests are conducted at the same temperatures. Three groups of brain tissue were stored separately for at least 1 h at three different preservation temperatures, i.e., ice cold, room temperature (22 degrees C) and body temperature (37 degrees C), prior to them all being tested at room temperature (similar to 22 degrees C). Significant differences in the corresponding initial elastic shear modulus mu (Pa) (at various amounts of shear, 0 <= K <= 1.0) were observed. The initial elastic moduli were 1043 +/- 271 Pa, 714 +/- 210 Pa and 497 +/- 156 Pa (mean +/- SD) at preservation temperatures of ice cold, 22 degrees C and 37 degrees C, respectively. Based on this investigation, it is strongly recommended that brain tissue samples must be preserved at an ice-cold temperature prior to testing in order to minimize the difference between the measured in vitro test results and the in vivo properties. A by-product of the study is that simple shear tests allow for large, almost perfectly homogeneous deformation of brain matter. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.