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Robert Austin

Podcast: Brain Science

Rating: 2 votes, 4.00 average.
I like listening to podcasts during my occasional long drives, fitting a bit of learning into an otherwise fairly boring experience. And one of my favorites is the Brain Science Podcast, hosted by Ginger Campbell, M.D. She's covered a wide gamut of topics related to neurophysiology over the 73 episodes released so far. Most of these are in the form of extended interviews with researcher and academic scientists, some of whom discuss recent books they've authored.

Just a few examples

Episode 3, ?In Search of Memory,? featured an interview with Eric Kandel, who won a Noble Prize for his pioneering work eliciting the mechanisms of memory; this is also the title of an excellent autobiographical book he wrote a few years ago. Kandel was also closely involved in planning and co-hosting the multipart Charlie Rose special on the brain, which aired last year.

Episode 12 features a discussion of ?From Mind to Molecules,? by Kandel and Larry R Squire. Reviews the physiological processes underlying various mechanisms of memory, from simple nervous systems (aplysia, fruit flies) to Humans.

One of the most exciting developments in brain science over the past decade has been the discovery and deepening understanding of just how 'plastic' our brains can be. If someone has a localized stroke, say, and undergoes intensive physical therapy, nearby parts of their brains can take over functions from the damaged area. Likewise, intense training in most any skill will often cause the areas associated with those functions to expand in size. Episode 10 explores some of this territory with author Sharon Begley, as does episode 26, with Norman Doidge, M.D. in the conversation about his book ?The brain that Changes Itself?.

One of my favorite episodes is number 31, in which Dr. George Buzaki discusses his book ?Rhythms of the Brain,?, in which he unpacks how the various resonating structures and substructures of the brain intertwine, and how these unfurling patterns of propagating synchronous connection and information flow are related to brain function at a macro scale, and ultimately to our conscious experience of the world.

Other topics range from neurophilosophy to brain imaging, cognitive science to stroke treatment.

If you are at all interested in this subject, you can browse episodes here: http://brainsciencepodcast.squarespa...episodes-page/

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  1. neuroasis's Avatar
    That sounds like some very interesting material. I'll check it out. Thanks for sharing it!
  2. Marisa's Avatar
    I loved Norman Dodge's book, especially impessed with the woman who was mentally disabled and still pursued, and got, a university degree.

    Buzaki's book ... still a challenge to read but I will prevail and understand it one day. lol I think I'll check out the pod casts.
  3. Marisa's Avatar
    Been listening to the one on The Myth of Alzheimer's and it's awesome. Thanks Robert.