Guests Who Have Been on the Brain Science Podcast

The Brain Science Podcast provides a unique opportunity for scientists and writers to discuss their work and ideas in depth. Here is a list of the guests who have been interviewed. This list is complete through June 13, 2008.
  • Michael Arbib, PhD: The role of mirror neurons in imitation and language; Episode 39.
  • Sandra Blakeslee: co-author of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better; Episode 23.
  • Louanne Brizendine MD: author of The Female Brain; Episode 20.
  • György Buzsáki, PhD: author of Rhythms of the Brain; Episode 31. (Interview Transcript)
  • Norman Doidge, MD: author of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science; Episode 26.
  • Arthur Glenberg, PhD: Embodied cognition; Episode 36.
  • Elkhonon Goldberg, PhD: author of The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind and The Wisdom Paradox; Episode 18.
  • Jeff Hawkins: author of On Intelligence; Episode 38.
  • Rachel Herz, PhD: author of The Scent of Desire: Discovering our Enigmatic Sense of Smell; Episode 34.
  • Christof Koch, PhD: author of The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach; Episode 22. Interview transcript:
  • John Medina, PhD: author of Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School; Episode 37.
  • Read Montague, PhD: author of Why Choose This Book?: How We Make Decisions; Episode 15.
  • Rolf Pfiefer, PhD: author of How the Body Shapes the Way We Think: A New View of Intelligence ; Episode 25.
  • John J Ratey, MD: author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain; Episode 33.
  • Stuart Shanker, PhD: How the study of communication among bonobos provides clues about the role of emotional signaling in the evolution of language; Episode 7.
  • Edward Taub, PhD: revolutionary approach to stroke rehabilitation; Episode 28.
  • Maryanne Wolf, PhD: author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain; Episode 29.


You can find all the books discussed on the Brain Science Podcast at the Brain Science Store.

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Transcript of György Buzsáki's Interview Is Now Online

Episode 31 of the Brain Science Podcast was a challenging interview with György Buzsáki about his book Rhythms of the Brain.  Thanks to listener Diane Jacobs, we now have a transcript available for Episode 31.

Click here for the transcript.

Be sure to visit Diane's Blog at  When it comes to reading books about neuroscience, Diane makes me feel like a slacker.

Reflections on Brain Oscillations

A recent episode of the Brain Science Podcast was an interview with György Buzsáki author of Rhythms of the Brain.  The significance of brain oscillations is a complex and somewhat controversial subject, so it is not surprising that the episode had generated mixed reviews.  It is quite challenging to present an area of this sort, and I thought Dr. György Buzsáki did a good job of putting his work into layman's language.

I chose Rhythms of the Brain because several listeners requested it.  One of those was Diane Jacobs, who is an energetic contributor to the Brain Science Podcast Discussion Forum.  In a recent blog post Jacobs explains why this subject has captured her interest.

Jacobs is currently working on a transcript of the episode (31), which I will post when it is available.  I want to publicly thank her for her efforts.  You can read her blog post at

Brain Science Podcast #31: Brain Rhythms with György Buzsáki


György Buzsáki, author of Rhythms of the Brain  (OUP 2006), is a professor of neuroscience at Rutgers University.  His book is a comprehensive review of the current state of research in the field of brain oscillations.  It includes the role of these oscillations in sleep and memory.  In Episode 31 of the Brain Science PodcastDr. Buzáki explains why the rhythms of the brain are important and reflects on why this field has been neglected by some neuroscientists.  I think he makes a convincing case for the position that these rhythms are an essential component of brain function.

How to get this episode:

  • Premium Subscribers now have unlimited access to all old episodes and transcripts.
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  • New episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are always FREE.  All episodes posted after January 1, 2013, are free.  See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

Scientists and References:

  • Stephen Strogatz: known for his discovery of "small world" architecture.: His 2003 bestseller Sync: The emerging science of spontaneous order is aimed at a general audience
  • Nancy Kopell: mathematician: Buzsaki recommends her review of the analytical approaches to neuronal oscillators: We got Rhythm: Dynamical Systems of the Nervous System. N Am Math Soc 47: 6-16 (2000).
    • Zoltán Néda (Bebes-Bolyai University Romania): the spontaneous synchronization of hand clapping
      • Hermann Haken: German laser physicist who studies bidirectional causation.
      • David McCormick (Yale University): showed that neurons from the thalamus of a ferret can oscillate spontaneously.  He has also studied the oscillations of place cells in the hippocampus.
        • David Hubel and Thorston Wiesel: along with Vernon Montcastle, they pioneered the use of single neuron recordings in the neocortex of casts and monkeys.
        • Montcastle, VB (1997), "The Columnar Organization of the Neocortex." Brain 102:01-722.
          • Claude Shannon: founder of Information Theory.
          • Jan Born (University of Lübeck, Germany): experiments with how sleep improves both memory and problem solving.

          Topics and questions:

          • Basics of oscillations and synchrony.
          • What functions are accomplished by brain rhythms?
          • The role of hippocampal ripples in memory.
          • What happens to our brain rhythms while we sleep.
          • The importance of synchrony in saving energy in the brain.

          This episode will appeal to listeners with a background in math or engineering, but Dr. Buzsáki provides numerous everyday examples that make the material accessible to everyone.