"Remembering" with Donald Mackay (BS 157)

This month’s episode of Brain Science features Dr. Donald Mackay, author of Remembering: What 50 Years of Research with Famous Amnesia Patient H.M. Can Teach Us about Memory and How It Works. H.M. may have been the most studied patient in history, but Mackay's work uncovers some surprising discoveries about the role of the hippocampus in language, as well as important implications for the aging brain.

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  • Coming Soon: Episode Transcript— delayed by illness

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Explore the Synaptome with Seth Grant (BS 150)

Explore the Synaptome with Seth Grant (BS 150)

BS 150 is our 4th interview of Seth Grant, the molecular biologist who has uncovered the fascinating evolution of synapse complexity. In this interview we learn about the first whole brain mapping of the mouse brain synaptome. We discuss the implications of the surprising level of diversity found in synapses in different brain areas. Dr Grant introduces us to a new theory of perception and memory recall.

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Biological Mind with Alan Jasanoff (BS 146)

Biological Mind with Alan Jasanoff (BS 146)

BS 146 is an interview with Dr. Alan Jasanoff, author of The Biological Mind: How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are. We talk about how what he calls “the cerebral mystique” causes people to forget that the brain is not autonomous, but relies on its interaction with the body and its environment to create the Mind.

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The Reading Brain with Maryanne Wolf (BS 145)

The Reading Brain with Maryanne Wolf (BS 145)

BS 145 is an interview with Dr. Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain and Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century: The Literary Agenda. Dr Wolf has spent her career studying how the brain is changed by learning to read. We also explore her concerns about how the shift to digital media will change our reading brains.

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Language in the Brain (BS 144) with Angela Friederici

Language in the Brain  (BS 144) with Angela Friederici

BS 144 is an interview with Dr. Angela Friederici, author of Language in Our Brain: The Origins of a Uniquely Human Capacity. This is an extensive review of several decades of research, but this interview makes the field accessible to listeners of all backgrounds.

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Jeff Hawkins Explores a New Theory of Cortical Function (BS 139)

Jeff Hawkins Explores a New Theory of Cortical Function (BS 139)

Jeff Hawkins, author of the bestseller On Intelligence tells us about his latest research into how the neocortex produces intelligence. He proposes an exciting new model that could change the way we imagine cortical function.

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John Medina on Aging Well (BS 138)

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Dr. John Medina has spent his career in bio-engineering, but he also has a deep interest in how the brain works. In his latest book Brain Rules for Aging Well: 10 Principles for Staying Vital, Happy, and Sharp, he presents our knowledge brain aging in an engaging manner that can be enjoyed by readers of all backgrounds.

In this month's episode of Brain Science (BS 138) we discuss some of the most important principles for nourishing brains as we age. He describes what he calls the "dopamine lollipop," which is the surge of dopamine created by activities such as teaching and physical activities like dancing. Some of his ideas reinforce what we have discussed in previous episodes, but there are new ideas that are relevant to listeners of all ages.

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Seth Grant's latest Research (BS 137)

Seth Grant's latest Research (BS 137)

In BS 137 neuroscientist Seth Grant introduces the "genetic lifespan calendar." He describes a new paper that describes how the genome determines the brain's complexity in "both time and space." This is the first paper to describe evidence that gene expression in the brain follows a predictable schedule that might offer new understanding of diseases like schizophrenia.

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Lisa Barrett on How Emotions are Made (BS 135)

Lisa Barrett on How Emotions are Made (BS 135)

BS 135 is an interview with Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of How Emotions Are Made. We explore the evidence AGAINST the classical assumption that emotions are universal and hard-wired, but we also discuss a fascinating new Theory of Constructed Emotion, which is very consistent with current neuroscience.

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Counting Neurons with Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel (BS 133)

Counting Neurons with Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel (BS 133)

This is an interview with Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel, the scientist who discovered that the human brain has an average of 86 billion neurons, which is significantly less than the 100 billion that was long assumed. She has also written a wonderful book called The Human Advantage: How Our Brains Became Remarkable.

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Honoring William Uttal's Contributions to Cognitive Neuroscience (BS 132)

Dr. William Uttal, who died last month at the age of 86, had a very unusual career, going from physics and engineering to psychology and cognitive science. I think his unique background contributed to the refreshing skepticism that he brought to the growing use of imaging (especially fMRI) in the cognitive sciences.

He was a prolific writer on the subject and back in 2012 I had the honor of talking with him about his book Mind and Brain: A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience. In addition to shedding light on the limitations of imaging (such as poor reproducibility), Dr. Uttal also argued that it was premature to abandon other psychological testing methods.

This month I am replaying that 2012 interview. Brain Science 132 includes a new introduction and closing remarks.  While Dr. Uttal's writing was aimed at a technical audience I think it is important for listeners of all backgrounds to be aware of these issues because they remain as relevant as ever.

How to get this episode:

  • FREE: audio mp3 (click to stream, right click to download)

  • Episode Transcript [Buy for $2]

  • Premium Subscribers have unlimited access to ALL old episodes and transcripts.

  • 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 to the audio files.

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  • You can now record your voice feedback at http://speakpipe.com/docartemis.

  • Brain Science is now 100% listener supported. You can support the show via direction donations, Premium Subscription, or Patreon.

  • I am planning to attend this year's Society of Neuroscience Meeting, which is being held in Washington DC November 11-15, 2017. Please email at brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com if you are going to be in Washington during those dates. If there is enough interest I will arrange a listener meet-up.

  • I am also in the early stages of planning a trip to Australia in 2018 and would love to hear from Australian listeners for ideas and advice, including leads on speaking opportunities.