May 29, 2011

Short Video: Before and After Deep Brain Stimulation

brain networks,neuroscience,video — alice @ 1:42 am

Although there is still a lot to be learned about deep brain stimulation (DBS), the potential use of DBS seems like it could be promising. Click here to watch a video of a Tourette syndrome patient before and after his DBS operation. After the stimulation is turned on, it appears as if the patient’s Tourette symptoms disappear. However, despite the positive results of DBS for this particular patient, it is important to keep in mind the DBS is not a cure and that it is highly invasive.

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May 28, 2011

A Conversation on the Neuroethics of Deep Brain Stimulation

In this webcast provided by the Dana Foundation, Drs. Philip Campbell, Joseph Fins, Jonathan Moreno and Helen Mayberg discussed the ethical considerations of using deep brain stimulation. The topics covered in this interesting discussion included surgical experimentation, consciousness, depression, technology and public policy. Dr. Judy Illes served as the moderator.

Click here for the webcast.

Click here for an edited transcript of the discussion.

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March 10, 2011

Can Someone in a Vegetative State Communicate Thoughts?

In this short video (about 4 mins) from the New York Times, David Corcoran discusses evidence from an fMRI study that suggests that people in a vegetative state can communicate thoughts.

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March 3, 2011

Interactive Video: Progression of Alzheimer’s in the Brain

Click here for an interactive video showing the progression of Alzheimer’s in the brain from the Globe and Mail.




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March 1, 2011

A short video on the brain and concussions

Click here for a short clip on concussions and the brain provided by CBC.

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January 7, 2011

Bobby McFerrin Hacks Your Brain with Music

Enjoy this short, amusing video on the power of our human brain with regard to music.


Interesting comments:

  • Jeff Weir

    Dec 4 2010: I think beyond the “predictive” nature of the human brain, there lies the simple physics of the harmonic series. Once Bobby McFerrin sings the starting pitch, all of the other pitches of the pentatonic are contained in its harmonic series. I believe that is the main reason why all humans “get” the pentatonic scale… it is “spelled out” inside the harmonic series of any starting pitch.

  • Mitchell Plamondon

    Nov 26 2010: That’s cool. I guess it’s an evolutionary result though. People have learned the ability of prediction. We can familiarize ourselves with sounds, whether this be scales, timbres, chords etc. They are all recognizable. He laid out one of the most simple scales, a 5 note pentatonic scale which by chance just so happens to be the most commonly used scale in popular music of the past nearly 100 years. And just like a driver is able to predict the actions of another driver, or just as we are able to walk down a busy sidewalk without colliding into others (not always true :P) we are able to create sonar expectations. Good video – much better than a lot of the pop-music videos that seem to be polluting the TED music related spectacles. (I’d expect to hear more intellectual music here. Perhaps Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Hétu… anything beyond lyric driven 3-4 chord garage-band tunes please :) )

Watch the video, and read more: Bobby McFerrin Hacks Your Brain with Music

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November 10, 2010

“What Babies Want” – An exploration of the Consciousness of Infants


DVD Documentary starring Charlie Rose, Noah Wyle, and Joseph Chilton Pearce.

What Babies Want is an award winning documentary film that explores the profoundly important and sacred opportunity we have in bringing children into the world. Filled with captivating stories and infused with Noah Wyle’s warmth as narrator, the film demonstrates how life patterns are established at birth and  before. The documentary includes groundbreaking information on early development as well as appearances by the real experts: babies and families.

Research is now showing us that our society is a product of how we welcome and raise our children. When babies are welcomed with love and warmth and given the immediate opportunity to bond with parents,  they develop minds that are coherent and flexible, ready in turn to make compassionate and meaningful connections with others as they grow.

As we learn how early relationships shape the structure and function of the brain, we are also gaining a new appreciation of the wisdom of ancient cultures that understood the importance of welcoming children before, during and after the moment of birth.

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November 3, 2010

Charlie Rose: The Brain Series

The Charlie Rose Brain Series consists of interviews with some of the most knowledgeable scientists and researchers studying the human brain, including Drs. Eric Kandel and Oliver Sacks. Each monthly episode examines different subjects of the brain, including perception, social interaction, aging and creativity.

For more information, please check the Charlie Rose Brain Series website.

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May 19, 2009

Learning, Arts, and the Brain: the Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition

From the Dana Foundation: The Dana Foundation released at a news conference on March 4, Learning, Arts, and the Brain, a three-year study at seven universities, which finds strong links between arts education and cognitive development. Speakers included Michael Gazzaniga, Ph.D., UC, Santa Barbara; Michael Posner, Ph.D., University of Oregon;  Elizabeth Spelke, Ph.D., Harvard University  and Brian Wandell, Ph.D., Stanford University.  Guy Mckhann, M.D., Johns Hopkins University gave a summary and Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts spoke of the study’s importance to the field of education.

Click here for the webcast archive.

Click here for the event transcript.

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August 31, 2007

SciVee — YouTube for scientists

video,web resource — thomasr @ 3:17 am

scivee-logo-home.png A website being dubbed the YouTube for scientists has been launched, raising new hopes of bringing science closer to the people. SciVee allows scientists to upload published papers, as well as a podcast presenting the paper. As the site is relatively new, content is still fairly sparse. Those behind the initiative are however confident that it will contribute to the widespread dissemination and comprehension of science.

‘SciVee, created for scientists, by scientists, moves science beyond the printed word and lecture theatre, taking advantage of the Internet as a communication medium where scientists young and old have a place and avoice,’ explains the website.

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April 6, 2007

Film – Victim of the Brain

Victim of the Brain is a 1988 docudrama by Dutch director Piet Hoenderdos about “the ideas of Douglas Hofstadter”. It features interviews with Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett. It has never been online before, but is now available on Google Video.

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January 21, 2007

Video: A patient who was stuck in a minimally conscious state for 20 years

TIME and CNN present an interesting video on Sarah Scantlin, a patient who suffers from severe brain damage. After being stuck in what was thought to be a vegetative state for 20 years, Sarah has recently regained her ability to speak. Scientists now think that Sarah was in a minimally conscious state, described as having a low level of awareness but conscious nonetheless, for the past two decades. It is noted that while some regions of Sarah’s brain are damaged, other regions are struggling to make new connections. (Image from the video.)

When asked whether she felt asleep or trapped for the last 20 years, Sarah reported having felt trapped. Amongst other challenges, Sarah seems to lack a concept of time, leaving her to believe that she is still 18 (the age at which she incurred her brain injury) when in fact she is now at the age of 40 years.

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