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Top Neuroscience Podcasts

Making Sense with Sam Harris

Join neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author Sam Harris as he explores important and controversial questions about the human mind, society, and current events. Sam Harris is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. His books include The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, Waking Up, and Islam and the Future of Tolerance (with Maajid Nawaz). The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. Harris's work has been published in more than 20 languages and has been discussed in The New York Times, Time, Scientific American, Nature, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many other journals. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Annals of Neurology, and elsewhere. Sam Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.

Read-Right Hemianopic Alexia Therapy - audio

Read-Right is a therapy and research application accessed over the internet. It has been developed by UCL Institute of Neurology and UCL Multimedia. The project is funded by The Stroke Association. The aims of the project are twofold: 1) to provide a web-based therapy for patients with hemianopic alexia (HA); 2) to find out if the therapy works over the internet. To do this, we need to collect information from users to see if they are improving with practice.

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History - Professor Terry Jones - Audio

Professor Terry Jones studied physics and health physics at Birmingham University, graduating with a Masters degree in 1964. In the same year he joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, London, the first hospital-based cyclotron in the world. His career has been in neuro-imaging research, and he produced among the first gamma camera of the brain’s metabolism and blood flow. In 1972 he visited the US where the first Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners were being developed by Michel Ter-Pogossian. Professor Jones developed a technique of breathing oxygen-15 (radioactive oxygen), which emits positrons, to image the brain’s regional metabolism – a technique which he tried on himself to create the first image. He was responsible for installing one of Britain’s first PET scanners – at the Hammersmith Hospital in 1979, where he recruited Richard Frackowiak, among others, to conduct research. His research interests have included looking at the pharmacokinetics of experimental drugs such as temazolomide, developed for brain tumours (gliomas), and imaging serotonergic receptors (the 5HT1A system) in the brain.

The Greater Good Podcast

Conversations about the science of a meaningful life, from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Leading researchers and thinkers explore the roots of compassion, happiness, morality, and more. Provocative, enlightening, and inspiring.

Dr Ann Silver - Audio

Dr Ann Silver studied physiology at Edinburgh University where she completed a PhD (1960) as an external student whilst carrying out research at the Agricultural Research Council Institute of Animal Physiology at Babraham, Cambridgeshire. Her research involved electrophysiological studies of nerve fibres exposed to organophosphorous compounds and also the transport of choline acetyltransferase down nerves. Dr Silver’s book, Biology of Cholinesterases (1974), was an important source of information, ideas and inspiration for a generation of cholinesterase researchers. She later laid the foundations for the ‘cholinergic hypothesis’ of Alzheimer’s disease, which led to the development of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors to treat it. She has been ethical editor on the Journal of Physiology and was involved in drafting the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, which regulates the ways in which animal experimentation is conducted in the UK.

Prosopagnosia: a World Without Facial Recognition - Video

Imagine not recognising your mother when she walks past you – not because you can’t see her, but because you can’t distinguish her face from the thousands that you come across every day. This lecture is a glimpse into the fascinating world of prosopagnosia, or ‘face blindness’, and the challenges it poses to people living with the condition – and those close to them. While brain damage is known to cause prosopagnosia, recent discoveries show that it can also come about if people fail to develop the necessary neural processes. These individuals have never suffered any damage to their brain and astonishingly some of them have no problem recognising objects. Now consider what it is like when this condition runs in families and what is actually going on in the brain to bring about this remarkable condition. Lecture given on 19 October 2006

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History - Professor Peter Mansfield - Audio

Sir Peter Mansfield was born on 9 October 1933 and grew up in London. He left school at fifteen to become a printer’s assistant before obtaining a government post at the Rocket Propulsion Department in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. After national service, he studied at night school for the qualifications that gave him entrance, in 1956, to Queen Mary College, University of London, where he studied physics. Sir Peter’s early work was in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), then being used to study the chemical structure of substances. He joined the Department of Physics, University of Nottingham, in 1964, and by the early 1970s was working on the application of NMR to imaging that led directly to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). He and his team showed how the radio signals from MRI could be mathematically analysed, making possible their interpretation into useful images. A medical diagnostic application was further progressed by the development of a rapid imaging technique called echo-planar imaging. The team presented their first human image (of Mansfield’s abomen) in 1978. For his work in the development of MRI, Mansfield was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2003, which he shared with Paul Lauterbur of the United States. Amongst Sir Peter’s many awards and honours are the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Prize for MRI (1995), the Gold Medal of the journal Clinical MRI (1995) and a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours (1993). He continues to work on the safety and acoustic screening of MRI.

Professor Alan North - Audio

Professor Alan North grew up in West Yorkshire and studied medicine at the University of Aberdeen before taking a PhD in pharmacology (1973). He moved to the US in 1975 as Associate Professor of Pharmacology at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, before becoming Professor of Neuropharmacology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Senior Scientist and Professor at the Vollum Institute of Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland. In 1993, he was appointed Principal Scientist at the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology, Geneva, and returned to England in 1998 as Professor of Molecular Physiology at the University of Sheffield, and Director of its Institute of Molecular Physiology. Professor North’s work has focused on a quantitative understanding of drug and transmitter action at the level of single cells and single molecules, primarily by biophysical and molecular biological approaches. His extensive publications deal with drug and neurotransmitter receptors, structure and function of ion channels, the physiology of the autonomic (particularly enteric) nervous system, pain mechanisms, psychoactive drugs and mental illness. He has served as editor of the Journal of Physiology, the Journal of Neuroscience, and Molecular Pharmacology. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Pharmacology (2000-2004), President of the Physiological Society (2003-2006), and a member of the Medical Research Council (2001-2006). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1995). Professor North is Vice-President of the University of Manchester. He serves as Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences (from July 2004) and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences (from July 2006).

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History: Professor Richard Gregory - Audio

Supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to Dr Tilli Tansey and Professor Leslie Iversen, the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL presents a series of podcasts on the history of neuroscience featuring eminent people in the field: Professor Richard Gregory was born in London on 24 July 1923 and studied at the University of Cambridge before undertaking research at the Medical Research Council’s Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge. A turning point in Professor Gregory’s work and ideas came during the investigation of a man who had been blind from birth but whose sight was restored at the age of 52. Studying the development of his perception changed the way in which he came to think of visual perception and its close relationship to touch. Most of Professor Gregory’s work has focused on visual perception and also on artificial intelligence. In 1967 he founded the Department of Machine Intelligence and Perception at the University of Edinburgh with Professor Donald Michie and Professor Christopher Longuet-Higgins. Gregory’s popular and influential book, Eye and Brain (1966), was the first to explore the psychology of seeing. He is particularly interested in optical illusions and what these reveal about human perceptions and in 1972 founded the journal Perception. In 1978, he established the Exploratory, a hands-on science centre in Bristol and the first of its kind in the UK. He was a founding member of the Experimental Psychology Society and served as its president in 1981-82. He has been awarded the Waverley Gold Medal for inventing the Solid-Image Microscope (1960), the Hughlings Jackson Gold Medal from the Royal Society of Medicine (1999), and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1992). Professor Gregory is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Bristol.

Empathy and the Teenage Brain - Video

”The brain has evolved to understand other people. A relatively new area of neuroscience is the investigation of the social brain. Recent research has shed light on how we are able to understand other people’s actions and intentions. Neuroscience has also made important steps towards understanding impairments in these abilities, such as those found in autism. In addition, recent research has begun to focus on how the social brain develops during adolescence.”

Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2012 - Video

Spring 2012 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2012 - Audio

Spring 2012 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Le TDAH chez nos jeunes

Extraits de la conférence du docteur Annick Vincent, Le TDAH chez nos jeunes qui grandissent , réalisée le 17 octobre 2012 au cégep de Sainte-Foy. Le TDAH est un trouble neurodéveloppemental fréquent, présent dès l'enfance et qui persiste souvent à l'âge adulte.

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History: Professor Sir Michael Rutter - Audio

Supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to Dr Tilli Tansey and Professor Leslie Iversen, the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL presents a series of podcasts on the history of neuroscience featuring eminent people in the field: Professor Sir Michael Rutter was born in 1933 and trained in general medicine, neurology and paediatrics before specialising in psychiatry. He was appointed the first consultant of child psychiatry in the UK and has been Head of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, and Honorary Director of the Medical Research Council Child Psychiatry Unit. His studies of autism, depression, antisocial behaviour, reading difficulties, deprived children, overactive children, school effectiveness and children whose psychiatric problems have a clear organic component has resulted in many publications. One of the most influential was Maternal Deprivation Reassessed (1972) in which he argued (against John Bowlby) that it was the norm for children to form multiple attachments rather than a selective attachment with just one person. Professor Rutter is recognised as contributing to the establishment of child psychiatry as a medical and biopsychosocial specialty with a strong scientific base. In 1994 he set up the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry. The goal of the Centre is to bridge the gap between ‘nature’ (genetics) and ‘nurture’ (environment) as they interact in the development of complex human behaviour, such as depression and Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder in children. Professor Rutter was knighted in 1992 and is an honorary member of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and founding Fellow of the Academia Europaea and the Academy of Medical Sciences. The Michael Rutter Centre for Children and Adolescents at the Maudsley Hospital, London, is named after him.

Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2011 - Video

Spring 2011 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History: Professor Elizabeth Warrington - Audio

Supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to Dr Tilli Tansey and Professor Leslie Iversen, the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL presents a series of podcasts on the history of neuroscience featuring eminent people in the field: Professor Elizabeth Warrington completed her PhD on visual processing at the Institute of Neurology, London, and was formerly head of the Department of Neuropsychology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. Her research has focused on understanding, in the broadest terms, brain and behaviour relationships, and, in particular, the neural basis of our cognitive abilities -- how our neural networks enable us to see, perceive, remember and talk about things. Understanding how these networks are organised helps in diagnosing and assessing many different kinds of brain injury. Her work has also been influential in testing theories about cognitive psychology. Professor Warrington has played a key role in improving the accuracy of tests to diagnose and help chart the progress of degenerative brain conditions that affect the way we perceive, talk or think about things. Her work in defining differences in how we remember information based on knowledge (semantic memory) as opposed to events (episodic memory) led to the identification of a new neurological condition, semantic dementia, which she first described in 1975. Semantic dementia is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, the most common presenting symptom being loss of word meaning. Diagnosing brain damage has been an important part of Professor Warrington’s work. Neuropsychological examinations use a patient’s cognitive function to identify or rule out conditions such as strokes and conditions that lead to dementia, such as Alzheimers. The tests developed by her can also be used to track recovery, as well as to plan rehabilitation programmes. Professor Warrington is an emeritus professor of clinical neuropsychology at The National Hospital and a member of the Dementia Research Group.

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History: Uta Frith - Audio

Supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust to Dr Tilli Tansey and Professor Leslie Iversen, the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL presents a series of podcasts on the history of neuroscience featuring eminent people in the field: Professor Uta Frith was born on 25th May 1941 in Germany. She completed her undergraduate degree in experimental psychology at the Universitaet des Saarlandes before training in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. She completed her PhD on autism in 1968. Professor Uta Frith is best known for her research on autism spectrum disorders. Her book, Autism, Explaining the Enigma (1989) has been translated into many languages. She was one of the initiators of the study of Asperger's Syndrome in the UK and her work on reading development, spelling and dyslexia has been highly influential. Frith’s work on theory of mind in autism proposes the idea that people with autism have specific difficulties understanding other people’s beliefs and desires. Much of this work was carried out with Simon Baron-Cohen who was her PhD student. She has also suggested that individuals with autism have ‘weak central coherence’, and are better than typical individuals at processing details but worse at integrating information from many different sources. Throughout her career she has been developing a neuro-cognitive approach to developmental disorders. In particular, she has investigated specific cognitive processes and their failure in autism and dyslexia. Her aim is to discover the underlying cognitive causes of these disorders and to link them to behavioural symptoms as well as to brain systems. She aims to make this research relevant to the education of people with development disorders and to contribute to a better quality of their everyday life. Professor Frith is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London and Research Foundation Professor at the Faculties of Humanities and Health Sciences, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Today's Neuroscience, Tomorrow's History - Professor Richard Frackowiak - Audio

Professor Richard Frackowiak was born in London and studied medicine at the University of Cambridge where he first became interested in the neurosciences. He joined the Medical Research Council’s Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital, London, in 1979, under Professor Terry Jones, who had just installed one of Britain’s first Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners. Professor Frackowiak has always worked in brain imaging and his particular focus has been on determing how the normal brain functions, and how individuals’ activities and environments collaborate to shape their brains. In 1995, as Professor of Cognitive Neurology at UCL’s Institute of Neurology, he established the Functional Imaging Laboratory (now the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging), developing new techniques for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In a now famous study, Professor Frackowiak and his team showed that in London taxi drivers, there was a connection between an area of the brain – the hippocampus – and their highly developed spatial and navigation skills. The hippocampus had enlarged as a result of navigational experience. The Centre’s current research focuses on how the brain recovers after injury, particularly strokes, and on structural brain characteristics with the aim of improving diagnosis and commencing early therapy in degenerative and devastating neurological diseases such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s. Professor Frackowiak has won the IPSEN and Wilhelm Feldberg prizes and during the 1990s was the fourth most highly cited British biomedical scientist. His books include Human Brain Function and Brain Mapping: The Disorders. He is currently setting up a new Clinical Neuroscience Department at the University of Lausanne.

Lunch Hour Lectures - Spring 2011 - Audio

Spring 2011 - UCL's Lunch Hour Lecture Series is an opportunity for anyone to sample the exceptional research work taking place at the university, in bite-size chunks. Speakers are drawn from across UCL and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. Lunch Hour Lectures require no pre-booking, are free to attend and are open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis.

Asperger’s Syndrome study reveals new insights - Audio

Highly intelligent adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have difficulties with day-to-day social interaction. These difficulties have been explained by the term ‘mindblindness’. This means an inability to explain and predict other people’s behaviour on the basis of their psychological motives. The 'mindblindness' theory was first proposed in 1985 by a team of UCL researchers and has now been widely accepted. However, one problem with the theory has since remained. Adults with Asperger's Syndrome pass all the tests of mindblindness. If their social difficulties, which are similar to those of autistic children, have to be explained in a different way, then the mindblindness theory would lose much of its power. A new study led by Uta Frith, (UCL Institute of Neuroscience) and Atsushi Senju of Birkbeck College London published in Science, has now provided an answer to this conundrum.

Professor Salvador Moncada - Audio

From 1975 to 1995, Professor Moncada worked at the Wellcome Research Laboratories, first as Head of Prostaglandin Research and then as Director of Research. He described the structure of prostacyclin, which acts as an effective vasodilator and also prevents blood platelets from clumping. In 1980 came the discovery by Robert Furchgott of ‘endothelium-derived relaxing factor’ (EDRF) which causes smooth muscle in the vessel walls to relax. Moncada and his team showed that EDRF was, in fact, Nitric oxide, which has since become appreciated as a neurotransmitter, a modulator of inflammation and a sensor of cellular distress as well as a regulator of vessel tone. Nitric oxide is both the target and effector of a range of compounds now being used for the treatment of cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases. Professor Moncada was appointed Director of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College in 1995. He has won numerous awards from the international scientific community including a Dart/NYU Biotechnology Achievement Award, the Prince of Asturias Scientific and Technological Research Award and the Dr AH Heineken Prize for Medicine from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science.

Read-Right Hemianopic Alexia Therapy - video

Read-Right is a therapy and research application accessed over the internet. It has been developed by UCL Institute of Neurology and UCL Multimedia. The project is funded by The Stroke Association. The aims of the project are twofold: 1) to provide a web-based therapy for patients with hemianopic alexia (HA); 2) to find out if the therapy works over the internet. To do this, we need to collect information from users to see if they are improving with practice.

Empathy and the Teenage Brain - Audio

”The brain has evolved to understand other people. A relatively new area of neuroscience is the investigation of the social brain. Recent research has shed light on how we are able to understand other people’s actions and intentions. Neuroscience has also made important steps towards understanding impairments in these abilities, such as those found in autism. In addition, recent research has begun to focus on how the social brain develops during adolescence.”