fredag 15 augusti 2014

Brain Science

Today's most interesting podcast on my list was this episode (#110: Neurobiology for dummies) of Brain Science. Dr Ginger Campbell and her guests on the show have a way of making the unfathomably complex world of the human brain completely understandable.

Recently I listed ten skills I'd like to acquire in the coming year. An eleventh could be a basic but up-to-date and quite detailed understanding of the brain regions and functions. Just by listening to dr Campbell's shows I've learned a lot about the human connectome, about the neocortex, the cerebellum, the subcortical brain, the hippocampus, hypothalamus, amygdala etc. By devoting a couple of focused hours on the matter I am sure I would be able to form a much clearer picture of the brain architecture and function. And that might be fun.

Ginger Campbell's latest show featured Frank Amthor, author of "Neurobiology for dummies". I can definitely recommend spending an hour, letting them both guide you through a couple of the peculiarities of the mammal brain, including stuff like:

  • Why the lateral division of the brain ("left is for language, right is for space") is misunderstood and partly wrong
  • Why a stroke patient can get his senses back, thanks to the general structure of the neocortex
  • What differs sensory neurons from other neurons (they lack dendrites and their axons work as both receivers and transmitters)
  • That some neurotransmitters also work as hormones and why that fucks up some pharmaceuticals
  • That the spine is like a brain in itself
  • That neither the spine or the brain would be able to play tennis without the cerebellum (an old but recently hypergrown part of the brain that models and theorizes about movement)
  • Artificial intelligence and the difference between computers and the brain and why Amthor thinks we will develop brain-implants with internet search capabilities

and more...

PS: I took my evening walk using my Vibram Five Fingers: good for balance, for touching reality and probably for increasing learning as well (even more than just walking would)

1 kommentar:

  1. Yes, I definitely picture you as a mad scientist of some variety in the future. Totally in line with the BW persona. also.