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Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes the loss of movement in people. The dopamine circuits that span the brain begins to deteriorate and a person will become more rigid, lose fine motor control and eventually even aspects of cognitive and emotional processing. Much is being done to treat Parkinson's around the world but today we …
 
This episode we are talking about the kinds of moral behaviours that children show as they grow up. Children develop their morals over time and one big question is whether children are moral because they want to be, to uphold altruism and Justice or because they are afraid of being punished and would like to get a reward for getting someone else in…
 
In social psychology, we don't just study how people act around others but we also study how humans understand one another. Social psychology accepts that our understanding of other people is not perfect and we are still trying to understand the rules that explain how we predict what other people do. In this episode, we talk with Dr Alan Jern about…
 
To finish off this series on the biochemistry of the brain, as sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK, we are doing a miniseries on the biochemistry behind psychosis and schizophrenia. Many people believe that hallucinating and having delusions is all there is to schizophrenia, in fact that is the definition of psychosis. Schizophrenia is m…
 
As humans we sleep for over a third of our time which comes to a third of our lifetime and yet this episode’s guest estimates we are still a few hundred years off having a complete understanding of what our brain doing while we are sleeping. We aren’t even talking about dreams here but just the biological functions our brain does when it is resting…
 
This episode is about the neuroscientists that find themselves in labs which work with the public to help with health and self-improvement services. Toby Pasman originally trained in an academic lab during his undergraduate but after graduating decided to work in a corporate lab studying neurofeedback and neural manipulation that can help people to…
 
This episode is about cannabis, for decades it has been used by people to manage their mental health providing anxiety alleviating effects and supported by a range of other anecdotal evidence. With cannabis only recently being legalised across many countries in the Western world or at least approved in various forms for medicinal uses research abou…
 
Dr. Asaf Marco is a memory expert from MIT who came on episode 9 of Think Fast. His work studies how memory formation and the genes instead our neurons can be manipulated to better understand the day to day working of human memory formation. This episode was fascinating too because his lab has used newly bred research mice with specifically created…
 
In this episode, Bryan Roth is talking with our host Wilf Nelson about how serotonin and hallucinogens bind. Hallucinogens have received a lot of press recently for their uses in medicine and helping those with conditions traditionally resistant to other medical interventions but we will still don't know a lot about how they actually bind to cells.…
 
Sleep is a deep and rich topic in Psychology and Neuroscience because while it doesn't have the flashiness of 'what is consciousness' it is still a state that we occupy for around a third of lives and yet we understand very little of. In this episode we are not talking about what the neurons do but instead we are talking about the rest of the cells…
 
Antje was a guest on season two of WaterCooler Neuroscience discussing her work with auditory perception and how that effects those with hearing impairment and hearing aids. In this episode we talk about how the last six months have been for her and her lab and the work that she has been doing with the Acoustical Society on the remote testing wiki …
 
In this episode of think fast we are speaking with Brigitte Lavoie who is a neuroscientist that worked on the fundamentals of antagonist muscles, when we need one muscle to contract and another to relax. Most motions our bodies does automatically keep the balance between two sets of muscles in an equilibrium thanks to a series of reflexes but walki…
 
Continuing our inauguration of Think Fast with a visit back to our previous guests this time we are talking with a guest from season 3 of WCNeuro which was kindly sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK. Julianne is a researcher who studies PTSD and interpersonal violence. We spoke about her interesting perspective on violence in relationshi…
 
Once upon a time, I was a teaching assistant and when I was a teaching assistant I was asked all the time what was the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist. It is probably the most common question I have ever been asked since I graduated as a psychologist half a decade ago (and wow). There are many differences but both psychologists a…
 
Dr Joseph Galea was a guest on WCNeuro back in season 2 talking about motor learning, stroke rehabilitation and the encounters of being mugged in this post-doctorate life which is he oddly well adjusted over. In this catch up we ask him how his lab has been handling not only running research over the past six months but also his plans to move to mo…
 
This is the first episode of Think Fast, a new short series we are making which brings you cutting edge news from around the world of Neuroscience and Psychology. Over the past six months with a lockdown across most of the world research has been equally hit. When you study people and the brain as the guest on WCNeuro do that means getting those pe…
 
Not many neuroscientists are also entrepreneurs, while the job of a scientist is probing new fields and discovering new findings or inventing the next breakthrough it is not part of scientific training to know how to bring those findings to market. In this episode we talk to Company President and endowed Professor Ryan’ D’Arcy on how he takes his w…
 
Starting off our series on the biochemistry of the brain, sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK, is part one on how our brain cells (neurons) use their energy. This episode covers how neurons are the most energy hungry cells in the body, why they need all that energy and what goes wrong when they aren’t given a constant supply of oxygen, s…
 
In part two of opening mini-series on how our neurons use energy we are talking with Vidhya Rangaraju. We are taking to Tim Ryan’s ex-PhD student Vidhya Rangaraju who is now in the process of setting up her own lab so she can study how our neurons have multiple power generating tiny organs across each part of the neuron. Neurons are the most energy…
 
It is rare when making a show that you get to speak to the people who were foundational to your understanding of the field. For me Robert Malenka is one of those people, when I first started to learn neuroscience one of the big topics was how neurons use their energy, we learnt about that in episodes one and two. Well for episode three of this seas…
 
On this show we have talked a lot about functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI. We have talked about how it lets us measure the water in the brain and watching the blood flowing to neurons that are working hard and in need of more oxygen and sugars. But what if we could do more? In this episode of Water Cooler Neuroscience, sponsored by the …
 
This episode of Water Cooler Neuroscience goes into the work of Seth Grant and is proudly sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK. People have said for years that the brain is like a computer, and well it really isn’t. The brain is much more complex than any machine and while computers have clean well designed functions and parts the brain i…
 
In this series of Water Cooler Neuroscience, sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK, we are talking with Dario Alessi on the ways that Parkinson's can be understood. There are many shows out there that talk about the experience of having Parkinson's or how replacing dopamine in the brain alleviate the symptoms but this time we are talking a…
 
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of dementia, a disease that leaves people with poor memory, the inability to concentrate and focus and ultimately even a degeneration of the brain as a whole. Alzheimer’s is primarily a disease that afflicts the elderly but in this episode sponsored by the Biochemical Society we are talking with John…
 
When thinking about a series on the chemistry of the brain you wouldn’t think an episode on domestic abuse would be part of the roster. For this series, sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK, it is. We are talking with Julianne Flanigan about how you can understand domestic abuse and PTSD, and how those two interact, from the position of a…
 
To finish off this series on the biochemistry of the brain, as sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK, we are doing a miniseries on the biochemistry behind psychosis and schizophrenia. Many people believe that hallucinating and having delusions is all there is to schizophrenia, in fact that is the definition of psychosis. Schizophrenia is m…
 
To finish off both this miniseries on the psychosis and schizophrenia, along with the series as a whole on neurochemistry sponsored by the Biochemical in UK, we are talking to James Kesby. Whereas Gary Donohue’s work is in psychiatric wards James spends his time working with rodents. We learn about how you can understand new things about complex hu…
 
In the modern world, it is impossible to avoid technology, machines are all around us but by psychological standards, even a tool as simple as a hammer or spear is a machine. It can affect the way we think and how we interact with the world. The more complex the technology/machine we are interacting with the more interesting its effects on our mind…
 
Nick Buttrick’s research has been in the news a lot, and I mean a lot a lot. His research has spanned from what happens if you give monkeys money to what does it mean to think and do we even enjoy thinking? You may think you’ve heard these stories before but in this episode, Nick literally sets the record straight and tell us live what is and isn’t…
 
In my undergraduate years, as you will hear in this episode, I tried to pin down all the things that were required for me to understand a sentence. What could be stripped away and for language to still be language; I quickly gave up as the task was so head-spinning complex anything past the first most basic steps lead into a murky wood of dizzying …
 
Listening may seem like a very natural and easy process, the popularity of podcast attests to this strongly, but from a neuroscientific point of view, it is still a very complex process that we are coming to grips with piece by piece. As always one of the best ways to understand a process is to find examples in the world where a person’s ability to…
 
On this show, we do love a good brain imaging machine but what we love even more than a machine that can tell us what the brain is doing is a machine that can do it while we are moving. Traditional brain imaging techniques have had a participant moving either be something they should keep to a minimum or be absolutely banned (fMRI and MEG as exampl…
 
Everyone knows what anaesthesia is; whether from personal experience or having seen it on TV we all know that with some gas or an injection a person can from having a knife/scalpel being one of the worst things that could happen to it being part of a surgery that is saving their life. If you are a regular of this show then it is likely the thought …
 
Strokes are a very serious part of modern-day life. As we get old and enjoy all the benefits of improved medicine and healthcare we live longer and that does lead to more people experiencing a stroke. This episode dives into what rehabilitation for stroke patients involves. There has been a lot of research over the past decade to understand what th…
 
The brain consists of anywhere up to 100 billion neurons, to be honest, no one really knows exactly how many, and part of the mystery of the brain is many does it use its vast supply of neurons to achieve different parts of cognition i.e. looking at something, listening to something, remembering thing etc. Is it that our brains are like engines wit…
 
To possess a memory is simply part of having a mind. We may not be able to hold onto many memories for very long, keys being particularly impressive at avoiding our recollection, but we are forming memories all the time. Memories however are best understood, according to this guest, from an evolutionary perspective with a focus on how they help us …
 
As an undergraduate I was told that there is nothing our brains do which does not involve movement, even if we stay completely still thinking that thinking ultimately is preparation for some movement in the future. The brain effectively can be seen as a huge computer who’s main role is either to figure out what kind of movement we are going to do o…
 
As humans we sleep for over a third of our time which comes to a third of our lifetime and yet this episode’s guest estimates we are still a few hundred years off having a complete understanding of what our brain doing while we are sleeping. We aren’t even talking about dreams here but just the biological functions our brain does when it is resting…
 
Of all the clinical disorders in the world none is more famous than psychopathy. They are a perfect stock villain for movies capable of being an unfeeling thug, a sadistic serial killer or Machiavellian mastermind all on a writer’s whim. How close does that get to the actual reality? Popular culture has plenty to say about psychopaths with movies, …
 
EEG or electroencephalography was one of the first neuroimaging techniques. Used as a technique in research for around a century EEG was fundamental in building our knowledge over the 20th century on the brain’s electrical behaviour and how it transmits information across the different parts of the brain on a millisecond timescale. With those prais…
 
fMRI or functional magnetic resonance imaging was one of the great inventions of the 20th century. It revolutionised medical fields allowing for examination of the body without the need to cut someone open. Equally neuroscience moved from a field constrained either to understanding the brain through surgery (hardly the same as in day to day life) o…
 
Food is part of all human society, there is nowhere in the world you can go which does not have its own unique cuisine. For every people sitting down and sharing a meal is a cornerstone of society and having a meal cooked for you is a deep sign of care and love. With food being so important to humanity how we think about it should naturally be a su…
 
The Cambridge Dictionary defines culture as “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time:” It is easy to see how this pertains to any group of people at any time, even our most ancient ancestors had cave drawings and stories from times of being huddled in dark caves scared of the…
 
While we have the most impressive cognitive system we have seen and the brain is arguably the most complex object in the known universe, with so many connections and neurons the Milky Way would need twice as many planets and stars to match it, it is not the only brain on the planet. Nearly all animals have some form of nervous system and many do sh…
 
We have all seen children conjure up amazing worlds and imagine themselves knights slaying dragons or astronauts or movie stars with millions of adoring fans. The images they can pluck out of thin air and turn into mindscapes as real to them as this webpage is to you is fascinating and a quintessential part of childhood according to many. But how i…
 
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