“Basic mechanisms in the brain have universal applications and are the road to medical discovery,” says Ralph Greenspan, PhD. He has spent his career studying how genes affect the brain and behavior of the fruit fly. This research has lead to a deeper understanding of mechanisms in the human brain. Hear about his current efforts to develop a full brain scale activity map and the technological and medical breakthroughs emerging from this work.
In April, President Obama called for the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, a research effort aimed at revealing some of the mysteries of the human brain.
The inner functioning of the brain is something we are only just beginning to understand and with each new revelation comes the immense complexity of the brain’s sophistication.
In Communicating Brains: From Autism and Dyslexia to Progressive Aphasia, Elysa Marco, Nina Dronkers and Maya Henry study disorders, such as autism, dyslexia, and aphasia to better understand the processes a healthy brain uses to communicate. Each disorder affects the brain differently revealing a different way the brain processes can be disrupted, thus divulging more about those communicative functions.
In the latest series from UC San Diego’s CARTA, scientists from different fields discuss the cognitive abilities that are often regarded as unique to humans, including humor, morality, symbolism, creativity and preoccupation with the minds of others. They assess the functional uniqueness of these attributes, as opposed to the anatomical uniqueness, and whether they are indeed quantitatively or qualitatively unique to humans.
Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced his plans to create a bold, $100 million public-private initiative to better understand the brain and the diseases that affect it. Appropriately called BRAIN (for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), the group brings together experts across private industry, academia and government agencies in the areas of neuroscience, neurotechnology and neuroscience.
You can bet a good portion of that research will take place within the University of California, where researchers are already deeply entrenched in unlocking the mysteries within the human brain. How do we know? Because many of these same researchers have shared their fascinating discoveries in autism, alzheimer’s, neurology, and mental health and psychiatry with UCTV viewers for years.
And it seems our viewers are always hungry for more. UCTV’s Human Brain iTunes feed consistently shows up in iTunesU’s Top 10 Collections and “What’s Hot” sections.
No doubt that President Obama’s endorsement will mean even more exciting discoveries — and UCTV programs — to come. In the meantime, subscribe to our Human Brain feed in iTunes and browse our archive of Neurology programs at our website. There’s plenty to keep your brain busy!
Sleep deprivation takes a huge toll on society, and not just because it makes for a cranky population. Poor sleep has been linked to a range of health problems and researchers at the University of California and elsewhere are working to better understand how sleep — or lack of it — impacts our brains and bodies.
Two new UCTV programs highlight sleep research on specific segments of the population: women and older people.
UCTV Prime’s “Sleep, Memory and Age” shows how scientists at UC Berkeley have found a link between poor sleep and the hallmark maladies of old age: memory loss and brain deterioration. Their discovery opens the door to boosting the quality of sleep in elderly people to improve memory.
In “Women and Sleep: From Stressful to Restful,” UCSF School of Nursing’s Kathryn Lee explores sleep, fatigue, and circadian rhythms in women.
There are plenty more intriguing sleep research updates from UCTV, which you can browse here. You might also be interested in “Sleep, Stress and Obesity: A Weighty Issue,” a five-part series from UCSF’s Center for Obesity, Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST), which examines this three-pronged problem from a variety of interesting angles, including how sleep and stress impact our metabolism and brain function, why adequate sleep and stress reduction may be the 21st century pillars of health, and how sleep and stress may explain disparities in obesity risk.
Get in your jammies, grab a warm glass of milk and gain a whole new understanding of of the importance of a good night’s sleep.