Tag Archives: brain

The Multidimensional Mind

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.

The Multidimensional Mind series, from UCSF Osher Mini Medical School, is a compilation of videos presenting the cutting edge developments in brain science and discoveries.

In Genes and the Brain: From Worms to People”, see how Dr. Aimee Kao, Dr. Dena Dubal and Jennifer Yokoyama study the way genes affect the brain through simple worms.

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.

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Is the Human Mind Unique?

There’s plenty that goes on in these heads of ours — sometimes more than we want or understand. But just how much does the way our minds work distinguish us from other species?

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.

Watch “Is the Human Mind Unique?” and then tell that brain of yours to click on over to the CARTA video archive for more intriguing insights into what makes us human.

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UC and the BRAIN Initiative

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!

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Sleep On This: Connecting Sleep Habits to Health

Slide from “How is Sleep Related to Obesity? Sleep and Weight Gain,” available on UCTV (click image to go to the program)

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.

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Alzheimer’s Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life

Someone in America is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds. Is there a way to keep this disease at bay?

Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, suggests there may be.

In “Alzheimer’s Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of Your Life,” Dr. Small examines the connection between lifestyle choices and susceptibility and offers physical and mental preventative strategies, including stress relief and cross-training your brain.

Get a jump on your brain betterment by watching it now online.

Also make sure to watch UCTV Prime’s original web series, “Heartache & Hope: America’s Alzheimer’s Epidemic,” featuring Dr. Small and his UCLA colleagues who’ve made some promising strides in their Alzheimer’s research.

Want more healthy aging help? Check out the other programs from UC San Diego’s Stein Institute for Research on Aging at our website.

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