Monday, May 28, 2012

TEDxHendrixCollege (2011) - What Can Your Mind Do for You?

The TEDx event at Hendrix College (Arkansas) was focused on the topic, What Can Your Mind Do for You? There are five good videos here on topics ranging from connectome, glial cells, functionalism, and the impact of modern technology on the brain. Good stuff.

Below are the talks from TEDxHendrixCollege 2011: What Can Your Mind Do for You?

Dr. Doug Fields: The Other Brain
In this talk, Dr. Doug Fields discusses glia, or "glue," which make up 85% of the cells in the human brain. New discoveries about these glial cells are revolutionizing the way that scientists view the brain, and Dr. Fields gives us a glimpse into this burgeoning area of neuroscience.

R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D., is the Chief of the Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Adjunct Professor in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is author of the new book The Other Brain, which gives readers an eyewitness view of the discovery of brain cells, called glia, that communicate without using electricity. He is an internationally recognized authority on neuron-glia interactions, brain development, and the cellular mechanisms of memory. In 2004 Dr. Fields founded the scientific journal Neuron Glia Biology, where he is the Editor-in-Chief, and he serves on the editorial board of several other neuroscience journals. The author of over 150 articles in scientific journals, Dr. Fields also enjoys writing about science for the general public. He is a scientific advisor to Scientific American Mind and Odyssey magazines. He has written articles for Outside Magazine, the Washington Post and other, and he writes on-line columns for the Huffington Post, Psychology Today and Scientific American. Dr. Fields received advanced degrees at UC Berkeley (B.A.), San Jose State University (M.A.), and in 1985 he received the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, San Diego, jointly from the Neuroscience Department, in the Medical School and the Neuroscience Group, at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He held postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University, Yale University, and the National Institutes of Health before starting his research laboratory at the NIH in 1994. In addition to science he enjoys building guitars, rock-climbing, and scuba diving.

Dr. Andy James: The Cognitive Connetome
Dr. Andy James is exploring individual differences in cognition using fMRI. By developing a cognitive connectome, or a map of connections in the brain that are involved in cognition, Dr. James hopes to identify the cognitive differences between healthy individuals to help understand cognition in both healthy and clinical populations.

Dr. Andrew James is an assistant professor in the Brain Imaging Research Center of the Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  After receiving bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Applied Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999, he pursued graduate studies in neuroscience at the University of Florida. There he was introduced to functional magnetic resonance imaging, which combined his passions for analytic instrumentation and cognition. After receiving his Neuroscience Ph.D. in 2005, he spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology before accepting a professorship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Dr. James's research focuses upon developing novel experimental designs and statistical analyses to push the methodological boundaries of functional neuroimaging. His past research has encompassed a broad range of topics including age-related changes in neural networks mediating motor learning, the neural encoding of aftertaste perception, the reorganization of motor networks following stroke, and modeling inter- and intra-subject variability in emotion-regulating networks with major depressive disorder.  His recent work focuses on how the brain encodes individual differences in reasoning and personality, where he seeks to bridge the gap between well-validated neuropsychological measures of cognition and the brain's functional networks.

Dr. Jack Lyons: Why You Need a Brain (and Why You Don’t)
In this entertaining talk, philosopher Dr. Jack Lyons outlines his version of functionalism and asks the audience if they really do need a brain.

Dr. Jack Lyons is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He got his bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana and his PhD in philosophy with a minor in cognitive science from the University of Arizona. He taught at Florida State University for two years before coming to Arkansas. He works mainly in epistemology, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind. Recent projects concern various issues in the foundations of cognitive science, including modularity, the nature of representation, multiple realizability, and the recent neoreductionist movement in the philosophy of mind. Most of his current work has involved the epistemology of perception. He has published several journal articles on epistemology and philosophy of psychology/cognitive science and has a recent book on Oxford University Press, entitled Perception and Basic Beliefs. He is an associate editor for the journal Episteme: A Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology.

Carl Schoonover: Portraits of the Mind
Carl Schoonover's talk at TEDxHendrixCollege took the audience on a visually stunning journey through the history of neuroscience, showcasing the gorgeous results of the various methods that have been used to study the brain from antiquity through the 21st century.

Carl Schoonover is a neuroscience PhD candidate and National Science Foundation graduate fellow at Columbia University, and the author of Portraits of the Mind. He has written for The Huffington Post, Scientific American, Design Observer, Science Magazine, Le Figaro, Commentaire, Boing Boing and LiveScience, and cofounded NeuWrite, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between. He hosts a radio show on WKCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera, classical music, and their relationship to the brain.

Dr. Sandra Aamodt: The Wired Brain: How Modern Life Is Changing Your Mind
Sandra Aamodt reveals how technology is changing the development of the next generation in our increasingly modernizing world, both for the better and the worse.

Sandra Aamodt is a former editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, the leading scientific journal in the field of brain research. She received her undergraduate degree in biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University, and her doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Rochester. After four years of postdoctoral research at Yale University, she joined Nature Neuroscience at its founding in 1998 and was editor in chief from 2003 to 2008, when she left to spend a year sailing across the Pacific Ocean. She lives in Northern California with her husband, one cat, and three chickens.

During her editorial career, she read over three thousand neuroscience papers and wrote dozens of editorials on neuroscience and science policy. She also gave lectures at twenty universities, and attended forty-five scientific meetings in ten countries. Her science writing has been published in The New York Times, the Washington Post, El Mundo and the Times of London. Her first book, Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life (coauthored with Sam Wang), won the 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books. Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College, by the same authors, will be published in September 2011.
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