Friday, May 20, 2011

TEDxHendrixCollege - Doug Fields - The Other Brain

What glial cells do and how they function - as we begin to understand what this cerebral "dark matter" does (85% of the brain is glial cells), we are being forced to change our ideas about how the brain functions.

TEDxHendrixCollege - 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.

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