Thursday, June 09, 2011

Brain Networks with Olaf Sporns (Brain Science Podcast 74)

The Brain Science Podcast is too infrequent for my taste - I would love it to be weekly, although I am sure Dr. Campbell feels otherwise. The time between episodes just makes me that much more grateful when a new one comes up in my feeds.

On the other hand, it's going back to a monthly episode schedule starting next month, so there is much rejoicing in my head right now.

Oh yeah, the discussion in this episode centers around brain modules or networks, and the the book is Networks of the Brain by this week's guest, Olaf Sporns (MIT Press, 2011).

Brain Networks with Olaf Sporns (BSP 74)

Olaf Sporns, PhD, Networks of the Brain by Olaf Sporns is an excellent comprehensive introduction to the use of Network Theory to study both the brain and the nervous systems of invertebrates. In Episode 74 of the Brain Science Podcast I interviewed Dr. Sporns (Indiana University) about some of the key ideas in his book. Network Theory is becoming increasingly important as a tool for dealing with the massive amounts of data being generated by current techniques, such as brain imaging. It is also a valuable tool with dealing with the fact that nervous systems consist of multiple scales (from the molecular level up to billions of neurons), which can not be reduced to a single scale.

While Networks of the Brain will be of greatest interest to those working in neuroscience and to those with a background in fields like engineering, mathematics, and computer science, this interview provides an introduction for listeners of all backgrounds.

listen-to-audio Listen to Episode 74

Episode Transcript (Download Free PDF)

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  • BSP 31: Interview with György Buzsáki, author of Rhythms of the Brain
  • BSP 46: Discussion of Brain Imaging, including Diffusion Imaging
  • BSP 56: Interview with Dr. Eve Marder about the use of circuit theory in neuroscience
  • BSP 61: Mapping the Brain (and generating huge amounts of data)


  • The Brain Science Podcast will be returning to a monthly schedule on July 1, 2011.
  • Please join the new Brain Science Podcast Discussion Forum at
  • Get show notes automatically via our Newsletter.
  • Dr. Campbell gave a talk in London last month entitled "Why Neuroscience Matters."(Available here.)
  • Dr. Campbell will be a speaker at The Amazing Meeting 9, July 14-17,2011 in Las Vegas, NV.
  • Don't forget to check out the Books and Ideas podcast and SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG.
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