domingo, 30 de novembro de 2008

Research Mechanics:

Putting the Brakes on Cancer

Bert Vogelstein, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore

BioInteractive - Bert Vogelstein, M.D.
HHMI's BioInteractive - Holiday Lectures on Science
HHMI's BioInteractive - Lecture Series and Informal Talks
HHMI's BioInteractive - FAQ

A Healthy Nervous System:

A Delicate Balance

Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D. Professor, Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics, Pediatrics, Neurology, and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas Programs in Cell & Molecular Biology and Developmental Biology Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

HHMI's BioInteractive
HHMI's BioInteractive - Huda Zoghbi, M.D.
HHMI's BioInteractive - Neuroscience Lecture Series
Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D. - Faculty - Pediatric Neurology and ...

Evolution: Fossils, Genes, and Mousetraps

HHMI's BioInteractive - Evolution Informal Talks

Real Video

Leading evolution educator Ken Miller discusses the controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution, presents compelling evidence for evolution and reasons why "intelligent design" is not scientific. The presentation also features Dr. Miller's responses to questions from a live audience of high school students.

Ken Miller's Evolution Page
Kenneth R. Miller - Home Page
HHMI's BioInteractive - Lecture Series and Informal Talks

sábado, 29 de novembro de 2008

Brain, Mind and Behavior:

Defining the Mind and Minding the Brain

Take a look into our current understanding of the function of the human brain and some of the important diseases that cause nervous system dysfunction. On this edition, Dr. Sophia Vinogradov of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center explores the mixing of visual perception, emotion, and memory and the interplay of the different functions of the brain.
Dr. Vinogradov studies how the brain malfunctions in schizophrenia, a devastating psychiatric illness that strikes young adults in their prime. She is a co-investigator on a multi-site collaborative project that investigates the relationship between prenatal and early developmental factors and the later onset of schizophrenia. She is also a leader in the next wave of treatment and prevention of schizophrenia, using techniques of neuroscience-guided cognitive remediation: intensive computer-based training exercises to correct the brain information-processing abnormalities of the illness. Additionally, Dr. Vinogradov is working with senior researchers at UC Davis, UCLA, and UC San Diego to develop a consortium of programs that identify adolescents who show risk signs for developing schizophrenia and to intervene to prevent the illness.

Brain, Mind and Behavior: Emotions and Health

The Promise of Mind-Body Medicine

Take a look into our current understanding of the function of the human brain and some of the important diseases that cause nervous system dysfunction. On this edition, Jason Satterfiled, director of behavioral medicine at UCSF, explores the emotions and health and the promise of mind-body medicine.

UCTV SERIES: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public

Jason Satterfield, PhD, is Director, Behavioral Medicine and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Satterfield is a cognitive-behavioral clinical and research psychologist with extensive experience in individual and group therapy.
His areas of expertise are in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders, adjustment to chronic medical and stress-induced illnesses, HIV, and stress-management.
He currently teaches Behavioral Medicine to UCSF primary care residents, co-directs the behavioral science curriculum for UCSF medical students, and is an investigator on several projects focusing on medical education, wellness promotion, and emotional intelligence in medicine.

The Neuroscience of Emotions

Google Tech Talks
September 16, 2008

About the Speaker
Philippe Goldin, Ph. D. Philippe completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University, Clinical Psychology Internship at the UC San Diego / San Diego VA consortium, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. His clinical research focuses on
a) functional neuroimaging investigations of cognitive affective mechanisms in both healthy adults and in individuals with various forms of psychopathology,
b) the effect of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy on neural substrates of emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and attention regulation, and
c) the effect of child-parent mindfulness meditation training on anxiety, compassion, and quality of family interactions.

About the Lecture
The ability to recognize and work with different emotions is fundamental to psychological flexibility and well-being. Neuroscience has contributed to the understanding of the neural bases of emotion, emotion regulation, and emotional intelligence, and has begun to elucidate the brain mechanisms involved in emotion processing. Of great interest is the degree to which these mechanisms demonstrate neuroplasticity in both anatomical and functional levels of the brain.

quinta-feira, 27 de novembro de 2008

Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark

This is Your Brain on Politics

Sir Harold Kroto is Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University. In 1996, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of C60 Buckminsterfullerene.
In 1995, he inaugurated the Vega Science Trust, and in 2007, he started the Global Education Outreach in Science, Engineering and Technology (GEOSET) at FSU. He has received many scientific awards including the Royal Society's prestigious Michael Faraday Award. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007.
Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark

Thomas Frank: author of "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule"

After Words
interviewed by Jeanne Cummings, Chief Lobbying and Influence Correspondent for Politico

Thomas Frank, author of “What’s The Matter With Kansas” argues that conservatives have encouraged the privatization of the government in “The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule.”
Mr. Frank profiles the lobbyists, politicians, and pundits who he claims have placed the free market over effective government.
Book TV on C-SPAN2

Tercera Cultura en Madrid

Presentación Plataforma Cultura 3.0

El dia 19 de noviembre se presentó en Madrid, en la sala de actos de la Fundación Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, nuestra plataforma Tercera Cultura, con gran éxito de asistencia. Hizo la introducción la escritora Mª Teresa Giménez Barbat, intervinieron Eduardo Robredo (La revolución naturalista) , José Pardina (director de Muy Interesante), y Arcadi Espada (periodista y ensayista) .

Esta presentación fue noticia en la sección de Ciencias del diario El Mundo y en una entrevista en directo a Arcadi Espada la noche misma de la presentación en Telemadrid a cargo de Hermann Tertsch.
A raíz de esta presentación hemos recibido numerosas notas de felicitación y apoyo que agradecemos calurosamente.

quarta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2008

Bailout costs $8.5 trillion

The Real News Network
spoke to journalist and author Nomi Prins.
With the credit crisis continuing to worsen, the US federal government is pledging a seemingly endless amount of money to shore up failing institutions hit hard by toxic assets. Federal government pledges now top $8 trillion with the most recent $800 billion announced Tuesday. The Real News Network spoke to journalist and author Nomi Prins.
Nomi Prins is a journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos. She writes about politics, money and relationships. Nomi is the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America and Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket . Before becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and running the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London.

terça-feira, 25 de novembro de 2008

This is Your Brain on Politics

Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark

Lawrence M. Krauss is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics Department, Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative and Inaugural Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. He is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics.
(TSN) The Science Network

Countdown to the opening of a giant cocoon

The new Darwin Centre
A 1-year countdown to the opening of a giant cocoon, part of the second phase of the Natural History Museum's landmark Darwin Centre, begins today: 02 September 2008

The new Darwin Centre took 280 people 25 months to build and cost £78 million and will reveal the Museum's world-class science research when it opens in September 2009.

Artist's impression of the atrium showing the cocoon inside the glass Darwin Centre building.

The building is now complete and staff are getting ready to fill it with the 20 million insect and plant specimens that will be housed there.

As well as being a new home to protect the Museum's important collections, the state-of-the-art building will be the workplace of hundreds of Museum scientists and a place of discovery for the public.

'Until now most of our science has been going on behind the scenes,' says Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum. 'At the Darwin Centre, we will show the public more of both our vital research and our internationally important collections.'

Visitor Experience
Visitors will take a journey through the 8-storey-high cocoon and get breathtaking views along the way. They will find out how Museum scientists study the natural world and see real science in action.

Science in actionMore than 200 scientists will work in the Darwin Centre using the new high-tech facilities and laboratories. They'll continue important research into subjects such as malaria as well as UK-focused research in the new Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity.

Curators will look after 17 million insect and 3 million plant specimens, used by thousands of researchers around the world each year. There are 3.3km of cabinets waiting in preparation.

The new building has specially controlled environmental conditions to ensure the internationally-important specimens are protected from light, pests and humidity.

Cocoon architectureThe 65m-long 8-storey-high cocoon is the architectural highlight of the building and is the largest sprayed concrete, curved structure in Europe. Its 30 steel columns are 28m long and are the longest columns ever to be transported through London.

The Darwin Centre will I hope inspire people to think about the natural environment differently and in turn inspire them to take better care of our planet,' concludes Dr Dixon.

Further information

domingo, 23 de novembro de 2008

Neurobiology of Fear, Anxiety and Extinction:

Implications for Psychotherapy

About the Speaker
Dr. Michael Davis is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine

Before coming to Emory, Michael Davis was on the faculty at Yale University School of Medicine, from 1969 to 1998. Davis also served as consultant to NIMH's prospective joint venture with NASA on the Neurolab Shuttle Mission. He is the recipient of Yale's Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, the National Science Foundation Fellowship and a Sterling Fellowship. He has also won several Public Health Service Research Scientist Awards and the National Institute of Mental Health's Merit Award.

Davis earned his Ph.D. at Yale University. His research interests include the neurobiology of learning and memory using the fear-potentiated startle reflex in both rats and humans, with special emphasis on the role of the amygdala in emotion, as well as the role of peptides in the behavioral effects of stress.

About the Lecture
Few scientists have charted the grim territory of fear and anxiety with the same doggedness and precision as Michael Davis.

Nearly four decades ago, researchers learned that animals, including humans, startle more when fearful. A sudden noise in a dark, creepy alley provokes a greater reaction than in a well-lit room, for instance. That got Davis and his colleagues wondering what neural mechanisms underlie the startle reflex, and how fear plays a part in the response.

In his talk, Davis describes the meticulous experiments he and others have conducted over many years. Starting with the fear potentiated startle test -- where animals are trained to pair a stimulus such as light, or sound, with a shock -- researchers began to track the pathways that mediate the response in the nervous system. Using chemical tracers that could follow electrical activity in the brain, Davis found a group of cells in the central nucleus of the amygdala that are critical for fear conditioning. “It was a nice day in the laboratory,” he says. When he knocked out this part of the amygdala with drugs or a lesion, it selectively decreased fear potentiated startle.

More studies produced maps showing that outputs of the central nucleus affect other areas of the brain involved in the symptoms of fear and anxiety, such as elevated blood pressure, sweating, clammy skin, panting and pupil dilation. Of particular interest to Davis, though, were the connections between the central nucleus and another part of the amygdale long thought to be interrelated, the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST). When drugs inactivated the BNST, the startle response was completely blocked.

Davis began disentangling the mechanisms of these two areas, and found that a specific peptide, corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) “produces a constellation of behaviors that look very much like fear and anxiety” -- and acts on receptors only in the BNST. He began to test the idea of two systems acting in parallel in the brain: fear, of relatively short duration, orchestrated by the central nucleus; and anxiety, more diffuse and sustained, originating in the BNST.

Davis proposes that cognitive inputs (perhaps bad experiences and memories) help drive the release of CRH and long-term anxiety, including common debilitating phobias (fear of heights, darkness) and post-traumatic stress disorder. Research has shown that to extinguish such fears, new kinds of ‘inhibitory’ learning must take place. Davis recently discovered a compound, D-cycloserine, that has proved extremely promising in psychotherapy aimed at extinguishing phobias.

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

Perhaps no one comprehends the roots of depravity and cruelty better than Philip Zimbardo. He is renowned for such research as the Stanford Prison Experiment, which demonstrated how, in the right circumstances, ordinary people can swiftly become amoral monsters. Evil is not so much inherent in individuals, Zimbardo showed, but emerges dependably when a sequence of dehumanizing and stressful circumstances unfolds. It is no wonder then, that Zimbardo has lent both his expertise and moral outrage to the case of U.S. reservists who perpetrated the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.

Zimbardo’s latest book, The Lucifer Effect, attempts to understand “how good people do evil deeds.” His talk outlines his involvement as expert witness for the defense team of one of the military police officers responsible at Abu Ghraib, and also provides a rich history of psychological research into the kind of behavior transformations evident in Iraq. First, Zimbardo presents a slideshow of Abu Ghraib abominations, including some digital photos that were not widely distributed by the media. Then he digs deep into the archives for a horrifically illustrated tour of experiments that make a persuasive case that certain, predictable situations corrupt people into wielding power in a destructive way.

He describes Stanley Milgram’s 1963 Yale-based research demonstrating that people will behave sadistically when confronted by “an authority in a lab coat.” A vast majority of the subjects delivered what they were told were dangerous electric shocks to a learner in another room, to the point of apparently killing the other person. Researchers skeptical of his results replicated them. This time, professors demanded that students shock real puppies standing on electrified grills. Zimbardo’s own prison experiment turned an ordinary group of young men into power-hungry “guards,” humiliating equally ordinary “prisoners” in the basement of Stanford’s psychology building. The descent into barbarity was so rapid that Zimbardo had to cancel the experiment after a few days.

The recipe for behavior change isn’t complicated. “All evil begins with a big lie,” says Zimbardo, whether it’s a claim to be following the word of God, or the need to stamp out political opposition. A seemingly insignificant step follows, with successive small actions, presented as essential by an apparently just authority figure. The situation presents others complying with the same rules, perhaps protesting, but following along all the same. If the victims are anonymous or dehumanized somehow, all the better. And exiting the situation is extremely difficult.

Abu Ghraib fit this type of situation to a T, says Zimbardo. The guards, never trained for their work helping military interrogators, worked 12-hour shifts, 40 days without a break, in chaotic, filthy conditions, facing 1,000 foreign prisoners, and hostile fire from the neighborhood. They operated in extreme stress, under orders to impose fear on their prisoners. Zimbardo believes the outcome was perfectly predictable, and while never absolving these soldiers of personal responsibility, believes justice won’t be done until “the people who created the situation go on trial as well: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George Bush.”

Genocide to Abu Ghraib: How Good People Turn Evil

World Affairs Council: Nor Cal

Social psychologist Philip Zimbardo discusses From Genocide to Abu Ghraib: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.

To help us understand how good people can be seduced to act immorally, and how it can be prevented, renowned social psychologist Philip Zimbardo joins the Council to discuss his new book The Lucifer Effect.

Drawing on examples from history, current events, and his now-classic Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo's book details how situational forces and group dynamics can work in concert to make people commit organized genocide, torture, and abuse. Seeing key similarities in social circumstances at the Iraqi prison and his mock prison at Stanford, he examines what led U.S. soldiers, who were on a mission to liberate Iraq from a brutal dictator, to torture and abuse detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison - World Affairs Council of Northern California

An Evening with John Pilger and Amy Goodman

Nation Books and The New School present award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger, author of Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire, and Amy Goodman, host of the Pacifica radio show Democracy Now!, as they discuss struggles for freedom and independence in Iraq, Palestine, South Africa, and the island of Diego Garcia, where the fight for independence has been of long duration and the people are still waiting for this dream to be realized.
John Pilger Homepage

Michael Parenti

Discusses Contrary Notions
Cody's Books
Berkeley, CA
Jan 17th, 2008

Internationally acclaimed, award winning author Michael Parenti is one of America's most astute and engaging political analysts. Covering a wide range of subjects, Parenti's work has enlightened and enlivened readers for many years. Here is a rich buffet of his deep but lucid writings on real history, political life, empire, wealth, class power, technology, culture, ideology, media, environment, gender, and ethnicity - along with a few choice selections drawn from his own life experiences and political awakening.

Parenti serves on the board of judges for Project Censored, and on numerous advisory boards as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought. He is the author of twenty.

sábado, 22 de novembro de 2008

Bank Eat Bank: Bailout Encourages Mergers

By Danielle Ivory and Lagan Sebert
Nov 21, 2008

With newfound bailout money in their wallets, big banks have been rushing to gobble up smaller ones. At the center of these mergers is the Treasury Department, led by Goldman Sachs alums Henry Paulson and Neel Kashkari. While neglecting struggling homeowners they have created major incentives for widespread bank consolidation, which could lead to a host of new problems. And, as members of Congress recently noted, Treasury officials seem to be making the rules up as they go.

Paul Krugman: The Future of the Middle Class?

Paul Krugman discusses Losing Our Way in the New Century: The Future of the Middle Class?

Krugman brings a sharp political, social and economic analysis of what happened to the middle class of the 20th century and where America's social policy is headed in the future. Krugman is the most widely read economist of our time and was named Columnist of the Year by Editor and Publisher magazine
- The Commonwealth Club

How the Rich are Destroying the Earth

by Hervé Kempf

YouTube Video

Hervé Kempf was born in 1957 in Amiens, north of Paris, in France. After studies in economics, history, and political science, he became a journalist. Since 1988 he has specialized in environmental and ecological reporting. He created the environmental magazine Reporterre, and has written for scientific and economic newspapers. He has worked with Le Monde, the most influential French newspaper, since 1998, where he is the Environmental Editor and covers ecological topics, notably climate change and biodiversity. Le Monde now has an entire section devoted to environment and science. Traveling worldwide for his reporting, Kempf makes his home in Paris.

His previous books are La guerre secréte des OGM (The Secret War of GMOs, 2003), which tells the history of transgenic research and development, and the rebellion against it in Europe, and Gaza, la vie en cage (with photos from Jérome Equer, 2005), which tells the daily life of inhabitants of the Gaza strip—it has been translated and published in the U.S. as Gaza, Life in a Cage (Algora, 2006). - Consommer moins, répartir mieux

sexta-feira, 21 de novembro de 2008

Finance and Labor: Risk, Inequality, and Democracy

The New School

Sanford Jacoby, the Howard Noble Professor of Management
at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, presents a lecture on the future of capitalism.
Professor Jacoby, a historian and economist, discusses his paper, titled "Finance and Labor: Perspectives on Risk, Inequality, and Democracy," in which he argues that social protest and severe populist regulation of the financial industry are likely outcomes of unchecked income and wealth disparities.
This is followed by a discussion with distinguished economists from three walks of life, including government, the labor movement and Wall Street

Marion Nestle: What to Eat
Aug 14th, 2008
Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua, NY

Marion Nestle, NYU Professor of Nutrition and author of Food Politics, Safe Food, and What to Eat, gives a talk entitled What to Eat: Personal Responsibility or Social Responsibility.
Nestle discusses the U.S. food system including supermarket strategies. She informs and advises the audience at the Chautauqua Institution's 2008 program about what and how to eat.

quinta-feira, 20 de novembro de 2008

Transforming the Global Economy:

Solutions for a Sustainable World
By Susan George
15 November 2008

The crisis that we are seeing today is not only the financial crisis - this is only one aspect of a much bigger systemic crisis that encompasses the social crisis, or crisis of inequality, the financial and the ecological crises, says Susan George in this video lecture, and suggests radical reforms that would create more just wealth distribution while saving the economy and the environment: an environmental Keynesianism.

Speach delivered at the School of International Development & Global Studies, University of Ottawa, 29 October 2008. Recorded by Chris Brown, LIQUID VISUAL, and published by
News and Events - Archive - School of International Development ...

Transnational Institute

quarta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2008

Palagummi Sainath : Globalizing Inequality SPECIAL EDITION! - Feb. 25, 2005

The award-winning development reporter and photojournalist, Palagummi Sainath, is India's foremost chronicler of the impact of Globalization on the country's rural populations. Described by the Nobel Prize-winner, Amartya Sen as "one of the world's greatest experts on famine and hunger," P. Sainath has worked tirelessly to expose the devastation inflicted on rural farmers and the broader population by the so-called neo-liberal economic reforms. He is author of the best seller, "Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts", a book credited with significant impact on drought management, medical and development programs in rural India. He is currently working as the rural affairs editor of The Hindu. This lecture is an edited version of a longer presentation delivered at the Washington State University campus in Vancouver, Washington. The lecture was sponsored by the Center for Social and Environmental Justice of Washington State University. P. Sainath spoke at the Washington State University Vancouver campus on February 25, 2005.

segunda-feira, 17 de novembro de 2008

Dan Gilbert: Exploring the frontiers of happiness

Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness -- sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces.

domingo, 16 de novembro de 2008

String Theory, Black Holes, and the

The Fundamental Laws of Nature

For centuries, we have been trying to understand the basic laws which govern the universe. The most promising candidate for our next step forward is string theory. Surprisingly, strings and black holes have been found to be inextricably intertwined, and the understanding of one is giving new insights into the other.

Professor Lisa Randall: Introduction

The Scientific Quest: Understanding the Basic Laws of Nature

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

The Problems of Quantum Mechanics and Unification

Understanding String Theory

Black Holes and String Theory

Professor Andrew Strominger: Audience Question and Answer

Dr. Robert Stickgold:

Sleep, Dreams, and Memory

Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Stickgold's work focuses on the nature and function of sleep and dreams within a cognitive neuroscience framework, with an emphasis on the role of sleep and dreams in memory consolidation and integration.

Taking an "unabashedly" neuro-scientific approach, Dr. Stickgold ponders the function of dreaming from the perspective of memory. Contrary to the historical view that the brain essentially shuts down during sleep, Dr, Stickgold states that the brain has, in fact, evolutionarily evolved to remain highly active during this period. "When everything seems to be shut off, there's all this complex machinery in action," says Dr. Stickgold. By studying EEG (Electroencephalograph) patterns, it becomes clear that sleep is divided into 90-minute periods, each revealing different brain activity and eye movement.

In terms of memory-related functions, sleep seems to cause procedural memories "to become consolidated and, in fact, stronger so we can perform faster," thus enhancing motor skills learned during the previous day. Studies reveal a marked improvement for tasks involving reaction time, as well as for such erudite domains as mathematical insight, following a good night's rest. Researchers studying the function of dreams have discovered that the mind replays and rehearses many of the movements experienced during motor learning. Furthermore, the brain makes associations between related types of movements, fitting new experiences in with previous memories and knowledge. Dreaming, states Dr. Stickgold, is one of most sophisticated of cognitive functions.

Dr. Daniel Schacter:

The Seven Sins of Memory

Dr. Daniel L. Schacter is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Chair of the psychology department. Dr. Schacter studies psychological and biological aspects of human memory and amnesia, using a combination of cognitive, neuropsychological, and neuro-imaging techniques.
Opening his lecture on memory errors, Dr. Schacter remarks that memory is "the foundation for so much of who we are, what we do... but, on the other hand, despite the importance of memory, it's also fragile. It's imperfect." Dr. Schacter distinguishes seven categories of memory failures and focuses on two of these at length during this lecture: transience (a "sin" of forgetting during which the rate of forgetting decreases in the hours and days following an experience) and misattribution (the presence of an inaccurate memory or the incorrect assignment of information to a particular circumstance).
Through the use of brain scanning techniques such as fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Dr. Schacter notes that things that happen "in the few seconds when you encode a new experience... have very profound consequences for whether you're subsequently going to remember that information for a long period of time, or whether it's going to fade away and be subject to transience." It turns out that words are best remembered when encoded semantically (by emphasizing the meaning of the word), and that different regions of the brain become activated during different kinds of word encoding.
Dr. Schacter demonstrates the phenomenon of misattribution by reading a list of related words to the audience, followed by a recall and recognition test. When asked, approximately 80% of audience members confidently believed that a word thematically similar to those read aloud had actually been in the original list when, in fact, it had not. This form of error indicates that we retain the general sense of a list, but not necessarily the specific words. However, despite the fact that these errors are unsettling, Dr. Schacter informs us that in "the case of misattribution and several of the other memory sins, these vices of memories can also be virtues."

sábado, 15 de novembro de 2008

We are what we remember:

memory and the biological basis of individuality

In this lecture, Eric R Kandel will consider the neural systems and molecular mechanisms that contribute to learning and long-term memory. He will divide his talk into two parts: first, he will consider how different memory systems were identified in the human brain and how they were shown to be involved in two major forms of neural memory storage:
1) simple memory for perceptual and motor skills and
2) complex memory for facts and events.
He will then go on to outline studies of simple forms of memory in Aplysia that demonstrated that long-term memory is reflected in the growth of new synaptic connections. More complex forms of memory for space in the mouse will then be explored. Finally, he will discuss how our insights into memory storage are allowing us to understand various forms of age related memory loss.
Eric R. Kandel is Kavli Professor and University Professor at Columbia University and senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000, and was shortlisted for the 2007 Royal Society Prize for Science Books for In Search of Memory, his account of his life and role in the new science of mind.

UCSD Guestbook - Neuroscientist Larry Squire

Join UCSD's Nick Spitzer in conversation with Larry Squire, a distinguished senior neuroscientist whose seminal contributions form the basis of much of our understanding of primate memory.

Conscious and Unconscious Memory Systems

of the Mammalian Brain

Join UCSD's Larry Squire in a fascinating presentation of recent research about memory systems in humans and other mammals.

Dr. Larry R. Squire received his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and did postdoctoral study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine before coming to UCSD. His publications include approximately 350 research articles and two books: Memory and Brain (Oxford Press, 1987) and Memory: From Mind to Molecules with Eric Kandel (W.H. Freeman, 1999). He served as President of the Society for Neuroscience (1993-1994) and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and The Institute of Medicine.
Larry Squire website
Grey Matters Explore and Discover

sexta-feira, 14 de novembro de 2008

Joan Stiles : Brain Development


UCSD Cognitive scientist Joan Stiles reveals the latest understandings about the intricate relationship between biology and external influences in the development of the brain.

How Do We Predict the Future:

Brains, Rewards and Addiction

Terrence J. Sejnowski, professor and head of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, is a pioneer in the field of computational neuroscience.

Among other things, Sejnowski is interested in the hippocampus, believed to play a major role in learning and memory; and the cerebral cortex, which holds our knowledge of the world and how to interact with it. In his lab, Sejnowski's team uses sophisticated electrical and chemical monitoring techniques to measure changes that occur in the connections among nerve cells in the hippocampus during a simple form of learning. They use the results of these studies to instruct large-scale computers to mimic how these nerve cells work. By studying how the resulting computer simulations can perform operations that resemble the activities of the hippocampus, Sejnowski hopes to gain new knowledge of how the human brain is capable of learning and storing memories. This knowledge ultimately may provide medical specialists with critical clues to combating Alzheimer's disease and other disorders that rob people of the critical ability to remember faces, names, places and events.

Lecture Overview
Why do we make certain decisions? For example, are you motivated to study for a class at the beginning of the semester when the first exam is over a month away? Would you baby-sit on a Saturday night? If you had to give up a party, but would be paid double, would you consider missing your party? What encourages you to get involved in volunteer work?

There are circuits of nerve cells in the brains of humans and other animals that act as a reward system. They create pleasurable feelings when we engage in adaptive behaviors, making us want to repeat the task. Unfortunately, by inappropriately activating these neural circuits, drugs can hijack them. Activation of the reward system has a very powerful impact on behavior. For example, if a rat receives stimulation to the reward center in its brain when it presses a lever, it will continue to press the lever, actually ignoring food and eventually starving to death.
UCSD-TV Grey Matters Series

quinta-feira, 13 de novembro de 2008

The rhetoric of enmity

Gresham Lecture


Speaker: Professor Rodney Barker
"You may tell a lady by the company she keeps." But you may tell political leaders by the company they shun. Their descriptions of enemies are a way of telling stories about themselves. The use of accounts of enemies from the Reformation to the 'war on terror'.
Gresham College Home
Gresham College

Body Building: An Illustrated Lecture with David Macaulay

Beginning with the cell, the MacArthur Award-winning artist and author of The Way Things Work, takes us on a stunning visual journey through the major systems of the body.

What do rulers do when they rule?

Gresham Lecture
Speaker: Professor Rodney Barker


Mark Twain commented that anyone who actively sought to become President was clearly thereby morally disqualified from holding the office. Why do people seek to govern, why do they do what they do when they govern, and how are we to explain and describe what they are doing?

Gresham College Home

quarta-feira, 12 de novembro de 2008

Wired to get wound up!

Why emotions are so hard to control


Speaker(s): Professor Joseph E LeDoux, Professor Keith Kendrick, Professor Raj Persaud

Professor Joseph E LeDoux, New York University, Professor Keith Kendrick, Head of Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge and former Gresham Professor of Physic and Professor Raj Persaud, Visiting Gresham Professor of Psychiatry.
More than a feeling: How emotion works in the brain

Gresham College Search Lectures and Events
Gresham College Audio and Video

Glenn Wilson: The Power of Music

Gresham College

How does music exert such extraordinary effects on our emotions? To what extent does it depend upon our nature (biological rhythms, instinctive reactions to certain sound patterns) and to what extent experience (e.g. conditioned associations, nostalgia)?

Particular attention is given to the tension-reduction and optimal uncertainty theories of musical enjoyment. Professor Glenn Wilson considers whether there is any truth in the claim that listening to music can increase intelligence in the listener (the so-called 'Mozart Effect').

terça-feira, 11 de novembro de 2008

Explanations of enmity : pessimists, optimists and sceptics

Professor Rodney Barker is Professor of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he has been since 1971. He has an MA from Downing College, Cambridge, and a PhD from LSE. Professor Barker has been published widely and is regularly invited to address international conference. He writes and broadcasts on a range of topics, some directly related to scholarship, others not, and contributes to The Guardian, Tribune, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Scotsman, New Statesman and other journals.

Professor Barker's programme for Gresham College will draw on history, political science and political theory. The lectures will present a perspective on the contemporary world and its government which draws on a broad range of modern scholarship in an informed and intelligently provocative manner, setting out the historical context of current events and the significance of general patterns of human activity.

From Brain Dynamics to Consciousness:

A Prelude to the Future of Brain-Based Devices
May 10-11, 2006: Cognitive Computing

The Almaden Institute is held annually at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. The Institute brings together eminent, innovative thinkers from academia, government, industry, research labs and the media for an intellectually charged, stimulating and vigorous dialogue that addresses fundamental challenges at the very edge of science and technology.

"There is no scientific study more vital to man than the study of his own brain. Our entire view of the universe depends on it."
Francis H. C. Crick, September 1978

The 2006 Almaden Institute will focus on the theme of "Cognitive Computing" and will examine scientific and technological issues around the quest to understand how the human brain works. We will examine approaches to understanding cognition that unify neurological, biological, psychological, mathematical, computational, and information-theoretic insights. We focus on the search for global, top-down theories of cognition that are consistent with known bottom-up, neurobiological facts and serve to explain a broad range of observed cognitive phenomena. The ultimate goal is to understand how and when can we mechanize cognition.

The Institute will endeavor to construct a collective bird's eye view both of the state of the art and of what is to come, to elucidate and formulate the main open questions in this grand quest and to highlight promising directions. As always, the goal of the institute is to ask tough questions, to raise important discussions and to prompt significant constructive action around a contemporary scientific and technological theme.

Confirmed speakers include Toby Berger (Cornell), Gerald Edelman (The Neurosciences Institute), Joaquin Fuster (UCLA), Jeff Hawkins (Palm/Numenta), Robert Hecht-Nielsen (UCSD), Christof Koch (CalTech), Henry Markram (EPFL/BlueBrain), V. S. Ramachandran (UCSD), John Searle (UC Berkeley) and Leslie Valiant (Harvard). Confirmed panelists include: James Albus (NIST), Theodore Berger (USC), Kwabena Boahen (Stanford), Ralph Linsker (IBM), and Jerry Swartz (The Swartz Foundation).

The Institute format is designed to facilitate and foster discussion, debate, interaction, and networking. Distinguished attendees will be present from several institutions, including AFRL/AFOSR, Allen Institute, Brandeis, CIA, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, DARPA, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foveon, Hitachi, Honda, House Ear Institute, In-Q-Tel, Intel, JPL, Krasnow Institute, LLNL, MIT Media Lab, MSRI, Minerva Foundation, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, NASA, NIH, NIST, NSF, Numenta, ONR, PARC, Rockfeller University, SETI, SRI, Samsung, Santa Fe Institute, Stanford, Sun, Sutter Hill Ventures, Technology Partners, The Kavli Foundation, The Neurosciences Institute, U Illinois, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, UCLA, UCSD and UCSF.

An interview with Eric Kandel : Neurophilosophy - ScienceBlogs


Our German counterparts at have produced this 21-minute video of an interview they did with neuroscientist Eric Kandel, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory in the sea slug Aplysia californica.

Kandel is one of the authors of Principles of Neural Science, the standard textbook for neuroscience at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. His autobiography, In Search of Memory, which was published in 2006 (and which I reviewed at the time), won the LA Times Book Award for Science and Technology in that year.

Among the topics Kandel discusses in the interview are the differences between biological and digital memory, neurogenesis in the hippocampus, free will and consciousness, drug development and the use and abuse of drugs by children, and the state of science in the U.S. and Europe.

segunda-feira, 10 de novembro de 2008

The Diversity of Development - The Genetics of Primate Evolution:

A Rosetta Stone for Understanding Human Disease

Evolution Matters Web Site

Ajit Varki is Co-Director of the newly established UCSD / Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, multidisciplinary approach to understanding human origins, which involves scientists from across San Diego and all over the world. Here he explores the genetic approach to understanding human disease, in the light of genetic changes that occurred during our evolutionary history.

Ajit Varki received basic training in physiology, medicine, biology, and biochemistry at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, The University of Nebraska, and Washington University in St. Louis. He also has formal training and certification in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology. He is currently distinguished professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, and co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center at UCSD. Dr. Varki is executive editor of the textbook Essentials of Glycobiology and has served on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, PLoS Medicine and Glycobiology. He is also a co-director for the UCSD Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny and is an affiliate faculty member of the Living Links Center of Emory University. Dr. Varki is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians.

domingo, 9 de novembro de 2008

The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

James Gustave Speth, Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University

Recorded April 2, 2008

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Yale Professor James Gustav Speth for a discussion of his career in the environmental movement. Professor Speth traces his changing perspective on the appropriate response to the environmental crisis. Concluding that only a radical transformation of capitalism will save the planet for future generations, he outlines the changes in consciousness and in the political agenda that will be required.

Francis Crick:

UCSD Guestbook

Join UCSD neuroscientist Nick Spitzer as he hosts Nobel Laureate and 1999's Steven W. Kuffler lecturer Francis Crick in a fascinating conversation about Dr.Crick's investigations of human consciousness.

UCSD Guestbook: Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson received both his B.A. and Ph.D. from UCSD. He is a highly acclaimed writer of science fiction and science fiction criticism; the recipient of numerous major literary awards; and the author of 14 books (novels, short stories, criticism), including his multiple prize-winning "Mars" trilogy.

sábado, 8 de novembro de 2008

NESCent Podcasts

National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

NESCent is located in The Erwin Mill Building, which was built in 1893 and served as a cotton mill until 1986. The 15 foot ceilings, thick wooden posts scattered through the building, and 9 foot windows are all that remain of its original purpose. Space on the second story was renovated in 2005 to provide NESCent with 16,500 square feet of office and meeting space.

These podcasts may be downloaded from iTunes U for free. Also, the small viewing window can be expanded to full screen using the control panel on the bottom of the viewing pane.

Podcasts for Evolution in the News stories from Understanding Evolution and NESCent
Podcasts for NESCent Evolution in the News stories
Podcast Interviews with Scientists
  • Elizabeth Derryberry
    Elizabeth Derryberry was a graduate student in Steve Nowicki's lab at the time this interview was conducted. She talked about her publication on bird song and speciation. She has since graduated and Dr. Derryberry is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Louisiana State University. (Download from iTunes U)
Student Generated
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Fall 2007 Bio213: Evolution and Life

Superbug, super-fast evolution

NESCent video
April, 2008

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is an increasingly common medical problem. MRSA is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has evolved multiple drug resistance. Infections caused by normal S. aureus are fairly easy to treat with antibiotics, but an infection caused by MRSA is very difficult to treat and can be life threatening. In this podcast Dr. Christina Burch from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talks about the evolution of drug resistance in commensal bacteria like S. aureus.

sexta-feira, 7 de novembro de 2008

Understanding Evolution

NESCent and Understanding Evolution collaborate to bring you monthly Evolution in the News stories and podcasts. The stories, along with links to background literature and classroom resources are available on the Understanding Evolution site and the podcasts are available here.

The New Shrew That's Not...
This podcast provides information about the geographic location of the grey faced sengi habitat, and the phylogenetic classification of sengis with the Afrotheria - a group that includes elephants, dugongs, tenrecs and aardvarks. Dr.s Kathleen Smith and Samantha Price of NESCent provide additional insight into the historical biogeography and phylogenetic classification of these organisms in an interview, as well as the concept of "living fossils" and how ideas develop and change in science.
Additional Resources: Elephant Shrews
Video and phylogenetic information from the Peabody Museum's "Travels in the Great Tree of Life."

quarta-feira, 5 de novembro de 2008

Global Warming : Nation Under Siege

The rapid depletion of fossil fuels and the rising sea level from the warming of the earth's atmosphere are converging to dramatically alter our future. Edward Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030, unveils a new study of sea level rise showing fly-over 3D images depicting potentially calamitous coastal and national impacts.

Trading Our Way Into Trouble? (Kevin Smith)


Kevin Smith is a campaigner and activist with Carbon Trade Watch. In this video he talks to us about Carbon Trading and how it is anything but a green solution to our Climate Crisis.

Environmental Justice Videos (

Participatory democracy at the crossroads
Although carbon trading doesn't have any track record of having reduced emissions effectively, it has been chosen as a main policy response to climate change because of its compatibility with the economic agenda of privatisation and the idea of the omnipotence of the market. In these video presentations, TNI’s Kevin Smith talks about carbon trading, the Clean Development Mechanism and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
Eurotopia 2007 (PDF)

terça-feira, 4 de novembro de 2008

James Lovelock - Climate change on the living Earth

James Lovelock, the groundbreaking originator of Gaia theory, in conversation with science editor Tim Radford warns that we are about to reach a tipping point, beyond which our planet will not recover sufficiently to sustain human life comfortably.

segunda-feira, 3 de novembro de 2008

There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America

In his classic essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell described political speech as consisting “largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” Six decades later, the tactics of disinformation and manipulation diagnosed by Orwell persist on the political battlefield, along with new propaganda techniques made possible by advances in scientific knowledge and modern technology.

"There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America" which took place at the New York Public Library on November 7 2007, invited historians, linguists, cognitive experts, journalists, government officials, and political consultants to assess the current state of public discourse — and journalism’s response to it — one year before a hotly contested presidential election.

"What Orwell Didn't Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics," an anthology featuring twenty prominent writers and thinkers, was released at the time of conference.

The three panels, Propaganda Then and Now: What Orwell Did and Didn't Know, Deceiving Images: The Science of Manipulation and Solutions: The Future Political Landscape, can be viewed here on the Link TV website.

Visit the official site
List of speakers

Propaganda Then and Now
Deceiving Images
The Future Political Landscape



MODERATOR: Ernest J. Wilson III, dean and Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. PANELISTS: Michael J. Copps, commissioner, Federal Communications Commission · Charlayne Hunter-Gault, broadcast journalist, former CNN bureau chief, and chief national correspondent, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer · Josh Marshall, publisher of Talking Points Memo, TPMmuckraker, TPM Election Central and TPMCafe · Alessandra Stanley, television critic and former Moscow-bureau co-chief, The New York Times.



MODERATOR: Nicholas Lemann, dean and Henry R. Luce Professor, The Journalism School, Columbia University. PANELISTS: George Lakoff, Co-Founder and Senior Fellow, Rockridge Institute and the Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, UC Berkeley · Frank Luntz, political pollster and consultant; author of Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear · Drew Westen, professor of psychology/psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Emory University; author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.



MODERATOR: Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society; former dean, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. PANELISTS: Konstanty Gebert, Warsaw-based former Solidarity activist; columnist and international reporter, Gazeta Wyborcza · Masha Gessen, Moscow-based author and journalist; contributor to The New York Times, The New Republic, and US News & World Report · Jack Miles, senior fellow for religious affairs, Pacific Council on International Policy; distinguished professor of English and religious studies, UC Irvine · George Soros, chair of Soros Fund Management LLC; philanthropist and author

domingo, 2 de novembro de 2008

Beyond Belief: Candles in the Dark - Tony Haymet

Tony Haymet is the tenth director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Haymet also serves as UC San Diego's Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences and Dean of the Graduate School of Marine Sciences, and is a Professor of Oceanography at Scripps and Chemistry at UC San Diego. Tony is a founder and currently Vice-Chair of CleanTech San Diego, a business development organization dedicated to the practical response to climate change issues.

sábado, 1 de novembro de 2008

Evolution and the Origins of Life

Harold Morowitz of George Mason University will discuss how new knowledge of energy flow pathways can help elucidate the origins of life. Lecture series presented by National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the Office of Science Education, and the National Human Genome Research Institute.

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Biophysicist Harold Morowitz became a Robinson Professor after a long career of teaching and research at Yale University as Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and serving for five years as Master of Pierson College. The author of several books, Morowitz has written extensively on the thermodynamics of living systems, as well as on popular topics in science. Included in those publications are Mayonnaise and the Origins of Life, Cosmic Joy and Local Pain, The Thermodynamics of Pizza, Entropy and the Magic Flute, and The Kindly Dr. Guillotin. In his current research, Morowitz is investigating the interface of biology and information sciences and continues his exploration of the origins of life. Other books are The Origin of Cellular Life: Metabolism Recapitulates Biogenesis and The Facts of Life (co-authored with James Trefil). He is Staff Scientist and former Director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Complexity. His book The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex was published in 2002 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Morowitz is principal investigator on the multi-institutional grant "From Geochemistry to the Origin of Life," which is centered at the Santa Fe Institute and includes George Mason University and four other research centers. Dr. Morowitz was featured in an article in the Mason Gazette: .