Neurological Discoveries (03:50)
Breakthroughs in neuroscience have lead scientists like Mohamad Koubeissi into the field of brain mapping. This process is now used to send currents through people's brains in order to restore them to full cognitive function; the claustrum is thought to be the on and off switch of consciousness.
How Reliable is Memory? (03:38)
Steve Ramirez is a neuroscientist who believes personal identity is built upon the memory system; the complexity of nature as a whole tells scientists a lot about the structure of the human brain. Memories become vulnerable to changes as a person revisits them and are permanently altered with time.
Memories of Trauma (05:13)
Psychologists Bill Hurst believes memories are not the permanent storage of information, but instead are constructed as situations occur and are vulnerable to change over time; memories of traumatic events are called flashbulb memories which are directly linked to disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Breakthroughs in Neurology (04:36)
Ramirez’s study shows if emotions can be scientifically and psychologically separated from traumatic flashbulb memories then patients with mental disorders like PTSD could potentially be alleviated of their suffering. Scientist implanted a false memory into lab rats as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's patients.
Curing Mental Disorders (05:50)
John Shank talks about how the invention of brain imaging systems, such as the MRI, led to the process of precision mapping the brain; Shank and his colleagues at GE test a new process allowing them to see the iron deposits in the brain. They are searching for the primary cause of depression.
Neurological Decision Making (04:54)
Neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes conducted a controversial neurological study which concluded the unconscious mind is primarily in control of most decisions a person makes. Haynes later discovered, however, the conscious mind can intervene in the very late stages of decision making.
Two patients suffering from meningitis causing nearly daily seizures experience a rapid decrease in their quality of life; Koubeissi used new neurological techniques on these patients. Koubeissi believes their symptoms can be alleviated by using a complex system of probes guided through their brain using brain mapping technology.
Future of Neuroscience (05:43)
Koubeissi performs the surgery to repress the seizures in his meningitis patients, and the new treatment is a success in reducing the seizures by ninety-one percent without any cognitive effects. Neuroscientists are far from fully understanding how the brain operates and functions since it is such a complex organism.
Credits: Decoding the Brain
Credits: Decoding the Brain
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