Ep 217: Take a look at looking



Take a look at looking

Your sense of vision is arguably the most complicated sense you have. Estimates range from one half, to as much as two thirds of your brain dedicated to using light to make sense of your world. From the way your eyes turn light into nerve impulses, to different bits of the brain that process them, we take a close look at looking.
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Ep 216: the stuff between your ears, including the ears



the stuff between your ears, including the ears

From the shape of your ears to bits of your brain, and just a little bit about fish for some reason, have a listen to how we listen.
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Ep 215: What is a cortex?



What is a cortex?

From the Latin word for tree bark, “cortex” refers to the outer most layer of an organ. In the brain, the outer most layer is made of several layers of neurons. That’s true in the cerebellum, in the cerebellar cortex; and the cerebrum, in the better known cerebral cortex. Today, we take a look at how these separate areas of cortex work together, and talk about the six layers of your neocortex.
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ep 214: What’s this “cerebellum” thing for?



What’s this “cerebellum” thing for?

It’s sitting underneath your cerebrum, this odd bulge behind the brainstem. Only ten percent of your brains total volume, it has more than 75 percent of the neurons. What is the cerebellum, and what does it use all those neurons for?
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Ep 213: Reverse engineering the brain… ish



Reverse engineering the brain… ish

Let’s see… How does this “brain” thing work exactly? Maybe we could build something brain-like, something that would act as though it has a mind. Hmmm… In a conversation that rambles through blind cavefish, dancing pigeons, Alaskan turtles, cribbage, and potato chips, Phil and I talk about reverse engineering the human brain. Bwa ha ha!
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Ep 212: A network of networks



A network of networks

It’s an old part of your brain, but still very complicated. With far too much to cover in one episode, Phil and I hit a few highlights of your reticular formation. From our old friend the substantia nigra; to the raphe nuclei acting as a source of serotonin; to our new friend, the pedunculopontine nucleus, which I never did pronounce right; we take a closer look at the network of networks that is your reticular formation.
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Ep 211: Black and blue brain bits



Black and blue brain bits

Last week, Phil had questions. This week, we try to answer them. We also take a closer look at areas of the brain that have pigment in their neurons, and try to figure out what that pigment is there for.
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Ep 210: The gas and brakes in your brain



The gas and brakes in your brain

Philosophy was fun, but let’s get back to looking at the brain, and the bits there in. Today we talk about a system that helps to activate and control the way you move. It’s one part of what’s happening in your “basal ganglia,” which is just fun to say.
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Ep 209: Do you really make choices?



Do you really make choices?

We had trouble finding an ending last time. Probably because we weren’t done. There was more to say, and we say it. From AI and ethics, to the question of choice and free will, join us for another episode that creeps out of science and into the less than certain world of philosophy.
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Ep 208: Sometimes science isn’t enough



Sometimes science isn’t enough

The mind body problem, the hard question of consciousness—why do you feel like you to you? Phil and I attempt to bridge the gap between science and philosophy, only to fall down the chasm. We struggle a while with questions that have no answers, mostly because it means we can’t possibly get them wrong. Join us for a talk about consciousness.
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