Long-Term Potentiation (LTP)

In this video I explain the concept of long-term potentiation, which refers to the strengthening of neural connections due to repeated synchronous firing. Repeated firing leads to changes in chemical signaling between the two neurons, influencing neurotransmitter and receptor activity. Next I introduce an example of this with the possible role of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (for the neurotransmitter glutamate) in …

Biology of Memory: The Hippocampus

In this video I introduce the biology of memory and the role of the hippocampus on long-term memory formation. I discuss several cases of severe memory loss including patients H.M. and E.P., who suffered anterograde amnesia and cannot form new memories, and Clive Wearing, who also suffers from retrograde amnesia and is unable to recall his past. These case studies …

Olfaction: Sense of Smell

In this video I explain the process of transduction for scent; how odorant molecules in the air can trigger different olfactory receptor neurons which then send messages to the rhinencephalon or “nose brain”. I mention the links between scent, emotion, and memory and how pheromones allow for chemical communication between members of a species. Finally I mention the relationship between …

Split Brains: What Happens When You Sever the Corpus Callosum?

In this video I cover research by Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga on split brain patients who have had the corpus callosum severed. I explain some hemispheric specializations such as speech production and facial recognition as well as how visual information is separated into each hemisphere at the optic chiasm according to visual field.   Don’t forget to subscribe to …

Parts of the Brain: Forebrain – Cerebral Cortex

In this video I continue explaining parts of the brain and focus on the cerebral cortex. The cortex is the thin, wrinkled, outer covering of the brain and the wrinkles and folds create gyri, sulci, and fissures. The cortex is divided into two hemispheres, left and right, each with 4 lobes: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital. Don’t forget to subscribe …

Parts of the Brain: Forebrain – Subcortical Structures

In this video I continue covering parts of the brain and move to the subcortical structures of the forebrain including the thalamus, pituitary gland, limbic system (hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala), basal ganglia, and corpus callosum. I also mention the Genes to Cognition site (link below) which has an excellent interactive 3D brain feature which can help you to learn brain …

Parts of the Brain: Midbrain Structures

In this video I continue covering parts of the brain, explaining regions of the midbrain including the tegmentum, the substantia nigra, and the tectum. I also discuss the limitations of using 2D images when learning about brain structures, the use of “flowery” language for describing brain structures, and problems with somewhat arbitrary borders for brain regions (such as determining whether …

Parts of the Brain: Hindbrain Structures

In this video I explain the main regions of the brain: the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain, as well as the difference between the “old” and “new” brain in evolutionary terms. Then the location and function of four main areas of the hindbrain (medulla, reticular formation, cerebellum, and pons) are explained. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future …

Brain Scanning and Imaging Techniques

In this video I briefly explain how information can be collected about the structure and function of a living brain using scanning and imaging techniques including EEG, CAT scan, PET scan, MRI, fMRI, and DTI. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d like to see covered in a future video? Let …

Early Ways of Studying the Brain

In this video I discuss early approaches to studying the brain by looking at cases of brain damage and attempting to connect areas of damage to deficits or changes in behavior. The case of Phineas Gage is considered, as well as Paul Broca’s work studying brain damage associated with speech production problems such as aphasia. Don’t forget to subscribe to …