playlist

How your brain functions in different situations

When you're doing something, what's your brain up to? Which neurons are firing where, and why? These fascinating talks will give you a hint.

  1. 6:32
    Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar What happens in your brain when you pay attention?

    Attention isn't just about what we focus on — it's also about what our brains filter out. By investigating patterns in the brain as people try to focus, computational neuroscientist Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar hopes to build computer models that can be used to treat ADHD and help those who have lost the ability to communicate. Hear more about this exciting science in this brief, fascinating talk.

  2. 13:49
    Colin Camerer When you're making a deal, what's going on in your brain?

    When two people are trying to make a deal — whether they’re competing or cooperating — what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals how badly we predict what others are thinking. Bonus: He presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it.

  3. 14:51
    Uri Hasson This is your brain on communication

    Neuroscientist Uri Hasson researches the basis of human communication, and experiments from his lab reveal that even across different languages, our brains show similar activity, or become "aligned," when we hear the same idea or story. This amazing neural mechanism allows us to transmit brain patterns, sharing memories and knowledge. "We can communicate because we have a common code that presents meaning," Hasson says.

  4. 15:56
    David Camarillo Why helmets don't prevent concussions — and what might

    What is a concussion? Probably not what you think it is. In this talk from the cutting edge of research, bioengineer (and former football player) David Camarillo shows what really happens during a concussion — and why standard sports helmets don't prevent it. Here's what the future of concussion prevention looks like.

  5. 11:04
    Sandrine Thuret You can grow new brain cells. Here's how

    Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.

  6. 9:03
    Neil Burgess How your brain tells you where you are

    How do you remember where you parked your car? How do you know if you're moving in the right direction? Neuroscientist Neil Burgess studies the neural mechanisms that map the space around us, and how they link to memory and imagination.

  7. 14:03
    Tim Urban Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

    Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

  8. 17:04
    Sophie Scott Why we laugh

    Did you know that you're 30 times more likely to laugh if you're with somebody else than if you're alone? Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott shares this and other surprising facts about laughter in this fast-paced, action-packed and, yes, hilarious dash through the science of cracking up.

  9. 11:41
    Jeff Iliff One more reason to get a good night's sleep

    The brain uses a quarter of the body's entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body's mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.

  10. 17:40
    Nancy Kanwisher A neural portrait of the human mind

    Brain imaging pioneer Nancy Kanwisher, who uses fMRI scans to see activity in brain regions (often her own), shares what she and her colleagues have learned: The brain is made up of both highly specialized components and general-purpose "machinery." Another surprise: There's so much left to learn.