Every morning we wake up and regain consciousness -- that is a marvelous fact -- but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self.
Mona Lisa is one of the best-known faces on the planet. But would you recognize an image of Leonardo da Vinci? Illustrator Siegfried Woldhek uses some thoughtful image-analysis techniques to find what he believes is the true face of Leonardo.
Gever Tulley uses engaging photos and footage to demonstrate the valuable lessons kids learn at his Tinkering School. When given tools, materials and guidance, these young imaginations run wild and creative problem-solving takes over to build unique boats, bridges and even a roller coaster!
Percussionist Sivamani delivers one of TED's liveliest and most inventive performances yet. He uses traditional Western and Eastern instruments to create a rhythmic tour de force, along with a tub of water, corrugated metal, spoons, luggage, our stage props and even a little audience participation.
Imagine having a surgery with no knives involved. At TEDMED, Yoav Medan shares a technique that uses MRI to find trouble spots and focused ultrasound to treat such issues as brain lesions, uterine fibroids and several kinds of cancerous growths.
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses mathematical analysis to predict (very often correctly) such messy human events as war, political power shifts, Intifada ... After a crisp explanation of how he does it, he offers three predictions on the future of Iran.
Charlie Todd causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, "ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. His group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.
Today's math and science curricula often serve to alienate students from these valuable disciplines when they should be doing the opposite. STEM advocate Amara Berry uses her family's work in the sciences to illustrate the pressing need for making education in these subjects more accessible and effective.
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.
Just how small are atoms? Really, really, really small. This fast-paced animation from TED-Ed uses metaphors (imagine a blueberry the size of a football stadium!) to give a visceral sense of just how small atoms are. Lesson by Jon Bergmann, animation by Cognitive Media.
How do we search for alien life if it's nothing like the life that we know? Christoph Adami shows how he uses his research into artificial life -- self-replicating computer programs -- to find a signature, a "biomarker," that is free of our preconceptions of what life is.
Anjan Chatterjee uses tools from evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience to study one of nature's most captivating concepts: beauty. Learn more about the science behind why certain configurations of line, color and form excite us in this fascinating, deep look inside your brain.
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.
From deep in the TED archive, Danny Hillis outlines an intriguing theory of how and why technological change seems to be accelerating, by linking it to the very evolution of life itself. The presentation techniques he uses may look dated, but the ideas are as relevant as ever.
Multidisciplinary artist and TED Fellow Paul Rucker has developed his own style of cello; he puts chopsticks between his strings, uses the instrument as a drum and experiments with electronics like loop pedals. Moving between reflective storytelling and performance, Rucker shares his inspiration -- and definitely doesn't play the same old Bach.
Glenn Cantave uses technology to highlight narratives of the oppressed. In a tour of immersive visual projects, he shares his work with the team at Movers and Shakers NYC, a coalition that executes direct action and advocacy campaigns for marginalized communities using virtual reality, augmented reality and the creative arts.
As an immigrant, writer Juliana Delgado Lopero learned early that not all English is created equal, her accented speech defined and policed by peers and authority figures alike. She urges us to instead celebrate the creative uses of language that spring from our individual and cultural experiences.
What if all the motivational speakers are wrong? Writer and humorist Harrison Scott Key uses his own unremarkable journey from country boy to -- if you ask his mom -- literary star to illustrate the mildly outrageous truth about what it really takes to achieve the American Dream.
Laparoscopic surgery uses minimally invasive incisions -- which means less pain and shorter recovery times for patients. But Steven Schwaitzberg has run into two problems teaching these techniques to surgeons around the world: language and distance. He shares how a new technology, which combines videoconferencing and a real-time universal transl...
Giorgia Lupi uses data to tell human stories, adding nuance to numbers. In this charming talk, she shares how we can bring personality to data, visualizing even the mundane details of our daily lives and transforming the abstract and uncountable into something that can be seen, felt and directly reconnected to our lives.
What if our bodies could help grow new life after we die, instead of being embalmed and buried or turned to ash? Join Katrina Spade as she discusses "recomposition" -- a system that uses the natural decomposition process to turn our deceased into life-giving soil, honoring both the earth and the departed.
You've probably heard that carbon dioxide is warming the Earth. But how exactly is it doing it? Lieven Scheire uses a rainbow, a light bulb and a bit of quantum physics to describe the science behind global warming. [Directed by STK Films, narrated Addison Anderson, music by Michael Dow].
Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the best-known methods for treating cancer. At TEDMED, Bill Doyle presents a new approach, called Tumor Treating Fields, which uses electric fields to interrupt cancer cell division. Still in its infancy -- and approved for only certain types of cancer -- the treatment comes with one big benefit: quality o...
In standard notation, rhythm is indicated on a musical bar line. But there are other ways to visualize rhythm that can be more intuitive. John Varney describes the 'wheel method' of tracing rhythm and uses it to take us on a musical journey around the world. [Directed by TED-Ed, narrated by Addison Anderson].
Marco Tempest uses charming stagecraft to demo EDI, the multi-purpose robot designed to work very closely with humans. Less a magic trick than an intricately choreographed performance, Tempest shows off the robot’s sensing technology, safety features and strength, and makes the case for a closer human-robot relationship. (Okay, there’s a little ...
Early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder can improve the lives of everyone affected, but the complex network of causes make it incredibly difficult to predict. At TEDxPeachtree, Ami Klin describes a new early detection method that uses eye-tracking technologies to gauge babies' social engagement skills and reliably measure their risk of devel...
Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It's not a parlor trick; it actually works. You have to see it to believe it.
MacArthur winner Sendhil Mullainathan uses the lens of behavioral economics to study a tricky set of social problems -- those we know how to solve, but don't. We know how to reduce child deaths due to diarrhea, how to prevent diabetes-related blindness and how to implement solar-cell technology ... yet somehow, we don't or can't. Why?
Long before sustainability was a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban was using ecologically sound building materials such as cardboard tubes. He uses them to build remarkable temporary structures for disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda and Japan. Yet often, these buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served ...
A billion people in the world lack access to all-season roads. Could the structure of the internet provide a model for how to reach them? Andreas Raptopoulos of Matternet thinks so. He introduces a new type of transportation system that uses electric autonomous flying machines to deliver medicine, food, goods and supplies wherever they are needed.