Sarah just got news that one of her tumours (a liver tumour) shrunk! Yay! It appears to be from the radiation she had back in March, which is welcomed news after being a bit confused as to what the initial report meant. She shares this with us today in context with the past 5 days of the perpetual roller coaster she is on. We end with a little life coachey-rest officer discussion about how she is planning to manage her energy for an upcoming trip to Australia.Read More
Tackling the science of [heterosexual] love is an interesting endeavour indeed. Lauren starts us off with the idea of three phases of love (lust, attraction, and attachment), the hormones and neurotransmitters associated with some of these phases, differences between men and women* and an evolutionary perspective on love. We then spend a good deal of time talking about attachment and what that kind of love means in parenting and with pet animals. We even talk about how the brain is affected by a break-up. Unfortunately, all we covered was heterosexual love.Read More
My friend and colleague, Vanessa, recently came out as polyamorous. She’s been living this philosophy for a long time but I was not privy to it, mostly because she had been keeping her professional life separate from her polyamorous life. But she’s been provoked (by our Cosmic Consultant, Cylla — see Cosmic Consultation episode) to let these two worlds collide. So over breakfast in Costa Rica (we were there for work actually!) I open up my phone to record and solicit her into a conversation, which might be one of many. In the process we talk about how this started for Vanessa, how it exists now, and how this relates to sexual orientation.
I love sharing this conversation with others because we both think it’s an opportunity for anyone, whether in monogamous relationships or not, to open their mind to, even if just as a way of developing acceptance and appreciation for such a philosophy. Some people might even be considering it for themselves. In any case, have a listen and see what you think!Read More
The morning sounds of Costa Rica is such a great example of the diversity of their ecosystem. It makes me laugh thinking back to when I posted a Birds Chirping Meditation from a park in Toronto. This recording was done while I did a morning yoga practice in the open yoga studio. Now, I do my practice to it while back in Toronto, keeping my eyes closed and feeling like I'm back there. It's a good interim until we return next April again!
Please, use it to meditate, do yoga, or just while walking along. You can hear birds, monkeys, and the rustling leaves.
In a (school) year when marijuana became legal, how could we resist the temptation to discuss the neuroscience side of this popular drug. With this change in legislation here in Canada, it granted us the ability to have an open conversation about it, including some of our own personal experiences along with research related to two psychoactive ingredients: CBD (cannabidiol) and and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). We covered both sides of this in terms the benefits and the negative side effects.Read More
Sarah provides a spring update on where she's at with cancer. It's been a year since her metastatic cancer diagnosis. More scans, treatment protocols, surgeries, emotions, and science.Read More
Join me for a sitting meditation. Find your comfortable sitting position, close your eyes, focus on your breath, listen to me talk about impermanence and expectations in the context of anxiety. Then stay for silence together.Read More
In this week’s episode, we explore one of the most crucial aspects of the human experience; memory. We start off with a phenomenon Lauren finds particularly interesting: Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, in which individuals can recall specific, extremely detailed aspects of their daily lives spanning years and even decades in the past. From there we discuss How do we store memories? What different facets and types of memory are there? What is going on with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. We also discuss some historical figures in memory research (e.g., H.M.), eye witness testimonies, place cells, and erasing memories.
Howard, M. W., & Eichenbaum, H. (2013). The hippocampus, time, and memory across scales. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 142(4), 1211-1230. doi:10.1037/a0033621
Jeneson, A., & Squire, L. R. (2012;2011;). Working memory, long-term memory, and medial temporal lobe function. Learning & Memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 19(1), 15-25. doi:10.1101/lm.024018.111
LePort, A. K., Mattfeld, A. T., Dickinson-Anson, H., Fallon, J. H., Stark, C. E., Kruggel, F., . . . McGaugh, J. L. (2012). Behavioral and neuroanatomical investigation of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 98(1), 78-92. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2012.05.002
Nowak, C., & Nowak, C. (2017, November 10). Only 60 People in the World Have This Insanely Powerful Memory. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/highly-superior-autobiographical memory/
Palombo, D. J., Alain, C., Soderlund, H., Khuu, W., & Levine, B. (2015). Severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM) in healthy adults: A new mnemonic syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 72, 105-118. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.04.012
Simons, J. S., & Spiers, H. J. (2003). Prefrontal and medial temporal lobe interactions in long-term memory. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4(8), 637-648. doi:10.1038/nrn1178
25, R. D. (n.d.). The 5 Types of Memory Everyone Has and Why They Matter. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/memory-types/
ALifeJournal. (2016, December 05). Retrieved February 21, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnel7xQTFvI
Gaitan, R. (2016, April 16). Retrieved February 21, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fV3jafglNo: This video discusses Neurons and their role in forming memories. It discusses the Prefrontal Cortex, where memories and associations are formed. For example, he uses Diet Coke as his example and discusses how your sense of taste and memory works so that when you drink Diet Coke, you remember the taste associated and can identify.
Frontotemporal Dementia. Retrieved from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/frontotemporal_dementia/: This page discusses a condition called Frontotemporal Dementia. It impacts about as many people as Domentia does, accept, it is experienced by those who are a little younger than those who experience Domentia The age range identified is between 40 and 60 years old.
Clive Wearing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Wearing
Place Cells & Temporal Cells: https://www.ted.com/talks/neil_burgess_how_your_brain_tells_you_where_you_are/transcript?language=en
Replacing memories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRuUQiIgyj4
Humans experience and observe some of the most extravagant wonders and marvelous sights the world has to offer using the sense many of us sometimes take for granted ; Vision! How do eyes work? What role does the brain play in all of it ? Can we trust what we see ? Find out in this week’s episode of the neuroscience podcast. Quite literally, there is more than meets the eye!Read More
For the second week of our Conversations with Neuroscience Students series, we discuss Nutrition and the Brain, which is a nice extension from what we talked about last week regarding Exercise and the Brain. There were many places we could have gone with this. What we did get into included the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (referred to as simply ‘BDNF' in the episode… and in neuroscience). We talked about toxins and diets and inflammation and even meandered into a discussion about social factors like food security and Canada’s new food guide.Read More
This is a guided meditation practice with a focus on breath awareness. It's one of several basic introductory meditations to help build concentration skills with a focus on the breath.
To learn about meditation visit: http://www.mandyland.ca/blog/2018/10/23/a-beginners-mind-to-meditation
In this episode, we dive into the world of health and wellness and how exercise affects the brain. We explore concepts such as CBR (cerebral blood flow) and BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor) to see how these are affected by exercise. We also talk about how exercise can affect different demographics and what significance it holds for illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We also share some of personal experiences with exercise and how it affects us and our studies.Read More
I’m going to invite people into the process of my next project related to human intelligence and the need to rethink the way we see intelligence. In this first episode about it, I talk about Multiple Intelligence according to Howard Gardner and also about VIA Character Strengths. At the end, I invite people to take my in-progress screening survey on multiple intelligence and the VIA survey. The link for those are both listed below.
Take the VIA survey first so you can tell me what your top 5 character strengths are in my survey.
My First Draft of a Multiple Intelligence Survey:
My goal with all of this is to use a combination of questionnaire, interview by a trained coach, and if possible, field assessments. I will be looking for volunteers for the initial pilot testing. If you want to be considered, please do both the VIA survey followed by my survey and you may be contacted for follow-up.
Please note, this survey is not about identifying people as intelligent or not but rather about the hope of identifying individual’s dominant intelligence and strength.
After a few years of students from the second-year neuroscience class I teach at the University of Guelph-Humber asking for how they can learn more neuroscience, I decided to take some of them on as part of their placement requirements. Here we will be exploring various topics in neuroscience. This is our first formal audio meeting where we hear from them, what they are interested in and give us some idea of how to proceed for the next couple of months working together.Read More
In this episode, originally sent as a voice memo to Mandy and Mike, Sarah recounts the immediate aftermath of being kept up overnight by side effects of one of her treatments. This was back in September 2018, before recording the first podcast we published with Sarah on Mandyland. But she wants to share this note as it captures feelings of vulnerability, frustration, confusion, and exasperation that arise in dealing with cancer treatment. It's happened a few times now that a new symptom pops up and spurs a chain of medical appointments, scans, and tests. Figuring out what is going both in her own experience in her body, and from the perspective of multiple doctors, has proven to be one of the most challenging types of cancer experience. At present, Sarah's happy to report the small probably benign lesion for which this episode is named has not grown or caused any significant problems since it showed up, and her brain remains entirely healthy and tumor-free.Read More
Sarah and I are in San Diego, at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, a place we have been together many times. We had many slow(er than normal) days and quiet nights in our hotel room. And then we got a chance to really dive into what her new normal is. The conference was a perfect place to compare what use to be, with what is now.Read More
Mike and I got into a conversation about The Interoceptive Mind, a way of feeling our inner body provoked partially by a book that I picked up at the Society for Neuroscience back in November. According to the authors Interoception is “the body-to-brain axis of signals originating from the internal body and visceral organs (such as gastrointestinal, respiratory, hormonal, and circulatory systems).”Read More
Clearly, I have more important things to do with my time than creating episodes. Here’s a little snapshot into that. Note, this was recorded by Mike at the end of our date night, on Dec 1st. I only found out about it yesterday (Dec 9th). Apparently he sent it to me but I didn’t even see it or listen to it.
An introduction to focusing on the breath, a basic concentration practice that sets a foundation for meditating and for deepening your practice. Mostly instruction and practice, with a little bit of commentary on why we are meditating.
I reconnected with one of my favorite students from Ryerson. He was that super engaged student who asked good critical-thinking questions and really took things to another level. So when he contacted me to say he developed a game on scientific thinking, I was super excited to meet up and learn more about his game. And what he showed met my expectations. Jon is reflective, intelligent, a deep critical thinker, and a social justice advocate. All of these elements came out clearly in our conversation about his game “Think Like A Scientist!”. In an age where information is both a commodity and exploited, learning how to think like a scientist is even that much more important! It was a fun conversation where I decided to mostly keep my scientist hat on. I did challenge him a little bit on his bias against natural and the conflict of interest in science. We broached the topic but didn’t go to deep, because it was simply beyond the scope of this audio. ;)Read More