Neuroscience

Marijuana and the Brain (S2E27) by Mandy Wintink

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. 

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Memory and the Brain (S2E24) by Mandy Wintink

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.

References:

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

Other Resources:

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.

H.M.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Molaison

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

Vision and the Brain (S2E23) by Mandy Wintink

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!

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Nutrition and the Brain (S2E22) by Mandy Wintink

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. 

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Exercise and the Brain (S2E20) by Mandy Wintink

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.

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Conversations with 3 Neuroscience Students: Introduction (S2E18) by Mandy Wintink

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.

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Talking with Sarah about her Cancer (S2E6) by Mandy Wintink

Sarah and I have been talking for a long time about her cancer but this conversation was planned as a way of starting her series of episodes for Mandyland. We had a bunch of ideas planned but realized early that it was hard to figure out where to start. So we started with why she has been hesitant to share this, despite her desire to. That got us talking about her career and the impact cancer has had on her career. From there we talk about where she is now and a brief introduction to her cancer. We end with how valuable it is to talk about stuff.

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The Female Brain with Greer by Mandy Wintink

Greer (another neuroscientist) and I began talking after I posted something on facebook about how I wanted to honour the female brain. She replied to my post with something like “YES!” and so we planned a conversation without any idea of where it would actually go. We went around and around and covered much ground including: 1) what does a woman leader looks like?, 2) valuing women in the workplace, 3) the female stress response of “tend and defend”and the maternal brain, 4) the difference between rearing boys' and girls’ brains and emotional brain development, 6) women’s intuition, and 7) the validation of #MeToo and #TimesUp. We wrap up with asking what are the characteristics of a female brain? We probably should have started with that, but we didn’t. We even tie in cryptocurrency. It ends a bit abruptly mostly because I deleted about 12 more minutes where we come up with a women's circle plan, which was interesting but a bit TOO much of a tangent. ;) 

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