I’ve got some longer things to come, but I wanted to draw attention to two podcasts on neuroplasticity that I found through Scientific American‘s Mind & Brain blog.
The first podcast is Brain Science Podcast #10 Neuroplasticity, a presentation structured around the book, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, by Sharon Begley. Begley is a science writer for The Wall Street Journal, and she builds the book around a discussion of the effects on the brain of meditation. As a summary of the book describes:
Is it really possible to change the structure and function of the brain, and in so doing alter how we think and feel? The answer is a resounding yes. In late 2004, leading Western scientists joined the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, India, to address this very question–and in the process brought about a revolution in our understanding of the human mind.
The second is an interview with Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. As Ginger Campbell, an emergency physician and the interviewer, describes:
We talk about the obstacles that delayed this important discovery. Dr. Doidge shares the stories of three of the scientists featured in his book: Paul Bach-y-Rita, Edward Taub, and VS Ramachandran. We also talked about how these discoveries might influence both patient care and future research.
I’m new to podcasts as I just bought myself a little iPod shuffle to listen to them on while I work out (and haven’t been doing too much of that with all the physical labour involved in farm-related projects, like building a sandstone wall and getting my veggie garden back under control after it was neglected for three weeks while traveling in the US). Ira Bashkow, an old friend from days with a dissertation reading group at the University of Chicago, suggested it as yet another way to cram information into our aging cortical regions, and I’m looking forward to trying.