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An Introduction to Your Brain

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Pop quiz: just how important is the brain? Ascribing the formulation and control of thoughts and feelings to the heart, and calling the brain “an organ of minor importance,” was just one of a surprisingly high number of ludicrous assertions made by Aristotle. In the modern day, some 2,500 or so years later, we appreciate the importance of the brain, though we may not be very much closer to truly understanding it. As the author Isaac Asimov once said, the human brain is “the most complicated organization of matter that we know”.

But we do know more now than Aristotle did. We understand the physiology of the brain, its central role in our lives, and how and why it acts—or causes us to act—in certain ways. So, here’s an introduction to what we do know about a subject as fascinating, complex, and full of twists and turns as... well, the brain itself.

01:12
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Humans use almost all of their brain, and the idea that they only use 10 percent is a myth. Learn about the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the medulla parts of the brain with information from a science teacher in this free video on physiology and the human body. Expert: Janice Creneti Bio: Janice Creneti has a BS in secondary science education and a BA in biology from Boston University. Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz
01:40
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Your brain gets information from two different sources: Your senses tell you what's going on in the outside world, while your emotions exist inside your body to tell you what these events and circumstances mean to you. Just as hunger motivates you to find food, emotions motivate you to take care of other needs—like safety and companionship—that ultimately promote survival and reproduction. The exhibition, Brain: The Inside Story, which is on view at the American Museum of Natural History from Saturday, November 20, until August 14, 2011, brings visitors up to date on the latest in neuroscience, highlighting the brain's surprising ability to rewire itself in response to experience, disability, or trauma, and showcases new technologies that researchers use to study the brain and treat conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. For more information, visit http://www.amnh.org
03:04
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Some very interesting things happen when you fall in love-or even lust. The sweaty palms, the queasy stomach. Anthony explains what's going on physiologically to make these pesky reactions happen. Read More: Lust, Attraction, and Attachment In Mammalian Reproduction http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/10lustattraction.pdf "During the evolution of the genus Homo, these emotion systems became increasingly independent of one another, a phenomenon that contributes to human mating flexibility and the wide range of contemporary human matin and reproductive strategies." Arousal and attraction: Evidence for automatic and controlled processes. http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1997-38342-007 "A meta-analysis, a review, and an experiment investigated the effect of arousal on attraction. The meta-analysis examined experiments that manipulated arousal level. Results indicated that arousal affects attraction even when the arousal source is relatively unambiguous." The Butterfly Effect: Does Having Butterflies in Your Stomach Equal Love? http://voices.yahoo.com/the-butterfly-effect-does-having-butterflies-your-7436744.html?cat=72 "You know that feeling when you are out with a potential love interest and your stomach is doing flip-flops and your heart just will not stop racing? This is the Butterfly Effect. No, not the movie with Ashton Kutcher where small changes in the past, even the flapping of a butterfly's wings, could lead to drastic changes in the future..." How Love Works http://people.howstuffworks.com/love6.htm "There are a lot of chemicals racing around your brain and body when you're in love. Researchers are gradually learning more and more about the roles they play both when we are falling in love and when we're in long-term relationships." Brains Do It: Lust, Attraction, and Attachment http://www.dana.org/news/cerebrum/detail.aspx?id=3232 "Did you ever experience the unsettling sense that your sexual desires, romantic longings,and feelings of long-term emotional union were racing down different tracks? And perhaps ask yourself: Which of these is love?" Biological basis of love http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_basis_of_love "The theory of a biological basis of love has been explored by such biological sciences as evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology and neuroscience. Specific chemical substances such as oxytocin are studied in the context of their roles in producing human experiences and behaviors that are associated with love." What Does Dopamine Actually Do? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-hidden-mind/201212/what-does-dopamine-actually-do "Dopamine is a famous chemical. It holds a prized position in the annals of popular science as the "reward" drug. Countless articles refer to the latest studies of foods, sex and exercise as boosting dopamine, and, by implication, pleasure. But is this characterization correct? What does dopamine actually do?" The Look of Love: Top 5 Physical Signs of Attraction http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/5-physical-signs-of-attraction.htm#page=0 "When it comes to love (or lust, as the case may be), men and women know what they like when they see it. Ask people to describe their ideal romantic partners, and they might draw a blank or merely offer a vague outline, but that doesn't matter so much, since they'll immediately know when they encounter him or her." Check out Cristen Conger on Stuff Mom Never Told You: http://www.youtube.com/user/StuffMomNeverToldYou Watch More: Love Stinks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYM0KXs8-To TestTube Wild Card: http://testtube.com/dnews/dnews-437-pets-make-us-healthier?utm_campaign=DNWC&utm_medium=DNews&utm_source=YT The Science of Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJaY0pOdJfY ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More DNews on TestTube http://testtube.com/dnews Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel DNews on Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Anthony Carboni on Twitter http://twitter.com/acarboni Laci Green on Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 Trace Dominguez on Twitter http://twitter.com/trace501 DNews on Facebook http://facebook.com/dnews DNews on Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews Discovery News http://discoverynews.com
05:46
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That we are not instinctively built that way must be recognized if we're going to get beyond the risks of not being built that way, says David Ropeik. Ropeik an Instructor at Harvard, a consultant in risk perception and risk communication, author of How Risky Is it, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts, and principal co-author of RISK, A Practical Guide for Deciding What's Really Safe and What's Really Dangerous in the World Around You. http://bigthink.com Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Risk: Reason and Reality (http://bigthink.com/blogs/risk-reason-and-reality) More context for this video: (http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/your-brain-is-a-testy-survival-machine-slow-down-and-think)
04:08
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  • 1 0:55

    The very process of learning changes the structure and physiology of our brains.

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  • 2 1:55

    By the time you're 3-years-old each neuron in your brain is connected to other neurons by up to 15,000 synapses.

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  • 3 3:19

    Memory is a key component for learning.

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Educators, follow @IntelEDU on Twitter and visit http://intel.com/rightdevice for exclusive lesson plans, classroom tech ideas and to learn more about advancing education worldwide. Hank explains the gift that your brain gives you every day: the gift of neural plasticity -- the ways in which your brain actually changes at the cellular level as you learn. ------------------------ Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/artist/52/SciShow Or help support us by subscribing to our page on Subbable: https://subbable.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Thanks Tank Tumblr: http://thankstank.tumblr.com --------------------- Sources: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/plast.html http://nichcy.org/schoolage/effective-practices/brain101#learning http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17024677 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203141837.htm http://sharpbrains.com/blog/2008/02/26/brain-plasticity-how-learning-changes-your-brain/
02:03
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The human brain contains about 100 billion interconnecting neurons, or cells that create and transmit messages. Scientists are just beginning to understand how this extremely complicated organ is "wired" to process information and relay commands to the body. Using a cutting-edge brain imaging technique called diffusion spectrum imaging, a team of Swiss and American researchers has produced the first detailed map of nerve fibers in the human cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain that is believed to be responsible for our species' unique mental capacity.
04:38
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Sign up for our WellCast newsletter for more of the love, lolz and happy! http://goo.gl/GTLhb Everyone knows that working out is great for your health. Exercise helps with weight loss, keeps your heart healthy and your blood pressure down. But did you know exercise also helps with mental health? Today we explore the myriad benefits of exercise on your brain, and give you a chance to clear the path to mental health right away! Check out some other awesome episodes of WellCast: 1. Coming Out http://goo.gl/amysN 2. Coping With Grief http://goo.gl/aD4OH 3. How to Break the Ice http://goo.gl/CmS8O 4. Dealing With Rejection http://goo.gl/f3Pw5 5. Party Survival Guide for Introverts http://goo.gl/WYZVe ABOUT WELLCAST: In this twice-a-week show, we explore the physical, mental and emotional paths to wellness. With an emphasis on education, the show addresses both the latest trends and long-standing practices of wellness—everything from the efficacy of the gratitude experiment to the importance of sunshine and vitamin D. Follow along as your host, Kate, guides you through a bi-weekly journaling exercises that helps you apply what you've learned. The ultimate goal: one year, one show, one journal, one collective journey to wellness. Like us on Facebook! http://goo.gl/0DHVJ Follow us on Twitter! http://goo.gl/Ylcv6 Find us on Google+ http://goo.gl/ylCVT Follow us on Tumblr! http://goo.gl/Ds3TB Follow us on Instagram! http://goo.gl/q3IUC Follow us on Pinterest! http://goo.gl/lNhu2
10:29
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In this early RSA Animate Matthew Taylor explores how brain and behaviour research is increasingly being incorporated into political and policy debate. Watch the full lecture here: http://www.thersa.org/events/video/archive/matthew-taylor---left-brain,-right-brain-human-nature-and-political-values The RSA is a 258 year-old charity devoted to creating social progress and spreading world-changing ideas. For more information about our research, RSA Animates, free events programme and 27,000 strong fellowship. Find out more about the RSA at http://www.thersa.org Join the RSA on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thersaorg ------ This audio has been edited from the original event by Abi Stephenson.
02:53
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Oxytocin (aka the Love Hormone) is supposed to make you feel all warm and cuddly. But according to new research, it's also to blame for much deeper and darker feelings. Laci explains this two-faced beast. Read More: The Love Hormone is Two-Faced http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2013/07/the-love-hormone-is-two-faced.html "It turns out the love hormone oxytocin is two-faced. Oxytocin has long been known as the warm, fuzzy hormone that promotes feelings of love, social bonding and well-being. It's even being tested as an anti-anxiety drug. But new Northwestern Medicine® research shows oxytocin also can cause emotional pain, an entirely new, darker identity for the hormone." Watch More: Love Stinks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYM0KXs8-To The Science of Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJaY0pOdJfY Why Women Shave Their Pits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPwbr5TK0rA_ ____________________ DNews is dedicated to satisfying your curiosity and to bringing you mind-bending stories & perspectives you won't find anywhere else! New videos twice daily. Watch More DNews on TestTube http://testtube.com/dnews Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=dnewschannel DNews on Twitter http://twitter.com/dnews Anthony Carboni on Twitter http://twitter.com/acarboni Laci Green on Twitter http://twitter.com/gogreen18 Trace Dominguez on Twitter http://twitter.com/trace501 DNews on Facebook http://facebook.com/dnews DNews on Google+ http://gplus.to/dnews Discovery News http://discoverynews.com