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Bingecast: Yuri Danilov on the Complexity of our Brains

Recent discoveries about the brain have uncovered more of its complexity and changed what we thought we knew about it. Will more discoveries in the future change our views again? Robert J. Marks discusses neuroplasticity, restoring brain function through brain stimulation, and other fascinating discoveries about the human brain with Yuri Danilov.

Show Notes

  • 0:01:13 | Introducing Yuri Danilov, Senior Scientist, Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 0:02:40 | Unmasking and opening side roads in the brain
  • 0:03:38 | Louis Braille and the invention of braille
  • 0:05:15 | “Neuroplasticity” and the heretic Paul Bach-y-Rita
  • 0:07:10 | Entropy, chaos, order, and adaptation of the brain
  • 0:08:47 | Desynchronization with age
  • 0:10:36 | Two brain changes that happen over time
  • 0:11:04 | Exercising the brain and the myth of losing neurons
  • 0:13:08 | The loss of myelin that insulates nerve cell axons
  • 0:14:26 | How to exercise (not hydrate) the brain
  • 0:14:50 | Two cages, two rats, and the importance of brain stimulation
  • 0:16:17 | Structural versus functional plasticity
  • 0:16:47 | Muscle memory, or the lack thereof
  • 0:18:07 | American football and the effects of concussive injuries
  • 0:20:21 | Phineas Gage (1823 – 1860) and the study of brain trauma
  • 0:22:22 | Do we actually remember everything?
  • 0:24:53 | Photographic and eidetic memory
  • 0:25:50 | Can you survive a bullet to the brain?
  • 0:26:17 | The challenge of blast concussive injuries
  • 0:26:58 | Transcranial direct-current stimulation (TDCT) devices
  • 0:31:00 | Our dependence on sensory input
  • 0:32:33 | The BrainPort device and translingual neurostimulation
  • 0:33:28 | Using the tongue for neurostimulation
  • 0:36:43 | The most famous blind alpinist, Erik Wiehenmayer
  • 0:37:55 | Blindness and depth perception
  • 0:39:07 | Neurostimulation to help deaf people learn to read lips
  • 0:40:06 | Resolution of the stimulator matrix
  • 0:42:18 | Translingual neurostimulation (TLNS) for mental disorders
  • 0:42:45 | The Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS®) device
  • 0:45:01 | Treating autism with the PoNS® device
  • 0:48:10 | Why aren’t these devices used everywhere?
  • 0:48:30 | Working with patients considered “untreatable”
  • 0:49:48 | FDA approval for the PoNS® device
  • 0:50:57 | Dangling questions
  • 0:51:25 | Comparing male and female color perception
  • 0:52:08 | What is glia which fills the brain?
  • 0:55:05 | The functions of glia
  • 0:58:08 | A miseducation in brain science
  • 1:00:59 | Neuromediators that transfer signals between neurons
  • 1:02:37 | Intellectual humility in view of changing science
  • 1:04:53 | How close is AI to simulating the natural brain?
  • 1:05:50 | Is the brain a complex computer?
  • 1:06:40 | Changing metaphors for the brain as technology evolves
  • 1:07:33 | Do we have an internal homunculus issuing algorithms or commands?
  • 1:09:53 | Artificial retinae and the complexity of the human visual system
  • 1:15:29 | Distinguishing self-initiated versus externally activated actions
  • 1:18:10 | Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), or “hitting the box”, as a treatment for depression

Additional Resources


Bingecast: Yuri Danilov on the Complexity of our Brains