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Brain Matters

Brain Matters the Podcast is an exciting way for anyone to learn about the fascinating world of neuroscience directly from the researchers who have dedicated their lives to uncovering the mysteries of the brain. Our mission is to make neuroscience accessible, relatable, and intriguing while still respecting the integrity of the science we love.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Nicotine Addiction with Dr. John Dani

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talks about addiction with Dr. John Dani, chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. They talk about learning, memory, and the behaviors associated with nicotine addiction.


18 Nov 2013

Rank #1

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Memory, the Cerebellum, and Axons with Dr. David Linden

Anthony and Dr. David Linden (Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) talked this week about David’s neuroscience research and how he gets inspiration in and out of lab. Anthony also asked David about his journey to becoming a successful scientist and best-selling author. This episode of Brain Matters was brought to you be Audible.com. To get a free audiobook go to audiblepodcast.com/brainmatters


10 Apr 2015

Rank #2

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Patterns in the Hippocampus with Dr. Brian Derrick

On this episode of BRAIN MATTERS, Matt and Dr. Brian Derrick talk about the hippocampus. Dr. Derrick has a fascinating story about how he became interested in the hippocampus and what he and his colleagues are currently working to understand.


5 Aug 2014

Rank #3

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Addiction and Glutamate Transmission with Dr. Marina Wolf

For our 25th episode, Matt and Dr. Marina Wolf (Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science) talk about Marina's work in addiction and how this is related to mechanisms in learning and memory.


9 Mar 2015

Rank #4

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Neurons, Mitochondria, and Human Evolution with Dr. Franck Polleux

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Franck Polleux (Professor, Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University and the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute) cover a lot of ground. Franck talks about his work as a graduate student and the topics his lab is working on now. The Polleux lab is studying topics like neural progeneration, mitochondria in dendrites of neurons, and what makes the human brain special. This is an episode you won't want to miss.


13 Oct 2016

Rank #5

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Stroke and Aphasia with Dr. Argye Hillis

Anthony and Dr. Argye Hillis (Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University) talked about a medical perspective on neuroscience research. Argye's research focuses on understanding how language and emotional functions recover after stroke.


4 Feb 2016

Rank #6

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Decisions in the Brain with Dr. Nao Uchida

Anthony and Dr. Nao Uchida (Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University) talk about how we can understand decision-making by looking at animals making decisions while we record from neurons in their brain.


20 Aug 2014

Rank #7

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Sleep Circuits with Dr. Yang Dan

On This episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Dr. Yang Dan (Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Neurobiology, UC Berkeley). Yang studies the circuits in the brain that control sleep. Perk up your cochlea and jump into this great conversation. Thanks to audible for supporting our podcast. Get a free 30 day trial at audiblepodcast.com/brainmatters.


15 Jan 2016

Rank #8

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The Resting Brain with Dr. Gagan Wig

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt talked with Dr. Gagan Wig (Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas) about his research on brain networks. Gagan studies the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI and investigates a multitude of interesting questions about the human brain. 


14 Mar 2016

Rank #9

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Contextualizing Fear with Dr. Michael Fanselow

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony interviewed Dr. Michael Fanselow (Distinguished Professor, Psychology, UCLA). They talked about Michael's contributions to our understanding of fear memories and how the context of an event can impact learning. The music featured in this episode is by Steve Beres. You can find more information about The Steve Martin Album at https://thehumannatures.bandcamp.com/album/the-steve-martin-album Anthony's interview on WBEZ Chicago's Morning Shift can be found at soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/childhood-fears-that-stay-with-us Thanks to Audible for supporting our podcast. Get a free 30 day trial at audiblepodcast.com/brainmatters.


12 Nov 2015

Rank #10

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The Vestibular System with Dr. Dora Angelaki

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Dr. Dora Angelaki (Professor & Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine) about her work in the vestibular system. Dora refers to the vestibular system as 'the sixth sense' and her passion for studying this under-appreciated sensory system is clear as talks about her research. Dora is also working on a computational understanding of Autism. She discusses her approach to understanding this complicated disorder.


9 May 2016

Rank #11

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The Nature of Nature (and the brain too) with Dr. David McCormick

This week on Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. David McCormick (Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Yale) start off 2017 right. On this episode you’ll get a quick briefing on the early history of neuroscience, information about Frankenstein’s monster, a look at neural circuits, and perspective from the Buddhist Monks of Tibet. You’re gonna want your cochleas ready for this one.  David mentioned a ton of people and books. Here’s a list in case you wanna dive in. Major Figures in the Early History of Neuroscience: Luigi Galvani, Giovanni Aldini, René Descartes, Jan Swammerdam, Alessandro Volta, Emil de Bois-Reymond Texts David Referenced: 1. Animal Electricity (Galvani, 1791) 2. Essay on Galvanism: “Précis des expériences galvaniques faites récemment à Londres et à Calais“ (Aldini, 1803) 3. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818) 4. The Cerebellum as a Neuronal Machine (Eccles, 1967) Further Reading (if you’re into it like we are): 1. Early History of Neuroscience, Charles Gross 2. Giovanni Aldini: From Animal Electricity to Human Brain Stimulation, André Parent 3. History of Psychology, Ideas and Context (Chapter 8) King et al. We partnered with Wiley Neuroscience on this one. Follow them on twitter at @neuroscience. Shout out to their team for getting the twitter handle coveted most by neuroscientists. The music on this episode was by Noveller. The first track was “Trails and Trials” from the soon to be released album “A Pink Sunset for Noone”, the second track was “Rubicon” from the Fantastic Planet LP. Go check out and purchase her music at noveller.bandcamp.com, or at her current label, FireRecords.com


30 Jan 2017

Rank #12

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Pain and Placebo Effect with Dr. Tor Wager

How can we use our thoughts to regulate our emotional responses? On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Dr. Tor Wager (Associate Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder) discuss how our mental states and context can influence the perception of pain.


26 May 2015

Rank #13

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Glial Cells with Dr. Dwight Bergles

On this episode, Anthony and Dr. Dwight Bergles talk about the diverse functions of glia in the nervous system.


3 Mar 2014

Rank #14

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Brain Algorithms with Dr. Andreas Tolias

Matt and Dr. Andreas Tolias (Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine) talk about how the brain processes information.


3 Sep 2014

Rank #15

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Engineering the Brain with Dr. Caleb Kemere

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Caleb Kemere (Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University) talk about Caleb's path to studying real time neural engineering.

1hr 5mins

12 Dec 2016

Rank #16

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What New Neurons Are Good For with Dr. Amelia Eisch

Anthony and Dr. Amelia Eisch talk about two major questions. First, what are new neurons good for. And second, what is good for making these new neurons. We hope you enjoy this one. Amelia is charismatic and enthusiastic about her fascinating work.


1 Jul 2014

Rank #17

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Decaying Memories with Dr. Paul Frankland

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talks about memories with Dr. Paul Frankland (Principal Investigator, Neurobiology Laboratory at The Hospital for Sick Children). How do the details of memories become lost forever? And why is it that your first memory falls so late in life?


21 Jan 2015

Rank #18

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Alzheimer's Disease with Dr. Kenneth Kosik

Anthony and Dr. Kenneth Kosik had a chance to talk about Ken's path to becoming a neuroscientist. It's a different story than the ones we are used to hearing and offers some new perspectives on what it takes to become a great scientist. They also talk about the approaches Ken uses in his lab to study Alzheimer's Disease.


14 Apr 2014

Rank #19

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Becoming a Curious Scientist with Dr. André Fenton

What's the most important thing about being a scientist? According to Dr. André Fenton: Curiosity. Anthony and André talked about how André tinkered his way to researching learning and memory at NYU.


13 Feb 2017

Rank #20