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Water Cooler Neuroscience

A podcast that opens up brain science labs and teaches professional scientific techniques to everyone

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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A podcast that opens up brain science labs and teaches professional scientific techniques to everyone

Think Fast S2, EP9 – AI on psychedelics with Dr Nikolaus Kriegeskorte

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Artificial intelligence is used regularly in neuroscientist with programs that are able to process enormous amounts of data and alter their own parameters to 'learn'. AI is even used to identify different objects just through a camera and the applications of visual identification are becoming mainstream with the use of such programs in self-driving cars. The question is how do we pick between AI that seem to work equally at first pass. Well the answer is we show them psychedelic images. To find out why that would ever work tune into this episode of Think Fast.

This show is sponsored by NeuroCatch Inc., an objective quick measure of brain health available today. If you would like to know more about NeuroCatch Inc. please go to our website www.watercoolerneuroscience.co.uk.

Mar 04 2021

14mins

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Think Fast Academia and Industry, EP3 – From finishing a PhD to the lab with Shaun Fickling

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For most people, the heights of Professorship and CSO/CEO are dreams for a future year. Today we are talking with Shaun Fickling, a researcher at HealthTechConnex, and one of the researchers who helped with NeuroCatch Inc. Shaun only recently finished his PhD and brings us the insights from someone who spent years in academia and has now entered the ground floor of corporate scientific endeavours. He offers his advice and insights for what the modern PhD researcher needs.

Mar 01 2021

17mins

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Think Fast S2, EP8 – AI and Romance with Dr Paul Eastwick Part 2

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In the second part of my interview with Dr Paul Eastwick, we delve into the idea of compatibility. It is accepted in human culture that when two people choose to be together or are chosen to be together, there is a level of compatibility. We accept we fit better with some people, we don't fit with others, and while perfection is not possible, it is best to find someone who compliments us. This interview is going to knock that concept on the head a little. Machine learning last time poured into what parts of relationship questionnaires really inform us about relationships, and now we are going to be finding out are people compatible when they first meet or does a relationship's success depend on if you become compatible together?

This show is sponsored by NeuroCatch Inc., an objective quick measure of brain health available today. If you would like to know more about NeuroCatch Inc., please go to our website www.watercoolerneuroscience.co.uk.

Feb 25 2021

15mins

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Think Fast S2, EP7 – AI and Romance with Dr Paul Eastwick Part 1

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Today's episode is with Dr Paul Eastwick discussing how we can use AI/Machine learning to start to understand the beginning of romantic relationships and why some people start to stay together and others don't. This is a traditionally near-impossible task for humans to figure out, there are thousands of variables that go into two people meeting and forming the relationship they will have and humans are not very good when we have to process lots of variables at once. We get bias, we pick things we want to be important and ignore things we don't like. Machines don't have that problem and machines understand data in very different ways, in this episode we look at how machines process relationship questionnaires and what is really important for why two people hook up.

This show is sponsored by NeuroCatch Inc., an objective quick measure of brain health available today. If you would like to know more about NeuroCatch Inc. please go to our website www.watercoolerneuroscience.co.uk.

Feb 18 2021

16mins

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Think Fast Academia and Industry, EP2 – Where do all the PhDs go with Ryan D’Arcy

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In this episode our series on Academia and Industry continues with the next part of my interview with Professor Ryan D'Arcy and how people can begin to transition from academic laboratories to industry laboratories. What challenges and what benefits lie ahead?

This show is sponsored by NeuroCatch Inc., an objective quick measure of brain health available today. If you would like to know more about NeuroCatch Inc. please go to our website www.watercoolerneuroscience.co.uk.

Feb 15 2021

20mins

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Think Fast S2, EP6 – How relationships change and end according to a psychologist with Dr Nicole Barbaro

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This episode concludes my interview with Dr Nicole Barbaro where we discuss how fully formed and ending relationships change in both the anxiety to commit and the anxiety to separate. We also talk about how psychology views relationships and the influences that other scientific fields have given to psychology when we try to study romance. This episode will also continue our discussion of what myths and memes about relationships are true but usually with very small effects that do not mean the different sexes and genders are never going to see eye to eye.

Feb 11 2021

14mins

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Think Fast S2, EP5 – Psychology meets romance with Dr Nicole Barbaro

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Nicole Barbaro brings you the modern psychological view of relationships; how do humans bond, where do we stumble and in the end how do we end relationships? You probably know all of these things from your own life but when we are talking about science it has to be replicable, it has to work for the whole population and we normally want it to survive a statistical analysis or two. I cannot promise a flattering view of relationships in this episode, but I can promise the scientific view.

Feb 04 2021

23mins

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Think Fast Academia and Industry, EP1 – Where do all the PhDs go with Ryan D’Arcy

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Many PhDs and university researchers will leave their positions after five years to move onto corporate office and laboratory jobs which in academia is known as moving to industry. This episode is the start of a new mini-series coming out fortnightly on Mondays where I break down what the move from academic labs to corporate jobs looks like and where the prizes are greater and what traps lie along the way.

Joining me is returning guest Prof Ryan D'Arcy who is both a CSO and Professor bringing his rare perspective on both sides of the debate to see what bridges the two worlds

Feb 01 2021

17mins

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Think Fast S2, EP4 – Psychiatric care in the US, a brief introduction with Awais Aftab

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Today's episode is with Dr Awais Aftab who is a practising psychiatrist in the U.S.A. Today he is talking about what someone can expect from the American psychiatric service in its many different forms from the state level to the countrywide federal level. We also talk about how care is approached when treating people with psychiatric disorders that can be treated as part of everyday life and what treatment is like for those with conditions so severe they have to be committed involuntarily for their own safety. This episode does not discuss ways to improve the service or discusses if the current systems are 'correct', the only intention is to talk about what is there right now.

Jan 28 2021

15mins

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Think Fast S2, EP3 – Parkinsons in your gut with Prof. Per Borghammer

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Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes the loss of movement in people. The dopamine circuits that span the brain begins to deteriorate and a person will become more rigid, lose fine motor control and eventually even aspects of cognitive and emotional processing. Much is being done to treat Parkinson's around the world but today we are studying how to better understand the beginning of the disease. Prof. Borghammer has the amazing title of being a Nuclear Medic and uses radioactive isotopes to measure the metabolism of dopamine not just across the brain but also in our intestines. The intestines have a complex neural structure of their own and research spanning decades is now showing that dopamine degeneration may begin outside of the brain.

Jan 21 2021

17mins

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Think Fast S2, EP2 – Why do children bring the law with Meltem Yucel

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This episode we are talking about the kinds of moral behaviours that children show as they grow up. Children develop their morals over time and one big question is whether children are moral because they want to be, to uphold altruism and Justice or because they are afraid of being punished and would like to get a reward for getting someone else in trouble. We don't exactly know is the clear question and that is what this episode is going to explore. We are talking with Meltem Yucel about her work on how we can understand if children are or are not moral in the way we would judge adults. There is also some interesting extra content on the 'Theory of Puppets' which was a fun extra I had during recording

Jan 14 2021

17mins

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Think Fast S2, EP1 – Getting into each other’s minds with Dr Alan Jern

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In social psychology, we don't just study how people act around others but we also study how humans understand one another. Social psychology accepts that our understanding of other people is not perfect and we are still trying to understand the rules that explain how we predict what other people do. In this episode, we talk with Dr Alan Jern about his studies on whether simplicity or complexity is preferred when we get into other people's heads. More than usual in this series we turn the experimental lens in on ourselves.

Jan 07 2021

17mins

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Think Fast S1, EP11 – A neuroscientist you can visit with Toby Pasman

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This episode is about the neuroscientists that find themselves in labs which work with the public to help with health and self-improvement services. Toby Pasman originally trained in an academic lab during his undergraduate but after graduating decided to work in a corporate lab studying neurofeedback and neural manipulation that can help people to live better and healthier lives. Today we are talking with Toby to talk about his experience in working in both a university and corporate laboratory, what is similar, what isn't and where are the differences. If you are interested in the move from the academic settings to the wider corporate world this is a great episode for taking that first jump and learning about the topic that every academic is talking about in 2020.

Dec 10 2020

14mins

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Think Fast S1, EP10 – Can cannabis help mental health with Carrie Cuttler

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This episode is about cannabis, for decades it has been used by people to manage their mental health providing anxiety alleviating effects and supported by a range of other anecdotal evidence. With cannabis only recently being legalised across many countries in the Western world or at least approved in various forms for medicinal uses research about the effects of cannabis on mental health was light on the ground. In this episode, we are talking with Dr Carrie Cuttler about one of the first mass population studies into the effects of cannabis on people's mental health using big data and peer-reviewed statistical methods. We talk about the good, the bad and how scientists view what cannabis can do for us.

This show is sponsored by NeuroCatch Inc, an objective measure of brain health, to find out more please follow the link on our website www.watercoolerneuroscience.co.uk.

Dec 03 2020

18mins

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Think Fast S1, EP9 – Laser precision memory manipulation with Asaf Marco

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Dr. Asaf Marco is a memory expert from MIT who came on episode 9 of Think Fast. His work studies how memory formation and the genes instead our neurons can be manipulated to better understand the day to day working of human memory formation. This episode was fascinating too because his lab has used newly bred research mice with specifically created neurons that help both with fluorescence when the memory systems are 'active' and also to be super precise to the conditions Dr Marco wanted to study. The studies attached on our site watercoolerneuroscience.co.uk were gifted to the site by Dr Marco so those who want to learn more about his work can find out, for those who just want the overview please press play

Nov 26 2020

16mins

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Think Fast S1, EP8 – Learning about the structure of neurons with Bryan Roth

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In this episode, Bryan Roth is talking with our host Wilf Nelson about how serotonin and hallucinogens bind. Hallucinogens have received a lot of press recently for their uses in medicine and helping those with conditions traditionally resistant to other medical interventions but we will still don't know a lot about how they actually bind to cells. If we knew that if we had the secrets of what a hallucinogen is doing when it attaches to a neuron, or more specifically a receptor, would we need hallucinogens or could we find better and safer workarounds? On this episode of Think Fast, we talk with one of the scientists who is doing exactly that, breaking down the secrets of neurons and receptors to advance our future in both neuroscience and neuroscience medicine.

Nov 19 2020

15mins

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Think Fast S1, EP7 – The twinkling stars of the brain with Ashley Ingiosi

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Sleep is a deep and rich topic in Psychology and Neuroscience because while it doesn't have the flashiness of 'what is consciousness' it is still a state that we occupy for around a third of lives and yet we understand very little of. In this episode we are not talking about what the neurons do but instead we are talking about the rest of the cells in the brain, the glial and specifically astroctyes, and what their role in sleep is. The glial have been called the life support system of the brain and since sleep is so restorative to our brains it would make sense that the life support system has some major roles to play in keeping our brain healthy. While this is all true our guest today is talking about how it is not only the neurons that have something to do with the brain's functioning during sleep. It is time to dive in and Think Fast.

Nov 12 2020

17mins

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Think Fast S1, EP6 – Where have they been with Antje Ihlefeld

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Antje was a guest on season two of WaterCooler Neuroscience discussing her work with auditory perception and how that effects those with hearing impairment and hearing aids. In this episode we talk about how the last six months have been for her and her lab and the work that she has been doing with the Acoustical Society on the remote testing wiki to ensure quality research can continue during a global pandemic.

If you are interested in the Acoustical Society's work for your own research please check out their work through this link: https://www.spatialhearing.org/remotetesting/Issues/Issues.

Nov 05 2020

11mins

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Think Fast S1, EP5 – How your legs work with Brigitte Lavoie

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In this episode of think fast we are speaking with Brigitte Lavoie who is a neuroscientist that worked on the fundamentals of antagonist muscles, when we need one muscle to contract and another to relax. Most motions our bodies does automatically keep the balance between two sets of muscles in an equilibrium thanks to a series of reflexes but walking is different and one of the main skills humans learn in our earliest years. This episode explores the research into how we walk and where we need automatic reflexes and when we need them to be overridden. This episode is particularly special because it covers science so foundational to modern brain science every neuroscientist I know had to learn this.

Oct 29 2020

11mins

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Think Fast S1, EP4 – Where have they been with Julianne Flanagan

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Continuing our inauguration of Think Fast with a visit back to our previous guests this time we are talking with a guest from season 3 of WCNeuro which was kindly sponsored by the Biochemical Society in the UK. Julianne is a researcher who studies PTSD and interpersonal violence. We spoke about her interesting perspective on violence in relationships after having worked in that field for years as well as her work to create new non-hallucinogenic treatments using oxytocin to help with the treatment of mental illness caused by traumatic events. Julianne's lab is based in South Carolina in the USA and we talk about how she has been continuing to run her experiments on treating disorders and how she has run her lab over the last half a year since she was on the show.

Oct 21 2020

12mins

Play

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