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Mysteries of the Brain

Scientists and engineers have studied the brain for decades, yet there are many mysteries that remain unsolved. New research is underway to develop and use cutting-edge technologies to better understand the brain. "Mysteries of the Brain" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Mysteries of the Brain: Thinking Brain
Through neural connections, called synapses, the brain can process and store enormous amounts of information. Neuroscientist Gary Lynch at the University of California-Irvine explains how this incredibly complex communication process allows animals to learn and remember.
Mysteries of the Brain: Evolving Brain
Using amazing new technologies, evolutionary neuroscientist Melina Hale and her graduate students at the University of Chicago are discovering that the basic movements of one tiny fish can teach us big ideas about how the brain's circuitry works.
Mysteries of the Brain: Emotional Brain
For years, researchers have struggled to understand how emotions are formed and processed by the brain. Now, neuroscientist Kevin LaBar and his team at Duke University are using a virtual reality room to study how the brain reacts to both negative and positive emotions.
Mysteries of the Brain: Brain States and Consciousness
Neurobiologist Orie Shafer at the University of Michigan is trying to understand how the brain's cells communicate in order to control sleep patterns. To help solve this mystery, Shafer is teaming up with mathematician Victoria Booth to study a tiny and unlikely specimen: the fruit fly.
Mysteries of the Brain: Building a Brain
Carlos Aizenman, a neuroscientist at Brown University, is studying the brains of tadpoles to understand how neural circuits develop and absorb information from the surrounding environment.
Mysteries of the Brain: Perceiving Brain
Sabine Kastner, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University, is studying how the brain weeds out important information from every day scenes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Kastner is able to peek inside the brain and see what areas are active when a person sees a face, place or object.
Mysteries of the Brain: Brain-Computer Interface
Neuroengineer Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington is developing brain-computer interfaces or devices that can monitor and extract brain activity to enable a machine or computer to accomplish tasks, from playing video games to controlling a prosthetic arm.

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Explorers of the Brain: Research from the Frontiers of Neuroscience
Inside your head, a three-pound multitasking marvel is hard at work for you 24/7. Explorers of the Brain takes you to the front lines of discovery in neuroscience, where scientists and engineers are bringing us ever closer to understanding how and why your brain does what it does. Find out what they're learning in this exciting radio documentary.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.