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1.

The Human Nervous System

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Describes the functions of the nervous system. The nervous system monitors and maintains all body functions, and at the same time interprets information about our surroundings supplied by the senses. The brain, which is the most important part of the nervous system, has often been compared to a computer, but a computer cannot match the sophisticated analysis and decision making of the human brain. Covers the workings of the nervous system and its main parts, especially the sensory neuron and the brain. Shows how the nervous system works to regulate various body activities.
VHS
1998
Ivy (By Request)
2.

Motor Pathways

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Part of a series that examines the physiology and function of the human neurological system. Uses computer illustrations, live models, and skeletal models. This segment provides a detailed physiological examination of the functioning of the motor pathways in the human nervous system.
VHS
1990
Ivy (By Request)
3.

Nervous System

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Using advanced biological photography and animation, this video takes viewers inside the human body to explore the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system.
VHS
1988
Ivy (By Request)
4.

Brain and Nervous System [electronic resource]: Your Information Superhighway

This program explores the brain and nervous system, using the analogy of computers and the Internet. Topics discussed include electrical impulses and how nerve messages travel; parts of the brain and their functions; how the brain and spinal cord are protected; the senses; and diseases, drugs, and their effects on the brain and nervous system.
Online
2005; 1998
5.

The Fly Agaric Mushroom [electronic resource]: Sacred Weeds

Siberian shamans used the fly agaric mushroom to access a world inhabited by small, elf-like beings, while Victorian artists often depicted elves sitting atop a fly agaric's cap. In this program, Oxford archaeology professor Andrew Sherratt compares the effects of fly agaric on volunteers to the effects described in traditional accounts. The experiment is attended by a psychiatrist interested in how the drug affects the brain, a neuropsychologist measuring spatial perception, and an ethnobotanist assessing the volunteers' subjective report of the experience. The group cannot agree: Does fly agaric distort our perception of the world, or does it allow a glimpse of a different reality? Part of the series Sacred Weeds.
Online
1998
6.

Just Trial and Error [electronic resource]: Conversations on Consciousness

An exhibition about consciousness and the human brain at University College London inspired the making of Just Trial and Error, in which cognitive neuroscientist Brian Butterworth, perceptual neuroscientist Beau Lotto, sculptor Antony Gormley, and Twain Luu, an Internet entrepreneur well-known for her study of the "global brain," explore the meaning of consciousness as it is understood in their respective fields. Over the course of the film, they offer insights into the human brain, perception, the space art occupies, the role of the Internet, global consciousness, and much more. A provocative multidisciplinary documentary that is, in the words of New Scientist magazine, "a meditation on consciousness in today's society and the overwhelming sense that we need to place greater value o [...]
Online
2012
7.

Sight [electronic resource]: Science of the Senses

Seeing requires an immense amount of cerebral power - more than 65 percent of the brain's neural pathways. That massive machinery has been intensely studied, and yet scientists continue to be surprised by what we see with our eyes, what we actually perceive with our brains, and discrepancies between the two. This program takes viewers on a fascinating tour of the visual "assembly line," from the moment light enters our pupils to the way this information is transformed into electrical impulses and decoded by our brains. Viewers learn about discoveries involving patients suffering from a variety of visual disorders, including a case study of a late blind patient undergoing treatment with neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone and his research group at Harvard Medical School. Links between [...]
Online
2008
8.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Gero Miesenboeck - Reengineering a Brain

In the quest to map the brain, many scientists have attempted the incredibly daunting task of recording the activity of each neuron. Gero Miesenboeck works backward - manipulating specific neurons to figure out exactly what they do, through a series of stunning experiments that reengineer the way fruit flies percieve light.
Online
2010
9.

Rett [electronic resource]: There Is Hope - Case Studies, Family Portraits, and the Search for a Cure

Striking mostly girls under the age of 18 months, Rett syndrome is one of the most debilitating and frightening disorders on the autism spectrum. Its symptoms include seizures, recurrent infections, developmental delay, and absent to minimal speech. Its victims usually live into adulthood and require round-the-clock care. But increased attention to Rett has intensified research efforts as well as a greater sense of community and support among those affected by the disorder. This program focuses on families coping with Rett's daily realities - the constant stress of caregiving, the emotional impact on parents, and the perspectives on health and happiness that emerge when one realizes what a Rett patient must go through.The film also follows the work of scientists searching for the gen [...]
Online
2012
10.

Maguire [electronic resource]: Navigation and Brain Structure

Eleanor Maguire's "Navigation-Related Structural Changes in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers" explored the relationship between neuroplasticity and environment...and what it suggested about stimulation of the human brain sparked the 1990s' craze for brain-fitness games and exercises. In this program, Dr. Maguire discusses her study of London's cabbies and their ability to navigate the city without a map. Her explanation of how the study was designed and carried out also stands as a lesson in the basics of non-experimental research methods.
Online
2010
11.

Touch [electronic resource]

It is expressive, intuitive, and complex in its design and function. No sense defines us more than our tactile ability, and yet most of us go through life completely unaware of the myriad ways we depend on and benefit from it. Journeying through the skin, into the subcutaneous world of our sensory receptors, and into the brain, this program explores the amazing capabilities of what many believe is the most crucial interface between the inner self and the outside world. Along the way viewers meet a man who has developed a range of strategies to compensate for the loss of his sense of touch. And what do a race car driver and a surgeon have in common? The answer sheds further light on the uncanny ways in which the human body uses this extraordinary sense.
Online
2008; 2013
12.

The Magic of the Unconscious [electronic resource]: Automatic Brain

The brain decides things before we can consciously think about it, says Allan Snyder, director of the University of Sydney's Centre for the Mind. "Decisions are almost dictated to us." In this program neuroscientists join Las Vegas magicians to explain-and vividly demonstrate-the interplay of unconscious promptings with conscious thought. Delving into the physiological basis of cognition, Snyder and other experts discuss snap judgments, facial recognition, and love at first sight. The video features segments that allow viewers to test their attentiveness with the shell game and the famous "invisible gorilla" experiment.
Online
2011
13.

The Power of the Unconscious [electronic resource]: Automatic Brain

When Chesley Sullenberger's plane became disabled over New York City his quick thinking saved the lives of all those aboard. Neil Armstrong relied on the same combination of split-second decision-making and gut instinct to override a computer glitch and manually land Apollo 11 on the Moon. This program explains the science behind gut feelings and makes the point that conscious thoughts are actually fed to us by the unconscious mind. Experts including Allan Snyder, Helen Fisher, and John Bargh discuss the neurophysiology of falling in love, decision-making, bias, and more, and Snyder presents a test of "thinking outside the box" in which viewers can participate.
Online
2011
14.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Tali Sharot - the Optimism Bias

Are we born to be optimistic, rather than realistic? In this TEDTalk, cognitive neuroscientist Tali Sharot shares research that suggests our brains are wired to look on the bright side - and how that can be both beneficial and dangerous.
Online
2012
15.

The Nervous System [electronic resource]: Nerves at Work

This program looks at nerve signals and how they are transmitted. It looks at the part played by nerve messages in reflex activities and at both the chemical and electrical activities of networks of nerve cells in contact.
Online
2005; 1984
16.

The Nervous System and the Senses [electronic resource]

This program discusses the development, organization, and functions of the nervous system and the input organs that stimulate it. Beginning with an introductory overview of neural anatomy, the video outlines the organization of the central and peripheral nervous systems and the processes of sensation, transduction, and perception. In addition, the senses of vision, hearing, taste, smell, and equilibrium are analyzed, as well as sensitivities to temperature, pressure, and pain; bodily movement via the somatic neurons is illustrated; and the neural mechanics of sleep and wakefulness are considered.
Online
2009
17.

Life Sentence [electronic resource]: Using Words to Share Reality-the Real Thing

People have an amazing capacity to decipher the meaning of human speech, even when familiar words are pronounced with different accents and intonations, or when only some of the words in a particular sentence are heard. In this program James Burke explains how we understand what people are saying, making the point that the brain is as important to hearing as the ears. And although the same words may trigger different associations from person to person, semantics, syntax, and grammar go a long way toward allowing us to share with others our individual perception of reality.
Online
1980
18.

Hypnosis [electronic resource]: Can Your Mind Control Pain?

This program concentrates on the use of hypnosis as a means of controlling pain. Three patients who are suffering from chronic pain help provide the answers to whether hypnosis is a technique that works for only a few individuals-or whether it is a pain-controlling method that has general application. The program shows how trance is induced and how it is used to exert control over their discomfort. In addition, scientific evidence is offered to show what types of people are most likely to achieve the hypnotic state.
Online
1982
19.

The Man Who Walks on Fire [electronic resource]

This program focuses on a weekend seminar on fire walking led by Hugh Bromily, a master firewalker and British martial artist, who claims anyone can learn to walk on fire. Scientists monitoring the experience conclude that fire walking is not a case of mind over matter. In fact, firewalkers rely on scientific theory to help ensure their safety. If the coals are burned down without any sign of flames and firewalkers walk at a steady pace without pausing or running, heat transferred to the feet will be quickly absorbed and carried away by the bloodstream. In this case the coals registered 400 degrees, but none of the firewalkers was injured.
Online
1986
20.

Struck by Lightning [electronic resource]

A bolt of lightning packs up to 100 million volts and is five times hotter than the surface of the sun. What happens if lightning hits you? What are the chances of survival? Why does lightning kill some victims and leave others almost completely unscathed? Reconstructing some of the most dramatic lightning strikes in the United States and United Kingdom, this documentary explains the dangers and tells what steps you can take to avoid being the victim of a lightning strike. It also tells the story of the park ranger who was struck seven times before finally being killed by this fearsome natural force.
Online
2001