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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.
2005; 1998

Animated Neuroscience and the Action of Nicotine, Cocaine, and Marijuana in the Brain [electronic resource]

Using sophisticated 3-D animation, this program, divided into two parts, takes viewers on a journey deep into the brain to study the effects of the three substances. The first part illustrates the major functions of the brain and shows how its principal cells, the neurons, communicate with each other through electrical and chemical signals. In the second part, animated molecules of nicotine, cocaine, and marijuana travel a route from the external environment through the body to the brain, where viewers learn about the cellular targets of these drugs, and how each drug interacts with them and subsequently affects the body. Images of actual neurons used in the animations create a realistic effect that helps viewers understand the concepts presented.
2005; 1997

Mind Talk [electronic resource]: Brain's New Story

What is the difference between the mind and the brain? Are they separable? Are they even quantifiable? And where does the soul fit in? In this thought-provoking program, experts including Oxford mathematician Sir Roger Penrose, cognitive scientist Dr. Daniel Dennett, and cyber-age techno-visionary Jaron Lanier contemplate the social and moral impact of brain research and questions such as how matter developed consciousness, whether computers can model human abilities, how free "free will" really is, and where legal responsibility for actions begins and ends. This intriguing program is a vital resource in the ongoing challenge to understand that which makes human beings truly human. A Bob Drake/Wendy Conquest Production.
2006; 1998

Mind Over Matter [electronic resource]: Advances in Brain Research

How does the brain create that internal space called consciousness? In this stimulating program, top names in cognitive science such as Daniel Dennett, Rodney Brooks, Endel Tulving, and John Searle delve into the mechanics of perception and cognition and speculate on the meaning of consciousness. Using advanced technology, they and other experts seek to understand the brain, leading to discussion of concepts that include mind-body dualism, self-emergent organization, unconscious vision, and even socially interactive machines like MIT's Cog.
2006; 1997

Hormone Hell [electronic resource]

Whether it is due to a specific time of life or a particular style of living, hormones are believed to alter moods and erode bodily health. In this program, endocrinologist Lorraine Fitzpatrick, of the Mayo Clinic; a woman who has kept a video diary charting her monthly bouts with PMS; and a cast of teens and seniors investigate how hormones affect different stages of life, such as puberty and menopause. In addition, psychiatrist Ned Kalin, of the University of Wisconsin; a police officer; and a trans-Atlantic flight attendant offer insights into the hormonal havoc caused by stress and jet lag.
2006; 1999

Hormonally Yours [electronic resource]

From the womb to old age, it is believed that hormones have a powerful impact on gender and sexuality. Drawing on the research of Roger Gorski, professor of neurobiology at UCLA, and Donatella Marazzitti, of Pisa University, this program explores both the role of sex hormones and the biochemistry of love. Case studies of transgendering and a condition in which a woman's body produces an excess of testosterone are examined. In addition, a group of teenagers-considered "hormones on legs" by Dr. Gorski-share their approaches and reactions to the impulse of sexual attraction.
2006; 1999

Hormone Heaven? [electronic resource]

A world without teenage angst, PMS, and mid-life crisis; a life without hair loss and wrinkles: are these products of wishful thinking, or genuine scientific possibilities? In this program, scientists from the University of Wisconsin and the Life Extension Institute in Palm Springs strive to answer that question through their intriguing research. Clinical studies into hormone supplements for youthful vigor and hormone replacement therapy for healthier bones are described by medical professionals as well as by enthusiastic patients themselves. Research correlating cortisol production with stress is included.
2006; 1999

Inside the Head [electronic resource]: New Dimensions in Brain Research

Perhaps the most intriguing field of medicine is the one that seeks to understand consciousness itself. This program provides a tour of the most advanced work in brain research and cognitive science, as well as the latest applications of these discoveries in treating patients with brain disorders. Using MRI and EEG to determine areas of brain activity, researchers explore the connection between memory and epilepsy. New treatments are presented for Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as experimental drugs based on the recently identified Alzheimer's gene.
2006; 2001

Teens [electronic resource]: What Makes Them Tick?

Raging hormones. Exploding sexual passion. Rebellion punctuated by tattoos, pierced lips, and unfathomable music. What happens during the teen years to make kids so different? In this fascinating ABC News special, John Stossel talks to a variety of teens and their parents and visits the Harvard Medical School's Brain Imaging Center to reveal some surprising physiological reasons for teen behavior. He also discovers a social hierarchy among teens (the influencers, the conformers, the passives, and the edge kids) that is responsible for most fads, and talks with a psychologist and therapist about the secrets to successful parental nurturing: have rules but make them few, allow room for mistakes, and lecture less and listen more.
2006; 1999

Functions of the Face [electronic resource]

This Science Screen Report describes the anatomy and functions of facial features, and the evolutionary development of the human face. It explains how the mouth and nose work together to identify food, the process of chewing and swallowing, and the varying functions of the taste buds, saliva, teeth, tongue, and jaws. Combining principles in anatomy, anthropology, psychology, and zoology, the program also details how muscles in the face convey expressions and emotions, how humans and computers recognize faces and expressions, and how the aesthetics of attractiveness can be linked to facial symmetry.
2006; 2004

The Brain [electronic resource]

This program opens in the emergency room of a large hospital where head injuries are an all-too-common problem. The importance of the brain is evident from the skill and technology employed in ensuring that any damage to it is minimized. Using combinations of computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and advanced surgical techniques, the program shows why the brain is so important and explores what is known about how it works. The program provides a complete introduction to the following topics: Brain structure and function; Localization of brain activity; Motor and sensory neurons; Simple reflex arcs
2005; 1995

The Kindness of Strangers [electronic resource]: Altruism and Human Nature

Dissecting the phenomenon of altruism-as well as its mirror image, the instinct of self-preservation-is perhaps best accomplished with real-world case studies. This program does so as it documents the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami. Following four independent relief workers in the hardest-hit areas of Sri Lanka, the film captures scene after scene in which the most idealistic and pragmatic of aims are vividly juxtaposed. Meanwhile, experts in evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral science-including Dr. Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene-illuminate the genetic, psychological, and socioeconomic concepts behind human cooperation and human survival.
2010; 2006

Heartbreak Science [electronic resource]

Is the heart more than just a muscular pump? Does it have a neurological importance, or perhaps even a mental or emotional capacity, overlooked by modern science? This program examines controversial theories about the heart emerging from diverse perspectives. Dr. Rollin McCraty of central California's Institute of HeartMath outlines basic ideas of cardiac-related emotional intelligence; Dr. Gary Schwartz, director of the VERITAS Research Program at the University of Arizona, explains his notions of recurrent feedback and cellular memory and their basis in heart transplant cases; while Dr. Harry Burns, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, offers a more mainstream medical view. Contains graphic footage of heart surgery. A Prospero Production for BBC.
2010; 2009

Finding My Mind [electronic resource]

Is it possible to gain a complete picture of one's own consciousness? Or will the mind always remain an unsolved jigsaw puzzle? In this program, University of Oxford professor Dr. Marcus du Sautoy takes part in fascinating experiments that probe the complexities of the brain and awareness. After an overview of the mirror-recognition test, du Sautoy undergoes an MRI scan that identifies which part of his brain switches off when he succumbs to an anesthetic. Subsequently, he attempts to stay oriented while monitoring a live video image of himself from behind; endures the illusion of inhabiting another person's body; and copes with other procedures designed to unravel his sense of self.
2010; 2009

What Makes a Genius? [electronic resource]

Can modern genetics, psychology, and neuroscience actually identify the qualities that make up human creativity and brilliance? This program follows innovative research which may help determine what makes a person a genius-if such a label even makes sense. Dr. Manuel Casanova of the University of Louisville has detected differences in brain structure that may account for extreme intelligence. Dr. Justin Halberda of Johns Hopkins University administers a color-coded computer test that measures latent mathematical ability in children. And Dr. Elly Nedivi of MIT has, through studying Pavlovian responses in mice, found a gene associated with learning. Artists and savants are also featured.

Discovering the Human Brain [electronic resource]: New Pathways to Neuroscience, With Susan Bookheimer, Ph.D.

Using the resources of the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, this program illustrates the development of neuroscience from its classical reliance on information from brain injuries and autopsies through current-day insights discovered with electronic microscopes, EEG equipment, PET scans, and MRI machines. Examples of research that utilizes these tools are presented, including a study on the role of mirror neurons in autism and the mapping of a woman's several language centers before surgery for a brain tumor. Animations and graphics review the gross anatomy of the brain and the actions of its neurons.

Human Brain Development [electronic resource]: Nature and Nurture, With Helen Neville, Ph.D.

The fascinating interplay of genetic predispositions and experience in the development of the brain after birth is demonstrated in this program filmed at the Brain Development Laboratory at the University of Oregon. Three profiles of plasticity are depicted with compelling footage of behavioral, MRI, and EEG research into the development of visual perception and language acquisition from infancy through old age. A congenitally Deaf young woman, university students with unimpaired hearing, and lively preschool children participate in controlled studies that illustrate both how neuroscience research is conducted and how all brains change over time and circumstance.

The Emotional Brain [electronic resource]: An Introduction to Affective Neuroscience, With Brian Knutson, Ph.D.

Emotions deeply color individual human existence and shape all aspects of our interpersonal and intellectual experiences. In this program, animations and fMRI images introduce students to the sub-cortical emotional circuits in the brain and chemical processes that produce emotional responses and contribute to decision making and mental health. Live action sequences, both in laboratory and real-world situations, illustrate research on risk taking and provide intriguing examples of the factors involved in the interplay of affect and reason in making choices.

Is Seeing Believing? [electronic resource]: New Frontiers in the Science of the Senses

From cooking breakfast to driving home from work, we rely on the body's natural interfaces for nearly every task. Ironically, our senses are easily fooled and seem to affect each other in strange ways. This program follows new explorations in biology, neurology, and psychology that are shedding light on how the five senses work-not just as individual abilities but in tandem. Demonstrations feature bizarre optical illusions that reveal the subjectivity of color; a magic show that illuminates the eye-brain relationship; a synesthete who makes fresh food taste stale through the use of ambient sound; and a man who lost his sight as a child and has learned how to echolocate, bat-style, by clicking his tongue.
2011; 2010

Tourette [electronic resource]: No Laughing Matter

John Davidson, first diagnosed with Tourette syndrome as a youth, is now in his mid-40s. He looks back on the preceding decades with a mixture of sadness about his lack of a life partner and pride at what he has been able to accomplish. Greg Storey, whose tics emerged in 2001, is now a teenager with most of his life ahead of him. To be sure, his future holds numerous challenges, but Greg seems for the most part undaunted. This program (a follow-up to the 1988 film John's Not Mad, item 7355) explores the current goals, emotional lives, and philosophical reflections of both John and Greg as viewers accompany them through job duties, school work, family events, and leisure activities. Although they spend much of the film in their own surroundings, John eventually meets up with Greg and [...]
2011; 2009