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The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. The brain boggles the mind.  Physicist James Watson. In 1959 he cracked the DNA secret of life along with Francis Crick.

This site is a resource on developments in the brain sciences and psychology with links to specialist websites.  It also supports my classes in the daytime programme of the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Strathclyde University.

The alternative URL for this site is http://tinyurl.com/brainshapers

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Learn how to use your brain power to enhance your life and increase your understanding and appreciation of your greatest asset. Nothing in the known universe comes close to matching the complexity of a human brain with its 100 billion brain cells (neurons). Each brain cell can have thousands of branching connections to other cells, making a neural network (1) of a million billion connections.

1 Neural networks are the connecting circuits in the brain. Each neuron can communicate with anything between 2,000 and 200,000 others. One neuron on its own is virtually useless but from interactions arises the phenomenon of human consciousness.

 

Shaped a little like a loaf of French country bread, our brain is a crowded chemistry lab, bustling with non-stop neural conversations. Diane Ackerman, poet and author.

For links to video clips and more websites see BrainShapers page.

For picture gallery of brain regions go to on BrainExplorer.

 What Makes Us Wise? Science journalist Stephen Hall and neuroscientist Andre Fenton discuss what we call wisdom, from the neurons in our brain, to the social constructs behind it. 'Science and the City' downloadable Podcast - September 10, 2010.

The most important thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein

Modern neuroscience, with its brain imaging of ‘thoughts, together with cognitive psychology and its exploration of ‘internal states', have produced many theories about what happens when we talk, reflect, recall, solve problems and have ideas. How do we become competent adults, each with the potential to make our own unique contribution to the world? Although we have a singular profile, we are identically equipped biologically to learn from experiences throughout life. 

Watch the Discovery Channel video clip (on YouTube) of Neurons and How They Work
 
Watch a BBC news clip about scientists in Birmingham who have been growing human brain tissue from tumour tissue on plastic trays to help research into diseases like Alzheimer's.
 
Visit Brain Connection. The brain retains its plasticity—the ability to rewire itself —throughout life. This website is dedicated to promoting understanding about how and why the brain changes during life, and what you can do to stay sharp.
 
The Dana Foundation has produced Cerebrum 2009: Emerging Ideas in Brain ScienceExtracts are available online at the Dana site.
 
Sharpbrains website provides Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health information in everyday language, authored by Expert Contributors. For example - Can food improve brain health?  Physical Exercise and Brain Health

The Secret Life of the Brain has clips illustrating biological processes involved in brain function over one's lifetime.

Read about Brain Facts on the SfN site.
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On the Society for Neuroscience site read about Adult Neurogenesis (the continuing growth of new cells throughout life) in Brain Briefings section. This newsletter series (archived online) explains how basic neuroscience discoveries are leading to practical applications. 
 

Brain Test Britain is over. Find out the results
  • Does brain training really work? 
  • Can brain training keep your brain healthy?
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    The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropy with interests in brain science, immunology, and arts education.
    Watch the DVD on Staying Sharp as we age.