The light controlled brain and other tales

Stanford University have put a series of engaging TED style 10 minute lectures up on YouTube where some of their leading researchers discuss cutting-edge cognitive science research – curing blindness with neural implants, brain computer interfaces, neural pathway mapping, creating brain inspired computer hardware, visualising desire and controlling neurons with light.

Getting lab scientists to do short, engaging online lectures aimed at a bright and curious audience is a fantastic idea. These new Stanford talks have a high production quality and have obviously been prepared with a great deal of care as they are incredibly easy to watch.

I’ve not watched them all yet, but so far the talk on the neuroscience and stem cell treatment of blindness is a particular highlight.

In this presentation, psychologist Brian Wandell discusses the science of perception and the treatment, as well as the remarkable case of Mike May, the world-record holder for blind downhill skiing who volunteered to try the experimental treatment.

A fantastic series that’s well worth checking out.

Link to Stanford neuroscience TED-style talks.

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