PBS Brain Series

Neuroscience, Brain Science

Brain & Behavior

The primary neuroscience resources on this site are summarized below. However, there are other sources throughout the Massive Open Online Course and General Semantics areas.

Same BoatFrom About Ourselves in the World:To varying degrees, we each have common human capabilities and limitations. We have imperfect sensing capabilities. We have nervous systems that can mislead and misinform us. We have physiological and neurological limitations. In this respect we are all “in the same boat,” but yet we are each uniquely-individual human beings with different-sized and types of paddles, so to speak. If we don’t acknowledge these differences in our capabilities and limitations, we will misunderstand our perceptions of the world around us. So, how do we work? Read more.

Sleights of MindSleights of Mind Book Signing (authors Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde with Sandra Blakeslee). I attended the book signing hosted by the three authors in Santa Fe, February 2011. Included are my notes from the reading and discussion by the authors about their book, Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions. February 2011.

Coincident with the book release, a 12-minute segment of PBS “Nova Science Now,” was devoted to “Magic and the Brain.” Hosted by Penn and Teller, the segment was based on the book. Watch on the PBS website.

Jeff HawkinsJeff Hawkins Lecture Transcript (with slides) and Video Clips. Jeff Hawkins, author of On Intelligence with Sandra Blakeslee, presented the annual J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Lecture in Los Alamos, New Mexico, on July 27, 2009.

With permission and cooperation of the Memorial Committee, I prepared the transcript of Hawkins’ lecture (available here), including photos of the slides from the presentation. Several clips from the video of the program are here.

Christof KochChristof Koch, author of The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach, presented the 2005 J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Lecture, titled on his book.

From the video recording of the lecture, I’ve edited several clips that illustrate the mundane yet amazing ways our brains works. Four clips of his demonstrations are available here.

Charlie Rose Brain SeriesCharlie Rose and his Nobel Laureate co-host Eric Kandel began a 12-episode series on the brain in late 2009 on PBS, concentrating on the biology and functioning of the “normal” brain. In 2011, the pair joined again in a second series to explore abnormalities and diseases of the brain and nervous system. They began a third series in March 2015 to investigate brain science and society. For each episode I’ve abstracted video clips and notes that I found particularly relevant to my interests, as well as a list of the guests.


The last episode I summarized in the table was Series 3 #1 on Aggression that aired on March 15, 2015. Episodes airing since then with direct links to the Series website:

The brain series is available online at www.charlierose.com.

The Charlie Rose Brain Series 3 (2015-2017)

Mar 2015 #1 Aggression David Anderson of the California Institute of Technology, Richard Tremblay of University of Montreal, Johanna Ray Vollhardt of Clark University, Emil Coccaro of University of Chicago, and Adrian Raine of University of Pennsylvania.

The Charlie Rose Brain Series 2 (2011-2014)

Nov 2011 #1 Neurological, Psychiatric and Addictive Disorders Cornelia Bargmann, Gerald Fischbach, Thomas Insel, Nora Volkow
Dec 2011 #2 Consciousness Patricia Churchland, Stanislas Dehaene, Nicholas Schiff, Timothy Wilson
Jan 2012 #3 Agnosias John Brust, Chuck Close, Richard Frackowiak, Masud Husain
Feb 2012 #4 Defects in Cognition: Alzheimer’s David Holtzman, Alison Goate, Bruce Miller, Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Mar 2012 Special Report Dr. Richard Davidson and Sharon Begley, authors of The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How its unique patterns affect the way you think, feel, and live – And how you can change them
Apr 2012 #5 Schizophrenia Danny Hurley, Steven M. Paul, Cornelia Bargmann, Judith Rapoport, David A. Lewis
May 2012 #6 Autism Gerald Fischbach, Uta Frith, Matthew State, Alison Singer
May 2012 #7 Depression Peter Whybrow, Andrew Solomon, Frederick, Helen Mayberg
Jun 2012 #8 Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases Stanley Fahn, Allen Goorin, Anne B. Young, Stanley B. Prusiner, Sam Posey
Jul 2012 #9 Multiple Sclerosis Alfred Sandrock, Amit Bar-Or, Andrea Kilpatrick, Stephen L. Hauser
Jul 2012 #10 Motor Neuron Disorders (ALS, Spinal Muscular Atrophy) Dr. Richard Finkel, Neil Shneider, Peter Frates, Griffen Kingkiner, Beth Kingkiner
Nov 2012 #11 Pain David Julius, Allan Basbaum, Robert Dworkin, David Borsook, Laurie Klein
Dec 2012 #12 Post Traumatic Stress Retired Lieutenant Colonel John O’Brien; Murray Stein, Lisa Shin, Kerry Ressler, JoAnn Difede
Mar 2013 #13 Public Policy Implications of the New Science of Mind Alan Alda, Daniel Kahneman, Michael Shadlen, and Walter Mischel
Jul 2013 #14 President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative Thomas Insel of the National Institute of Mental Health, Story Landis of the National Institute of Health, Cornelia Bargmann of Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University
Oct 2013 #15 Hearing David Corey of Harvard University , Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins University, Ruth Bentler of the University of Iowa and Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair
Apr 2014 #16 Sight and Blindness Sanford Greenberg, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute ; Jean Bennett; Steven Schwartz of the Jules Stein Eye Institute; Eberhart Zrenner & Carla Shatz of Stanford University
Jan 2015 Special Report Reporter James Gorman of the New York Times discusses the initiative to create a dynamic “wiring diagram” of a living human brain.

The Charlie Rose Brain Series 1 (2009-2010)

Oct 2009 #1 Great Mysteries of the Brain Cornelia Bargmann, Gerald Fischbach, Anthony Movshon, John Searle
Nov 2009 #2 Visual Perception Edward Adelson, Nancy Kanswisher, Anthony Movshon, Pawan Sinha
Dec 2009 #3 Active Brain Robert Brown, Tom Jessell, John Krakauer, Daniel Wolpert
Jan 2010 #4 Social Brain Cornelia Bargmann, Gerald Fischbach, Kevin Pelphrey, Giacomo Rizzolatti
Feb 2010 #5 Developing Brain Patricia Kuhl, Elizaeth Spelke, Stephen Warren, Huda Zoghbi
Mar 2010 #6 Aging Brain John Hardy, Brenda Milner, Scott Small, Larry Squire
Apr 2010 #7 Emotional Brain Eric Nestler, Daniel Salzman, Wolfram Schultz, Nora Volkow
May 2010 #8 Negative Emotions David Anderson, Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux, Kerry Ressler
Jun 2010 #9 Mental Illnesses Jeffrey Lieberman, Kay Redfield Jamison, Helen Mayberg, Ellen Saks, Stephen Warren
Jul 2010 #10 Disordered Brain Nancy Bonini, Mahlon DeLong, John Donoghue, John Krakauer,
Sep 2010 #11 Deciding Brain Ray Dolan, Joshua Greene, Anthony Movshon, William Newsome,
Oct 2010 #12 Creative Brain Chuck Close, Richard Serra, Oliver Sacks, Ann Temkin