In response to a student request for an overview of neuroanatomy, I happily recorded an hour of dissections designed to provide a neuroanatomical framework. I start with development and proceed to dissections of sheep and human brains to illustrate the parts of the brain and how they fit into the cranium.
Recently I was asked to answer a “Proust Questionnaire” for a get-to-know-your-teacher blurb. I had never heard the term but the exemplary questions, (e.g. Your favorite virtue; If not yourself, who would you be?; For what fault have you most toleration?; Favorite heroines in fiction) were clear enough that I was able to get into the spirit. I wrote back my […]
It was quite striking to me how many students in the 2014 NeuroMOOC class of Understanding the Brain appeared to really enjoy the laboratory videos that were included in the class. So I will post versions of those videos here on my blog. I will add more from time to time. But let’s start with those that that were part of NeuroMOOC 2014. I want to emphasize the respect and gratitude that I feel every time I look at tissue from a dead person. The decision to offer up one’s body for scientific study or training is the epitome of generosity and selflessness. I am in awe of those individuals who did so. Please take a moment to be grateful to tissue donors: To start with, we are going to look at the central nervous system which is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. Now let’s look at the meninges that surround the central nervous system. Now that we know about the meninges, we can talk about “brain tumors” and “brain cancer”. The important point is that none of these are tumors where neurons multiply out of control. Intracranial tumors arise from either glial cells (mostly astrocytomas from astrocytes or Schwannomas from Schwann cells) or from glandular cells (pinealomas in the case of the pineal gland or pituitary adenomas in the case of the pituitary gland). Importantly, neurons are NOT the source of tumors. I should mention that there are […]
Last week, a report was published in PlosOne that analyzes the walking gait of siblings from rural Turkey that walk on all fours. [Big thanks to my friend Bing Shaw for alerting me to this via the WaPo.] Walking on all fours is so unusual among human adults that the affected siblings from the Ulas family have received a great […]
Francisca Martínez Traub, a student in the 2014 session of the NeuroMOOC that I teach, emailed me to ask if I had heard of the work of Brazilian neuroscientist, Suzana Herculano-Houzel. I had not. The student wrote that Dr Herculano-Houzel was interested in collecting data on the total number of cells in the brain and what proportion of those cells are […]