Brain Science Starter Kit

The YouTube video featured below is presented by Frederick Travis, PhD, Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, and it provides an excellent overview of what science now knows about the brain. The lecture by Dr. Travis was delivered at Stanford University as part of a third year biology course (BIO 387), called "Hacking Consciousness - Consciousness, Cognition and the Brain".

For those who know little about the brain -- and that means most of us -- this is a great place to start.

For those who prefer a bit more detail about the physical anatomy of the brain, we offer a 14 minute video by University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine professor Dr. Claudia Krebs. It's entitled: Introduction to the Central Nervous System. (Viewer advisory: The Krebs video shows actual brain material being cut.)

We also provide a link to a third video by brain scientist and author, Douglas Fields, PhD, entitled The Other Brain which also happens to be the title of his 2009 book on the same topic. While many, if not most brain scientists often refer to themselves as "neuro-scientists", which is an allusion to gray matter neuron cells in the brain, most of the brain is actually made up of various categories of white matter glia cells. Fields expounds on the importance of this topic when it comes to really understanding the brain.

We offer these suggestions as an informational service to our readers. It will also help to contextualize some of the material we address in our two books. Though we address certain topics touched on in all of these presentation within our books, these relatively short presentations represent a highly informative entry point into what is often regarded a highly complex topic. (In reference to the first video mentioned, our citation should not be construed to represent either an open endorsement or repudiation of Maharishi University or Transcendental Meditation.)

Another video you can consider is a TEDx talk presented in Vancouver, BC in 2015 by University of British Columbia brain scientist Lara Boyd. The fact this video has received over 7.5 million views suggests that it is a popular one. It also explains why practice (i.e. repetition of some new learned skill) is so necessary. Repetition is what allows the brain to build a web of new neuronal structures that allow that skill to be "hard-wired" after its basics have been conceptually learned.