Where neuroscience, the arts and humanities mingle.

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  • 17. BRAVE NEW WORLDS : Your neural interface awaits...

    In this podcast Professor Andrew Jackson talks about how he came to be, literally, at the cutting edge between the human central nervous system and new neuro-technologies. After explaining ‘neural interface’, he discusses how the field is starting to change the management of paralysis and epilepsy. There is also an interesting discussion about the effects of exhsiting current tech, including possible implications of Google's acquisition of FitBit and how social media is already effectively modifies behaviour. He also shares a lockdown project – 'closed loop' music generated by and modified in real time by brain oscillations (with some samples included). Participants:Andrew Jackson, Professor of Neural Interfaces, University of Newcastle, UK Barrett, visual artist, writer and former neuropsychiatrist/psychophysiologist. Closed loop music generated by Andrew Jackson’s brain (with permission).Brainland the opera website: by KB.

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  • 16. YOUR BRAIN ON BEAUTY: Welcome to the world of neuroaesthetics...

    In this podcast neurologist and academic Anjan Chatterjee opens up the world of neuroaesthetics, from basic definitions and a taxonomy of aesthetics, including individual responses to the built environment, to neurological correlates of our responses to beauty. The influence of expectation and beliefs regarding value of objects/works of art are also touched upon, and the way neuroimaging results reflect this effect. Some current projects of the Penn Centre for Neuroaesthetics also get a mention, including a study using the arts in a structured way to aid recovery and readjustment of veterans. Participants:Anjan Chatterjee, Professor of Neurology, Psychology and Architecture, University of Pennsylvania and Head of the Penn Centre for Neuroaesthetics (the extraordinary range of projects can be viewed here )Ken Barrett, visual artist, writer and retired neuropsychiatrist: and closing music: Prelude to the opera Brainland, composed by Stephen Brown. Brainland the opera website: by Ken Barrett.

    In this podcast we give the brain a rest and take an excursion into the music world. Trevor Ford, Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, talks to Stephen Brown about his journey from the East End of London to a career as a professional flautist, organist and choir master (an organiser of the annual 'Messiah from Scratch' at the Albert Hall) alongside, accountancy, business management and editing. They discuss the benefits he and Stephen gained from the free music tuition available to children of working class families in the East End in the 1960s and the importance of giving the next generation musical opportunities, but also survival skills necessary for a life in the music jungle.Participants:Trevor Ford, professor, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Brown, cellist, composer (with the permission): Handel's Messiah were sung by the Really Big Chorus accompanied by the English Festival Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014.Brainland the opera website: by Ken Barrett.
  • 14. THE VITAL SPARK?: Exploring the world of Gille de la Tourette's syndrome.

    Hugh Rickards, in conversation with Stephen Brown and Ken Barrett, talks about Tourette's syndrome, including a suggested association with increased levels of creativity. After outlining why he was first attracted to Neuropsychiatry (Oliver Sacks' fault) and to do research on this condition, Hugh goes over what we mean by Tourette's, it's overlap with OCD and the little we known about it's causes. We unpack possible links to creativity, performer Tourettes Hero gets a mention (see link below), Hugh and Ken share their own experience of tics.Participants: Hugh Rickards, Consultant and Honorary Professor of Neuropsychiatry, National Centre for Mental Health, Birmingham, UK. http// Brown, cellist, composer and retired professor of neuropsychiatry: Barrett, visual artist, writer and retired neuropsychiatrist: More about Tourette's is here: here: Hero : and closing music: Prelude to the opera Brainland, composed by Stephen Brown. Brainland the opera website: by Ken Barrett.
  • 13. COMPUTATIONAL PSYCHIATRY IS IN THE BUILDING: Brain information processing and the future of psychiatry.

    In this podcast Ken Barrett is in conversation with Professor David Redish. David explains what is meant by ‘computational psychiatry’ and the concept of ‘computational breakdown', with a great falling bridge analogy, before going on to outline how this approach is being applied to addiction and depression. Our discussion ranges over aspects of memory, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and sleep, and much else, before considering possible pitfalls of the approach.Participants: A David Redish, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota. Barrett, visual artist, writer and retired clinical neuropsychiatrist. Music: Prelude to the opera Brainland, composed by Stephen Brown. Brainland the opera website: by Ken Barrett. 
  • 12. BRAINHACKING: Ethical and legal challenges posed by new neurotechnologies.

    In this podcast Ken Barrett is in conversation with Marcello Ienca, professor of the ethics of articicial intelligence. We discuss the ethical challenges of new neurotechnologices, including brain-computer interfaces and other wearable and implanted devices. Are our brains about to be at risk of being ‘hacked’ or ‘jacked’ and what steps should be taken to safeguard us? Marcello outlines and unpacks four human rights he believes should be protected: the right to cognitive liberty, mental privacy, mental integrity and psychological continuity.  Participants: Marcello Ienca, Professor of Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience.Deputy Director, Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine, Technische Universität München. Group Leader - Intelligent Systems Ethics Group - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Barrett, visual artist, writer and retired clinical neuropsychiatrist. interesting article by Marcello Ienca on this subject: Music: Prelude to the opera Brainland, composed by Stephen Brown.Brainland the opera website: sketch by Ken Barrett
  • 11. MIND WARS: Military and intelligence funding of brain science - a curious history.

    In this podcast Professor Jonathan D Moreno, author of the book Mind Wars, is in conversation with Ken Barrett. Their chat ranges from human experimentation, in the US in World War 2, to fears of mind control in the intelligence community in the 1950s and related experiments with LSD and mescaline, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and various specific projects up to the present day. On the subject of bioethics, we speak about the Nuremberg Code, the surprising origin of informed consent and much more, ending on an optimistic note. Participants:Ken Barrett is an artist, writer and former neuropsychiatrist D. Moreno is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, of History and Sociology of Science, and of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Musical extract is from Act 1, Scene 2 of Brainland, composed by Stephen BrownPortrait by Ken BarrettDiscussed on the podcast:DARPA: WARS: