Tue, 4 June 2013
Dr. Robert E. Hampson (neuroscientist, writer and public speaker) is today's featured guest.
Part 2 of our 3 part exploration of: How memories are stored in the human brain.
Subtopics include: recording electrical activity deep inside a living human brain; common misinterpretations of the goals of brain research; deep brain stimulation (a treatment for Parkinson's disease); pharmaceuticals for brain research, and ways in which the Internet has forced peer-reviewed scientific journals to change. One such change has been the adoption of a new form of peer-review known as "open-review"--a wild and woolly free-for-all.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the June 5, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 37 minutes] This interview was recorded using Skype on May 26, 2013.
Dr. Robert E. Hampson is a researcher in the field of "neuroscience" –the structure and function of the brain. After receiving his doctorate in Physiology and Pharmacology from Wake Forest University in 1988, his research focus has been on the hippocampus (a brain area involved in the processing of short-term memory) and in the prefrontal cortex (an area responsible for behavior and decisions involving memory). His laboratory work includes the study of: 1) nerve cell function, 2) behavioral mechanisms, and 3) detection of the patterns of neural activity, underlying learning and memory in rodents, nonhuman primates and humans. These studies have required the development of computer models of neural activity patterns associated with processing of memory, investigation of drugs that alter memory function, examination of the effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on cognitive (memory) processing, and comparative studies of memory across different animal species. Dr. Hampson is also part of a multi-university team working to develop a "neural prosthetic" capable of restoring memory by connecting between different regions within the brain.
Dr. Hampson's interest in public education and brain awareness has also led him to serve as a member of the Science and Entertainment Exchange (a service of the National Academy of Science) which supplies subject matter experts to the entertainment industry, and from there to the field of Science Fiction. Writing science fact and fiction blogs and articles as "Tedd Roberts," he also gives public talks on science fiction for SF conventions, student and civic groups, and writes nonfiction articles for Baen Books.