Wed, 29 May 2013
Dr. Robert E. Hampson (neuroscientist, writer and public speaker) is today's featured guest.
Topic: How memories are stored in the human brain. As well as ways living neurons behave similarly to neural nets written in software; why holograms are a good metaphor for memory storage in the brain; and new tools and equipment which are opening the door to entirely new research. Such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Functional MRI) which is an MRI procedure that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow; and Magnetoencephalography (MEG)--a technique for mapping brain activity by recording, from outside the brain, magnetic fields produced by electrical currents occurring inside the brain which are a physical manifestation of mental activity. We even take a moment to discuss the Alpha brain-wave bio-feedback machines which were a big fad back in the 1980s.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the May 29, 2013 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 48 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.