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You probably have heard of a pacemaker – a small device which is implanted in the chest to help control the heartbeat for people living with heart conditions. But did you know similar technology is being used to treat several brain disorders?Today we are joined by Professor Peter Silburn AM, neurologist, researcher and pioneer in deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS technology delivers a continuous electrical impulse to targeted regions of the brain to treat many disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and obsessive compulsion disorder (OCD).
In recent years, we’ve seen a growing number of sportspeople speak out about their experiences of head injuries, and concussions are forcing more and more athletes to take a break from or cut short their sporting careers.  And research on the brains of former athletes is raising awareness of the long-term neurological damage that can be caused by repeated, apparently minor knocks to the head.  Associate Professor  Fatima Nasrallah is currently spearheading a ground-breaking study here at the Queensland Brain Institute, investigating the long-term effects of concussion on the brain.  
People living with dementia often have disturbed sleep – even years prior to experiencing any other symptoms.  Unfortunately, as is the case with many risk factors, we don’t know whether this is a cause or a symptom, and it could in fact be both.  Professor Elizabeth Coulson specialises in dementia research here at the Queensland Brain Institute and she’s heading up a team who are looking into the connection between sleep apnoea and dementia risks. 
The development of the brain is a fascinating process, with complex brain connections being made rapidly as a foetus grows inside its mother’s womb.Darryl Eyles, Professor of neurobiology, is studying how known risk factors for certain mental disorders can change the way the brain develops.In this episode we explore how the developing brain can adapt to risk factors for mental health disorders and why sometimes it can’t compensate.
How can you study the human brain at the cell level, when you can't get inside to see these tiny processes in action? Well, you build your own brain in a dish of course! Organoids, or mini brains, are an exciting new area of neuroscience an have many applications, including personalised medicine. We talk to Professor Enrst Wolvetang, who's using this cutting-edge research to understand how brains are made.
The conscious brain

The conscious brain

2022-01-3123:31

In this episode, we examine consciousness – what is it, when does it begin, and how might sleep and dreams be the key to answering these questions. Professor Bruno van Swinderen sheds more light on this fascinating topic.
Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor Hugh Possingham and Queensland Brain Institute Director, Professor Pankaj Sah talk about the lessons we can learn from conservation science and neuroscience, how to influence decision-makers, and why maths is so important!CREDITSProduced,  hosted and edited by Carolyn Barry
When we pay attention to something, our minds are selectively concentrating on a discrete piece of information, while choosing to ignore other perceivable elements. Dr Anthony Harris is an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award Fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute and an expert on human attention. He discusses what goes on in the brain when we are giving something our full attention, and breaks down whether or not multitasking is a myth.
Almost 500,000 Australians have some kind of dementia, the most common form of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, there is no cure, and only one drug was recently approved for treatment. Researchers here at the Queensland Brain Institute are working on an ultrasound treatment that may offer the best chance to hit the damaged neurons and slow the progression of this terrible disease. We talk to QBI’s Professor Jurgen Gotz about this cutting-edge technology.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
Artist Sam Leach’s work focuses on a connection between science and art, in a more modern twist. He uses AI to compose art that he then paints. It’s a blending of two fields in a similar way that researchers are blending machine learning and neuroscience, to push the limits of AI. We talk also talk to neuroscientist Emeritus Professor Srini Srinivasan, whose work inspired Sam.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
How do you make sure clinical treatment of people with brain injury, diseases and disorders is best informed by neuroscience? This is where the worlds of neuroscience and psychology collide. In this episode, we talk to Professor Gail Robinson, clinical neurospsychologist at the Queensland Brain Institute.
The brain is one of the most complex things that scientists study, with trillions of connections between brain cells responsible for our thoughts and actions and baseline functions. You’d think that if you zoom down and look into the cells and how they talk to each other, that things would be simpler but that’s not the case. Down at the nanoscale level of the brain is an entire tiny intricate world going on. In this episode, we talk to Dr Victor Anggono, who is trying to make sense of this world.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
More and more we are finding out about the peculiar symptoms of coronavirus that make it such a nasty bug. Many of these symptoms, especially those with a long tail of illness seem to point to effects on the nervous system: the loss of smell, dizziness, confusion, strokes, muscle weakness, fatigue. New research born out of collaborations with virologists and neuroscience here at QBI has shown that coronavirus has co-opted a clever entry mechanism to get into cells - including neurons. In this episode, we do a zoom chat to virologist Dr Giuseppe Balistreri and neuroscientists Prof Fred Meunier and Dr Merja Joensuu about this new research.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?

2020-09-1628:10

Did you know? Humans are pretty average when it comes to seeing the visual world compared to many other animals with much smaller brains. Or that octopuses are essentially colourblind? And that there’s really no such thing as colour?We talk to visual ecologist Professor Justin Marshall about the fascinating world of animal vision.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
At the very earliest stages of life, how do stem cells know how to turn into the right cells at the right time and go to the right places. Just a few cells create the billions of brain cells we have. In this episode, we talk to Professor Helen Cooper, Deputy Director of Research at the Queensland Brain Institute. She studies the complex world of the signalling pathways that stem cells use to turn into neurons - and what happens when this goes wrong.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry1
Birds, bees and brains

Birds, bees and brains

2020-09-0224:56

How do birds and bees fly in groups without colliding? or know how to navigate straight to a food source? And how do you train a bee to fly down a tunnel? Studying these tiny insects can give us insight, not only into how our brains work, but also how we might enhance aircraft navigation.CREDITHosted by Donna Lu, edited by Carolyn Barry
We chat to neuroscientist Dr Susannah Tye from UQ's Queensland Brain Institute, who investigates new therapies for treatment-resistant depression, about the signs and symptoms, causes and treatments of this common mental health disorder.
You either know someone who's had a mental health disorder or you've had that challenge yourself. We know so much more about the science of mental health than ever before, but there's still so much to learn. Neuroscientists are doing their part to unlock the mysteries of why people get mental health disorders and how they develop.CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
We spend approximately a third of our lives asleep: that’s roughly 25 years we could spend awake and running around being productive, and yet evolution has guided us to spend hours every night in our most vulnerable state – unconscious and unaware. It’s an easy question to ask: what’s the point?CREDITHosted, produced and edited by Carolyn Barry
Who would have thought the humble zebrafish might hold the key to understanding our own brain, including conditions such as autism spectrum disorder? We talk to Associate Professor Ethan Scott who leads the Neural Circuits and Behaviour laboratory at QBI. Ethan is interested in understanding the biology behind developmental mental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.
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