Brain Matters

By Brain Matters Neuroscience

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Subscribers: 261
Reviews: 1

Piet Hanegraaf
 Nov 22, 2018
A great podcast on neuroscience!


Brain Matters the Podcast is an exciting way for anyone to learn about the fascinating world of neuroscience directly from the researchers who have dedicated their lives to uncovering the mysteries of the brain. Our mission is to make neuroscience accessible, relatable, and intriguing while still respecting the integrity of the science we love.

Episode Date
But Always See First with Dr. Roderick MacKinnon

On this episode, Anthony spoke to Dr. Roderick MacKinnon (Professor, Rockefeller University, HHMI) about ion channels, studying what fascinates you, and the importance of thinking childishly.


The music on today's episode was by The Caretaker:

Jan 09, 2019
Being Romantic and Practical with Dr. Richard Tsien

On this episode, Matt spoke to Dr. Richard Tsien (Professor & Chair, New York University). Dr. Tsien has a diverse career, contributing many important findings to the field of cellular and molecular neuroscience, with a primary focus on understanding how the brain meets the demands to process information. Matt delved primarily into Dr. Tsien's path to becoming a scientist, and his advice for anyone interested in becoming a neuroscientist.

The music on today's episode was by Robby. Check out their music at

May 22, 2018
Barflies: Alcohol and Fly Genetics with Dr. Fred Wolf

On this (50th!) episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talks to Dr. Fred Wolf (Assistant Professor, UC Merced). Dr. Wolf is interested in how alcohol and other drugs of abuse change our genes when we take them. Using the fruit fly as a model organism, he is able to use powerful techniques to delve into the complex relationship between drugs, genes, and behavior.

Dr. Wolf helps run his own biology podcast, RadioBio, with graduate students at UC Merced. Check it out at

The music on today's podcast was by koleżanka. Go check out and buy their music at

Dec 26, 2017
Alzheimer's and C. elegans with Dr. Jon Pierce

On this episode of Brain Matters, we talked with Dr. Jon Pierce (University of Texas at Austin). Jon uses to C. elegans to study Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome, alcoholism, and more.

Jon is currently raising money to fund undergraduate research and engagement in his lab. You can find more information at:

This episode was brought to you by Maze Engineers. To get 10% off your quote visit: Thanks to Bridget and Brian for their awesome maze ideas!

Apr 19, 2017
Space and Time with Dr. Mayank Mehta

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Mayank Mehta (Professor, UCLA) talk about how rodents and human perceive space and time. Mayank has always been obsessed with time and merges physics and neuroscience to understand how the brain deals with these abstract concepts.

This episode was brought to you by Maze Engineers. Get 10% off your quote by visiting and enter the offer code: brain. They have some incredible mazes and other neuroscience goodies so check them out.

Mar 07, 2017
Becoming a Curious Scientist with Dr. André Fenton

What's the most important thing about being a scientist? According to Dr. André Fenton: Curiosity. Anthony and André talked about how André tinkered his way to researching learning and memory at NYU.

Feb 13, 2017
The Nature of Nature (and the brain too) with Dr. David McCormick

This week on Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. David McCormick (Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Yale) start off 2017 right. On this episode you’ll get a quick briefing on the early history of neuroscience, information about Frankenstein’s monster, a look at neural circuits, and perspective from the Buddhist Monks of Tibet. You’re gonna want your cochleas ready for this one. 


David mentioned a ton of people and books. Here’s a list in case you wanna dive in.

Major Figures in the Early History of Neuroscience:

Luigi Galvani, Giovanni Aldini, René Descartes, Jan Swammerdam, Alessandro Volta, Emil de Bois-Reymond


Texts David Referenced:

1. Animal Electricity (Galvani, 1791)

2. Essay on Galvanism: “Précis des expériences galvaniques faites récemment à Londres et à Calais“ (Aldini, 1803)

3. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)

4. The Cerebellum as a Neuronal Machine (Eccles, 1967)


Further Reading (if you’re into it like we are):

1. Early History of Neuroscience, Charles Gross

2. Giovanni Aldini: From Animal Electricity to Human Brain Stimulation, André Parent

3. History of Psychology, Ideas and Context (Chapter 8) King et al.


We partnered with Wiley Neuroscience on this one. Follow them on twitter at @neuroscience. Shout out to their team for getting the twitter handle coveted most by neuroscientists.


The music on this episode was by Noveller. The first track was “Trails and Trials” from the soon to be released album “A Pink Sunset for Noone”, the second track was “Rubicon” from the Fantastic Planet LP. Go check out and purchase her music at, or at her current label,


Jan 30, 2017
Engineering the Brain with Dr. Caleb Kemere

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Caleb Kemere (Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University) talk about Caleb's path to studying real time neural engineering.

Dec 12, 2016
Bonus - SfN 2016

The Brain Matters team will be at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience convention in San Diego. Come say hey! We also got some exciting news - Brain Matters is now officially award-winning and Science-approved!

Nov 13, 2016
Neurons, Mitochondria, and Human Evolution with Dr. Franck Polleux

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Franck Polleux (Professor, Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University and the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute) cover a lot of ground. Franck talks about his work as a graduate student and the topics his lab is working on now. The Polleux lab is studying topics like neural progeneration, mitochondria in dendrites of neurons, and what makes the human brain special. This is an episode you won't want to miss.

Oct 13, 2016
Sensorimotor Circuits in Zebrafish with Dr. Tod Thiele

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Tod Thiele (Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Scarborough) talk about a model organism we haven't featured on the podcast yet- zebrafish. In his new lab, Tod is continuing his work on neural circuits in the zebrafish using all the latest imaging and optogenetic techniques.

Aug 08, 2016
Enhancing Cognition with Video Games with Dr. Adam Gazzaley

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Adam Gazzaley (Professor, UCSF) about his work on cognition. Adam develops and designs video games that are fun to play and also have enhancing cognitive effects.


Thank you for listening! We'd love it if you rated and reviewed us on iTunes. Those reviews mean more to us than you could ever imagine. We read each one and show them to strangers on the streets of Austin, Texas every time a new one appears.

What would you like to hear on Brain Matters? Leave us a comment on twitter or facebook.

Jun 23, 2016
The Vestibular System with Dr. Dora Angelaki

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Dr. Dora Angelaki (Professor & Chair of the Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine) about her work in the vestibular system. Dora refers to the vestibular system as 'the sixth sense' and her passion for studying this under-appreciated sensory system is clear as talks about her research. Dora is also working on a computational understanding of Autism. She discusses her approach to understanding this complicated disorder.

May 09, 2016
Molecular Mechanisms of Depression with Dr. Lisa Monteggia

On this episode of Brian Matters, Anthony and Dr. Lisa Monteggia (Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center) talked about depression and the molecular mechanisms underlying the efficacy of antidepressants. They also talked about Lisa's work on MeCP2, the gene linked to the autism spectrum disorder. Towards the end, Lisa opens up about how important mentorship is in the career of a young scientist.

Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain premiers April 13, 2016 at 10/9c. It features neuroscience experts Thomas Insel, Paul Keck, Karl Deisseroth, and Helen Mayberg.

Apr 01, 2016
The Resting Brain with Dr. Gagan Wig

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt talked with Dr. Gagan Wig (Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas) about his research on brain networks. Gagan studies the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI and investigates a multitude of interesting questions about the human brain. 

Mar 14, 2016
Stroke and Aphasia with Dr. Argye Hillis

Anthony and Dr. Argye Hillis (Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University) talked about a medical perspective on neuroscience research. Argye's research focuses on understanding how language and emotional functions recover after stroke.

Feb 04, 2016
Sleep Circuits with Dr. Yang Dan

On This episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Dr. Yang Dan (Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and Professor of Neurobiology, UC Berkeley). Yang studies the circuits in the brain that control sleep. Perk up your cochlea and jump into this great conversation.


Thanks to audible for supporting our podcast. Get a free 30 day trial at

Jan 15, 2016
Cortical Columns with Dr. David Fitzpatrick

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. David Fitzpatrick (Chief Executive Officer & Scientific Director, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience) chat about the cortex. They talked about the visual system and David's research on his friend the column.

Dec 22, 2015
Contextualizing Fear with Dr. Michael Fanselow

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony interviewed Dr. Michael Fanselow (Distinguished Professor, Psychology, UCLA). They talked about Michael's contributions to our understanding of fear memories and how the context of an event can impact learning.

The music featured in this episode is by Steve Beres. You can find more information about The Steve Martin Album at

Anthony's interview on WBEZ Chicago's Morning Shift can be found at

Thanks to Audible for supporting our podcast. Get a free 30 day trial at

Nov 12, 2015
Rich Perspectives with Dr. Rick Aldrich

Dr. Rick Aldrich (Professor, University of Texas at Austin) is a man who wears many hats - biophysicist, neuroscientist, molecular biologist, structural biologist. Throughout his career, he has contributed extensively to our understanding of mechanisms of ion channel function. Matt spoke to Dr. Aldrich about his diverse interests inside and outside the lab.

Oct 27, 2015
Motion Perception with Dr. Alex Huk

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Dr. Alex Huk (Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Texas at Austin) talk about how our brains process vision and motion.

Sep 11, 2015
Translational Control in Neurons with Dr. Eric Klann

Creating new proteins is necessary for neurons to change the strength of their connections with each other. This process, known as translation, is controlled by a complex system of molecules and signlaing pathways. Anthony spoke with Dr. Eric Klann (Professor, New York University) about how understanding the minutiae of translational control in neurons can help us understand learning and memory, as well as developing potential therapeutics for cognitive disorders.

Aug 03, 2015
Trial and Error Learning with Dr. Yael Niv

When we make a decision, we draw from our past experiences to guide our actions, but we are also willing to modify our behavior if we fail to predict the correct outcome. Anthony spoke with Dr. Yael Niv (Associate Professor, Princeton University) about this kind of trial and error learning, and how the brain learns how to learn.


Today's episode is sponsored by Pick up a free audiobook at

Jul 10, 2015
Molecular Manipulation of Mood with Dr. René Hen

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Dr. René Hen (Professor, Columbia University) talk about how mood and anxiety is regulated by serotonin and adult neurogenesis, and how Dr. Hen's molecular tools have helped us understand how emotions are processed.


Today's episode is brought to you by For a free audiobook, go to

Jun 12, 2015
Pain and Placebo Effect with Dr. Tor Wager

How can we use our thoughts to regulate our emotional responses? On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Dr. Tor Wager (Associate Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder) discuss how our mental states and context can influence the perception of pain.

May 26, 2015
Animal Models of Alzheimer's with Dr. Joanna Jankowsky

Alzheimer's disease has been a difficult disease to find treatment for. On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Joanna Jankowsky (Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine) talk about how to model Alzheimer's disease in mice to research the progression and treatment options for the disease.

Apr 30, 2015
Memory, the Cerebellum, and Axons with Dr. David Linden

Anthony and Dr. David Linden (Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) talked this week about David’s neuroscience research and how he gets inspiration in and out of lab. Anthony also asked David about his journey to becoming a successful scientist and best-selling author.


This episode of Brain Matters was brought to you be To get a free audiobook go to

Apr 10, 2015
Discovering Circuits with Dr. Massimo Scanziani

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Dr. Massimo Scanziani (Professor, UC San Diego; HHMI Investigator) not just about his contributions to neuroscience, but about his journey as a scientist, a student, and a mentor. Massimo’s history is fascinating and motivating.

Mar 31, 2015
Addiction and Glutamate Transmission with Dr. Marina Wolf

For our 25th episode, Matt and Dr. Marina Wolf (Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science) talk about Marina's work in addiction and how this is related to mechanisms in learning and memory.

Mar 09, 2015
Neuronal Modules in the Brain with Dr. Ben Strowbridge

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Dr. Ben Strowbridge (Professor of Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University). Ben and his lab study neurons in the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb and are trying to understand how they come together to make functional modules.

Don't forget to particpate in our Review Challenge! Review us, send a screenshot to, and we will respond with a personalized video! Thanks again, you wonderful listeners.

Feb 06, 2015
Decaying Memories with Dr. Paul Frankland

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talks about memories with Dr. Paul Frankland (Principal Investigator, Neurobiology Laboratory at The Hospital for Sick Children). How do the details of memories become lost forever? And why is it that your first memory falls so late in life?

Jan 21, 2015
Alcohol and the Fetal Brain with Dr. Rajesh Miranda

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Rajesh Miranda (Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Theraputics, Texas A&M University) talk about fetal alcohol syndrome. Rajesh is passionate about finding ways to help those who fall on the spectrum of this syndrome by uncovering the ways alcohol interacts with the development of the fetal brain.

Dec 30, 2014
Encoding the Auditory Environment with Dr. Maria Geffen

Anthony and Dr. Maria Geffen (Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania) talk about how the brain encodes the auditory world. Maria has had a very interesting career studying many of the senses including the somatosensory and visual systems before starting her auditory lab.

Dec 10, 2014
Making the Most of Memory with Dr. Wendy Suzuki

Matt sits down to with Dr. Wendy Suzuki (NYU). They have a great talk about the anatomy of memory, and how exercise impacts memory. Find out more about Dr. Suzuki at

Nov 21, 2014
Navigation and Orientation with Dr. David Dickman

Anthony and Dr. David Dickman (Professor of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine; Neuroscience Program Director, Rice University) talked about neuroscience in the skies from navigation in pigeons to orientation in monkeys. And some of those monkeys were in space! David also offers some encouragement for those interested in pursuing a career in science.

Oct 21, 2014
The Negative Impacts of Stress with Dr. David Morilak

Is stress good or bad? Do the negative impacts of a stressful life outweigh the benefits of the adaptive physiological response? Matt and Dr. David Morilak (Professor of Pharmacology, UT Health Science Center, San Antonio) talk about what defines a stress response and why we have them to begin with. We also find out if stress researchers have the secret to beating anxiety.

Thanks to Audible for supporting Brain Matters efforts in science outreach and education. Get a free audiobook of your choice at

Oct 08, 2014
What Can You Remember? with Dr. Anthony Wagner

Anthony sat down with Dr. Anthony Wagner (Professor, Stanford University) and talked about memory. Wagner is a cognitive neuroscientist studying memory in humans using techniques like functional MRI imaging. What does our brain look like when it forgets something? How do we make inferences? And can we detect a real memory from a false memory?

Sep 22, 2014
Brain Algorithms with Dr. Andreas Tolias

Matt and Dr. Andreas Tolias (Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine) talk about how the brain processes information.

Sep 03, 2014
Decisions in the Brain with Dr. Nao Uchida

Anthony and Dr. Nao Uchida (Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University) talk about how we can understand decision-making by looking at animals making decisions while we record from neurons in their brain.

Aug 20, 2014
Patterns in the Hippocampus with Dr. Brian Derrick

On this episode of BRAIN MATTERS, Matt and Dr. Brian Derrick talk about the hippocampus. Dr. Derrick has a fascinating story about how he became interested in the hippocampus and what he and his colleagues are currently working to understand.

Aug 05, 2014
What New Neurons Are Good For with Dr. Amelia Eisch

Anthony and Dr. Amelia Eisch talk about two major questions. First, what are new neurons good for. And second, what is good for making these new neurons. We hope you enjoy this one. Amelia is charismatic and enthusiastic about her fascinating work.

Jul 01, 2014
Snapshot of a Memory with Dr. Bruce Hope

Anthony and Dr. Bruce Hope talk about how researchers can identify and manipulate the activity of neurons that are active during a specific experience. Toward the end of their conversation, Bruce gets into the importance of perseverance and the personality traits of the successful scientists he has worked with.

Jun 17, 2014
Building Proteins in Neurons with Dr. Erin Schuman

This week, Matt and Dr. Erin Schuman talk about how neurons make all the proteins they need to function and how a cell gets these proteins all the way to dendrites and synapses.

Jun 02, 2014
Alzheimer's Disease with Dr. Kenneth Kosik

Anthony and Dr. Kenneth Kosik had a chance to talk about Ken's path to becoming a neuroscientist. It's a different story than the ones we are used to hearing and offers some new perspectives on what it takes to become a great scientist. They also talk about the approaches Ken uses in his lab to study Alzheimer's Disease.

Apr 14, 2014
Brains and Behavior in Nematodes with Dr. Shawn Lockery

Matt and Dr. Shawn Lockery met up to talk about Shawn's work in C. Elegans, a worm that allows neuroscientists to study the link between the brain and behavior. They also got into a fascinating discussion about how science and art can come together.

Mar 24, 2014
Glial Cells with Dr. Dwight Bergles

On this episode, Anthony and Dr. Dwight Bergles talk about the diverse functions of glia in the nervous system.

Mar 03, 2014
Cerebellar Circuits with Dr. Thomas Otis

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Dr. Thomas Otis talk about how the cerebellum helps coordinates movements.

Feb 10, 2014
Visualizing Glutamate Receptor Action with Dr. Vasanthi Jayaraman

On this episode, Matt and Dr. Vasanthi Jayaraman talk about glutamate receptors and how Vasanthi came to be a neuroscientist. They also discuss how science training and teaching can impact both the student and the teacher.

Jan 20, 2014
Constructing Synthetic Ion Channels with Dr. Chris Ahern

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Dr. Chris Ahern talk about exciting new research with ion channels. They also chat about Chris's interesting path into science and what it's really like to tackle some of the most interesting questions in neuroscience!

Dec 30, 2013
Topographic Visual Maps with Dr. Alyssa Brewer

On this episode of BRAIN MATTERS, Matt and Dr. Alyssa Brewer talk about her research in visual neuroscience and her unique path to becoming a scientist.

Dec 02, 2013
Nicotine Addiction with Dr. John Dani

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talks about addiction with Dr. John Dani, chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. They talk about learning, memory, and the behaviors associated with nicotine addiction.

Nov 18, 2013
Neural Dynamics with Dr. Michael Beierlein

On this episode of BRAIN MATTERS, we talk Dr. Michael Beierlein, a scientist at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. We learn about his path to becoming a scientist and the circuitry of neurons in the basal forebrain and thalamic reticular nucleus.

Nov 04, 2013
Fear Memories with Dr. Marie Monfils

On this episode of Brain Matters, we discuss fear memories with Dr. Marie Monfils (Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin). We answer questions about how fear memories are created and if these memories can be changed once they are formed. Dr. Monfils also discusses how she began studying fear and how she approaches the scientific process.

Oct 21, 2013