A computer does things that a human brain also does, and in similar ways. But tracing that circuitry has been impossible for most of history. In this brief talk, Schoonover explains how we now trace that circuitry.

Why you should listen:

Understanding the science of how the brain works is necessary to understanding both physiology and psychology.

Who is he:

Schoonover is a neuroscience PhD candidate at Columbia University, where he works on microanatomy and electrophysiology of rodent somatosensory cortex. He the author of Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century, and has written for the New York Times, Le Figaro, the Huffington Post, Science, Scientific American, Design Observer, and Boing Boing. In 2008 he cofounded NeuWrite, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between. He hosts a radio show on WkCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera and classical music, and their relationship to the brain.


  1. Scanning the brain under a very powerful microscope shows _____________ structure.
  1. Describe the comparison between a brain and a computer.
  1. The first stain used to reveal the brain structure was the Golgi stain, which revealed ________.
  1. Who is the father of modern neuroscience?
  1. The most popular stain used today is made from __________.
  1. What do you imagine are some of the ways this kind of research could be used? What do you wish you knew about how the brain works. Discuss with someone.

How to look inside the brain with Carl Schoonover


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