Biological

Understanding Biopsychology

Muscular Structure, Neuromuscular Junction

This video focuses on the arrival of an action potential at the neuromuscular junction, leading to contraction. What is an action potential? Can you summarize the sequence of events that occur once an action potential is initiated? What is a negative action-potential and why does it occur?

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Muscle Contraction

This video shows the interaction of myosin and actin during a muscle contraction. What happens after ATP binds? This clip shows what is happening inside the body when a muscle contracts – what does it look like from outside the body?

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The Patellar Reflex

This video shows how to test for the patellar reflex. What actions are your neurons taking to make this reflex occur?

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The Babinski Reflex

This video demonstrates how to test for the Babinski Reflex. The demonstrator explains that this test should be done on an adult and what movement you should be looking for in movement. What might be a reason you would see this reflex in an adult? Why is it okay in an infant?

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The Brain and Nervous System

The Brain Map Rap

This student project can help you study the areas and functions of the brain – and it’s darn catchy too. What regions of the brain do they mention, and what do they say each of these areas are responsible for? Why might a song like this be a good study tool, and what part of your brain would you use to remember it?

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Mirror Neurons

This short clip explains the action of these neurons and the testing of their functionality, while exploring the case of a boy with Asperger’s. If mirror neurons are responsible for imitating the actions of others, how might damage of these neurons affect social interactions of people with Asperger’s?

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Risky Brains

This ScienCentral clip discusses the relationship between dopamine and risk-taking. How accurate do you think this research is? Do you think the surveys given to participants are an accurate way to measure risk taking?

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Smoker Brain Error

This video explores the effects of nicotine on choices made in an investment game. Why do you think the researchers chose to begin with cigarette smokers as opposed to other types of addiction? Do you think they are right in hypothesizing that this theory is the same for other addictions as well?

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Japanese Puffer Fish

This video follows a young man’s trip to Japan to consume the often deadly Fugu, or Puffer, and discusses the history and dangers of the fish. Why is it that this fish can be so deadly to consume? Why is it that so many people continue to do so?

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Nanobridges for Brain Repair

Neurologists are using nanotechnology to build tiny bridges that brain cells can grow on to reconnect cells damaged by a stroke or injury. Do you think the comparison of real bridges and nanobridges is valid? Why or why not?

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Getting Drugs Past the Blood-Brain Barrier

In a major advance for treating fatal brain diseases, researchers have discovered a way to get drugs into the brain that doesn't involve brain surgery. What virus do the researchers use to achieve their result? Would you feel comfortable having a procedure like this preformed on you?

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Brain Plasticity

Jodi Miller seems like a fairly typical little girl, but has undergone some of the most drastic surgery possible. In order to cure her epileptic seizures, Jodi received a hemispherectomy. What disease was Jodi suffering from? Why was a hemispherectomy the answer? What other diseases could such a surgery cure?

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Using Technology

How MRI Works

Wizard of Schenectady Howard Hart explains how the MRI works. How do the magnetic field gradients work to provide information? What is the difference between an MRI, fMRI, CT Scan, EEG, and PET Scan? What do each of these types of technology help us test for?

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Light Scans for Assessing Infant Brain Activity

This video presents a new device that can measure blood circulation and the amount of oxygen in that blood, which helps explain brain activity. Other than mapping infant brain activity, how do you think this new device could revolutionize brain activity studies? Do you see any ethical complications that could arise from this kind of device?

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Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s disease

You've heard of a pacemaker for the heart, but what about for the head? This video presents a Cardington, Ohio farmer who has electrodes implanted in his brain to alleviate the debilitating physical effects of Parkinson’s. Would you be willing to undergo the risk of a surgery like this if it promised a dramatic change in your quality of life?

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Mind Reading with Imaging

This video presents experiments researchers conducted with MRI imaging to predict what brains are thinking. What are some of the benefits of such a device? What would be the drawbacks?

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Brain Boot Camp

Researchers have put people through a series of brain exercises — a "brain boot camp" — and found that just like exercise for your body, exercise for your brain pays off. What do you think is happening here? Do you think people are actually getting smarter? How have video game companies capitalized on brain exercises and what experiments could be done with video games?

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Genes, DNA, and Stem Cells

Twins DNA Differences

Identical twins don't have identical DNA. As this ScienCentral News video explains, this surprising research could help scientists better understand genetic diseases in the rest of us. How can observing the differences in DNA between twins help better inform larger differences in the rest of us?

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Reverse Evolution

Scientists have reversed evolution, reconstructing a gene that existed more than 500 million years ago. The gene controls our ability to express emotions. Why is this man’s experiment referred to as “Reverse Evolution?

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Hair Follicle Stem Cells

This video presents a non-invasive method for developing stem cells from hair follicles in mice. Could this same method prove possible for human follicle stem cells? What applications would that have?

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Disorders and Disease

Using EEG to Predict Alzheimer’s

Using new computer software that analyzes EEG data, psychiatrists can now better distinguish early signs of Alzheimer's from normal aging by spotting marked differences between the left and right sides of the brain. What other disorders can EEGs help detect?

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Parkinson’s: Michael J. Fox Interview

While the factors responsible for Parkinson’s disease remain unclear, the direct causes are known. What are some biological factors and events that lead to Parkinson’s? How does Parkinson’s progress? What are some of the ways Parkinson’s can be treated?

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Pill to Fight Alcoholism

This Science Daily clip shows a young mother who is battling alcohol abuse and is using Topiramate, a drug than reduces dopamine release associated with alcohol consumption. How does the drug work? What is dopamine used for in the body? What possible side effects could there be if you block the production of dopamine?

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Caffeine and Skin

This video is a ScienceCentral clip about externally applied caffeine and the prevention of skin cancer. How does this video explain that caffeine specifically targets cancer cells?

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Emergency Hypothermia: Mayo Clinic

Hypothermia, which is often life threatening, is a good thing for people who have a cardiac arrest. At the Mayo Clinic, emergency department doctors are using it to help keep these people alive. What are the theories about how this normally destructive condition helps save lives? What methods did Dr. Vadeboncoeur mention could be used to induce hypothermia?

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