Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 2nd Dec 2007

Memory and Learning

An animated brain showing different lobes (c) Nevit @ Wikipedia

This week we learn about Alzheimer's disease, how it changes the brain and may be caused by the virus which causes cold sores.  We probe your grey matter to find out how memory works, what goes wrong to give us false memories, and the science behind earworms - the songs that we can't get out of our heads! Also, GM plants that can survive a drought, why future chewing gum may contain magnolia bark and how a mirror can kill phantom limb pain.  Plus, in Kitchen Science, we fool our senses with some plastic, some paper and a carpet!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 16:01 - Herpes at the root of Alzheimer's?

    Alzheimer's disease affects 1 person in 5 over the age of 80, and can have devastating effect on the families of those people with the disease. Now researchers at Manchester University have found a potential link between Alzheimer's and Herpes Simplex Virus, which causes cold s...

  • 22:09 - Why are my radio controlled clocks not syncronised?

    I have two radio-controlled speaking clocks that are identical but oneís two yearís older than the other. They speak at different times. Why is that?

  • 22:21 - Is it harder to wipe boys bottoms?

    I work in childcare and Iíve wiped lots of bottoms! Is there a difference between bums because it always seems to be harder to wipe boys?

  • 22:33 - Could mirrors help blind people with phantom limb pain?

    My mother had her leg amputated before she died and I know she suffered greatly with phantom pains. I was interested because the biggest cause of blindness is diabetes. I know a lot of blind people do have amputations through diabetes. I just wondered how this new experiment youí...

  • 24:27 - Alzheimer's and the Brain

    How does having Alzheimer's disease change the structure of the brain? Not much, actually. According to Peter Nestor, of Cambridge University, it's more important to look for changes in brain activity.

  • 33:39 - Can peripheral nerves regenerate?

    I went to see one of the plasticized human exhibits. [This is where they get a particular organ or system and they effectively fill it with plastic so youíre left with a model of a human system]. I was amazed at the number of peripheral nerves there are in the body. I thought tha...

  • 34:41 - Can nerves regenerate?

    Three months ago I underwent surgery to fix a broken collar bone and since then an area just under the surgery site in the skin has become numb. My doctorís told me that itís normal and Iíll regain sensation there in a few months. Indeed it is coming back slowly but surely. I tho...

  • 37:04 - Earworms - Songs that stick in your head

    Earworms - the annoying tunes that worm their way into your head, and just wont get out! Meera spoke to Daniel Levitin about the science behind the songs.

  • 41:15 - What is glaucoma and how do you get it?

    Iíve got a friend who was diagnosed with glaucoma by the optician. What is it and how do you get it?

  • 43:00 - Memories, true and false...

    We've heard about the effect of Alzheimer's on memory, but what actually is memory? How does our brain create a memory, and how can it go wrong? Dr James Ost, from Portsmouth University tells us more...

  • 49:26 - Skydiving from Space

    If an astronaut is stuck in space, would it be possible for them to project themselves towards Earth and re-enter the atmosphere with only a spacesuit? Could their spacesuit handle the re-entry temperatures?



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with regard to false memories, is it easier to create them in individuals or among a group?, Sun, 2nd Dec 2007

Why does too much alcohol affect the memory?
WylieE, Thu, 5th Nov 2009

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