Introducing the Brain Panel

15 October 2013

Interview with

William (Bill) Harris, Katie Manning, Mike Edwardson, Cambridge University

Who are our brains for this programme? Plus we find out their burning neuroscience questions. Let's meet the brain panel.

Bill -   I'm Bill Harris.  I'm a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Cambridge and I study the early development of the visual system in fish mostly.

Katie -   Hi.  I'm Katie Manning.  I'm a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychiatry and I'm looking at the structural and functional connectivity in the brains of people with a genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome.

Mike -   I'm Mike Edwardson.  I'm Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology here in Cambridge.  I'm interested in looking at structures of protein molecules.  So, I use a novel technique called atomic force microscopy.

Hannah -   And let's find out what their burning brain questions are, kick-starting with Mike and Bill, then Kate.

Mike -   How memories are formed and stored, I think is a really fascinating Burning questionsquestion and I'd really like the answer to.  I'm old enough to remember when England won the World Cup in 1966.  Younger people don't have that memory, so there's something different about what's going in my brain to what's going on in people's brains that don't have the memory.  I would love to know what that is exactly.

Bill -   My whole life, I've been interested in the question of how brains are built.  It's a very, very complicated organ and it has zillions of cells and zillions and zillions of connections.  So, how does that get built so accurately that it works?  That's the question that fascinates me.

Katie -   I think that brains are incredible in a way that they provide the interface between us and the world we live in: each and every one of us is different and we recreate our world and our understanding of everything by using our brain.  I think that's absolutely fascinating.

Hannah -   So, Mike, Bill and Katie's brains fire up when considering memory formation, nervous system construction and how our perception of the world is formed. 

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