BBC Brains

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The media's focus on all things neuroscience has been ramping up over the past few years and the BBC's focus in particular has been fairly sustained.

Last week I came across two shows that helped discuss the brain and cutting edge discoveries about it, in a very approachable and irreverent manner.

The first was Dara O Briains Science Club which gave a great run through of how knowledge of the brain has developed over many hundreds of years to the present day. The show raised profound questions about the effects of ‘outsourcing our memory’ to our smart phones and the internet. There was an amazing piece on how through reading a severely disabled ladies mind/thoughts scientist enabled her to operate a mechanical arm.  The programme also reported on the ethics and safety behind using legal ‘smart drugs’ to increase mental functioning, a topic that warranted an hour long show to itself in my opinion.

The other show I heard was The Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox and guests on radio 4, which again mixed humour and science to help raise awareness about the organ in our heads that makes us who we are.  From both shows I was struck by feeling that the more technology helps us to find out about the brain, the more we are realising how little we know. However this budding knowledge is already having fantastic effects in areas such as sport, military, education, marketing and business and continues to fuel my desire to find out more and apply it practically.