Brain Café - 2019

13.03.2019

THE INFLUENCE OF SLEEP ON MEMORY AND MENTAL WELL-BEING

Dr Lorena Deuker, Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department for Neuropsychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

About one third of our adult life is spent in our sleep. During sleep, we are restricted or not at all receptive to external stimuli, so this condition poses a potential threat to attacks. Nevertheless, almost all higher-developed organisms sleep. This indicates that sleep brings an evolutionary advantage. What exactly this advantage includes has not yet been finally clarified. It is increasingly considered as an established fact that sleep is crucial for memory formation. It also plays a role in almost all psychiatric disorders as a cause or as an accompanying effect. In this lecture current insights of neuroscience regarding sleep and memory are presented and the connection with psychiatric disorders is discussed. The last section discusses how sleep quality can be improved in everyday life based on current research results.

Download audio podcast (32,7 MB | 45:45 min)

20.02.2019

REPAIR OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM: NEW APPROACHES FROM RESEARCH

Univ.-Prof. Dr Dietmar Fischer, Department of Cell Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Damage to the nervous system due to accident or illness often leads to permanent disabilities. An injury to the optic nerve, for example, can lead to permanent blindness and damage to the spinal cord can lead to life-long paraplegia. The reason for this is a regeneration weakness of the severed nerve fibres; they cannot grow together again. The Department of Cell Physiology is developing new therapies to facilitate or improve these regenerative processes. Their latest research results will be presented in the lecture.

23.01.2019

THE DRUMMING BRAIN – HOW DRUMMING ALTERS THE BRAIN

Dr. rer. nat. Lara Schlaffke, AG Neuroplastizität, Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, BG Universitätsklinikum Bergmannsheil GmbH

As a rule, people can perform fine motor tasks with either the left or the right hand very well. Professional drummers however possess the extraordinary ability to play different rhythms at very high speed with both arms and legs. Neuroscientists call this ability hand decoupling. Through years of training the musicians alter their brain structure- and function. That is, why drummers are a good example to study the mechanisms of hand decoupling in the brain. The presentation will discuss which aspects of the normal brain play an important role in motor function and which changes, by contrast, are found in the brains of drummers.

Download audio podcast (19,3 MB | 26:35 min)