Category Archives: Neurobiology & Behaviour
Professor Bruce Hood explores the human brain in this series of lectures from the Royal Institution in London. The trailer is below and in time all the lectures should appear on the RI Channel Website here (Vimeo channel here).
The theme of the 2010 Lecture series by Mark Miodownik was “Size Matters”, again relevant to the IB Biology course and available to watch in full from the RI Channel website.
I love these video clips. Here they animate Iain McGilchrist‘s RSA lecture on the nature of the divided brain.
The full talk is here:
Cool – for more illusions check out brussup’s YouTube channel.
Review Nerves content from the Core before completing this topic.
Essential Biology E4: Neurotransmitters and Synapses
Fantastic resources available from Utah, including the mouse party, neuron and synapse animations and an interactive involving pedigree charts and the role of genetics in addiction.
Spend some time here to really read around the subject of drugs and addiction – you’ll be glad you did and it really helps answer the ‘discuss the causes of addiction’ question!
Drugs and The Brain
Jellinek is a Dutch drugs education website that has some great, accessible resources for neurobiology of drugs and the brain. Animations are available in multiple languages – why can’t more organisations be as internationally-minded as this?
Be patient though -it needs a lot of bandwidth.
Neurotransmitters and Drugs:
Good powerpoint from HHMI
Excellent overview of effects of drugs (Harvard)
TOK and Biology: The Nutt-Sack Affair
Leader of advisory panel on drug safety sacked for disagreeing with UK government:
Read around the topic, and then answer these questions:
- How does this story show the conflict between science and politics?
- What do you feel the respective roles of science and politics should be in the government of a country?
- Suggest reasons why some drugs which are clearly very harmful, such as tobacco and alcohol, are still legal in many countries.
- If you were to form a new country and write a whole new set of drug laws, which would you make illegal or legal and why? Upon which sources of evidence would you rely in order to make your decisions? How would you balance political pressures with scientific evidence?
Find out more about drug laws and the rationale behind them in your own country and the countries you visit or live in.
Remember – regardless of your own opinion on drug laws, if you are caught breaking the law wherever you are, penalties can be very severe.
Last topic for the HL Students!
The Kidney is great – it filters our blood, makes urine and ties together so many aspects of the course – cells, membrane transport, osmosis, chemistry of life, hormonal control. We can look at how it is similar to and different from the liver and how its structure reflects its function. I love the kidney.
Here’s the presentation, with some data-y questions at the end.
More resources here:
Best kidney animation ever from biologymad.com
Quick guide to thekidney from kidneypatientguide.org.uk
Complete tutorial from Sumanas
Bilingual (Chinese and English) guide to the kidney, with rave tunes from hkedcity.net
More Loop of Henle action from the University of Colorado
Hormonal control of ADH from McGraw Hill
Diabetes recap from MedMovie
Kidney quiz from ZeroBio
Want to see a kidney stone?
Find out more about kidney stones here.
This is five minutes of entertainment from TED Talks:
Einstein the Parrot is an African Grey, a species known for their intelligence and ability to build a large vocabulary. As research into animal intelligence develops, it raises questions on how we measure intelligence – are we really that much more ‘intelligent’ than our philosophising cousins?
How do we discern the difference between a well-trained animal putting on a show and one which is making considered decisions on its behaviour?
For an interesting overview of animal cognition, check out this wikipedia article and do some further reading around the sources listed in the references section.