The Aging Mind: What Changes?
Episode 1 of The Aging Brain

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Aging and Brain Structure
Episode 4 of The Aging Brain
See how the cognitive changes of aging relate to the biological changes discussed in the previous lectures. It turns out that regions of the brain associated with processing speed, executive function, and episodic memory are more susceptible to aging, which may explain why these cognitive functions are particularly susceptible to…
The Aging Brain
We're all getting older every day, and scientific research has shown that starting in our twenties, some brain functions begin a linear decline. But is old age all doom and gloom? Not at all! While it's true that some functions in the aging brain decline, neuroscientists have discovered that many…
Why Don’t We Live Forever?
Episode 2 of The Aging Brain
Take a look at how our genes influence the aging process. Professor Polk explores several theories for why we age and eventually die, then delves into the genetic mechanisms involved in aging. Find out how replication damages cells and why there is a limit to the number of healthy replications…
This Is Your Brain on Metaphors
Episode 11 of Being Human
Dr. Sapolsky explains how metaphors work on the brain to actually change your opinions, assessments, and even action; investigates how we register disgust and pain in key regions of the brain; and shows metaphors' intriguing hold on our hearts and minds at work in politics and international events.
Is Aging a Disease?
Episode 3 of The Aging Brain
Scientists debate whether aging is actually a disease, but the effects of aging indisputably resemble the symptoms of a disease. Here, examine three major mechanisms behind these effects: energy consumption, free radicals, and damage to our DNA. Then consider whether there could be a way to "cure" these effects.
Aging Well: Staying Active
Episode 10 of The Aging Brain
Get ready for good news to help stave off mental decline! Here, you'll analyze the effects of physical, social, and mental activity on the aging brain. Ample evidence from communities with longer-than-average lifespans shows that getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a vibrant social life can help keep the mind…
Aging and Brain Function
Episode 5 of The Aging Brain
Turn from the brain's structure to its activity. After reviewing how we study brain function via fMRI, Professor Polk shows you how brain activity changes as we age--and how these changes impact our memory, our ability to multitask, and more. Then, learn some good news about how the brain compensates…
The Distracted Mind
PBS
Hosted by renowned neuroscientist and M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Adam Gazzaley, The Distracted Mind delves deeply into attention, distraction, the myth of multi-tasking, and how to use the latest research to possibly improve our skills and abilities at any point during our lives. While the brain can seem almost boundless in…
How Context Influences Choice
Uncover the many unexpected ways in which information context affects our decisions. What happens when our mind acts like a big shovel, scooping up all the data in its path and processing that information together, whether relevant or not? Scientific studies reveal how the choice context can lead to some…
Aging Well: Diet and Stress
Episode 11 of The Aging Brain
Shift your attention from the effects of physical and social activity to the impact of diet and stress. Explore the benefits of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids and low in processed foods--like the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND diets. Then, delve into the physiological effects of…
Being Human - Life Lessons from the Frontiers of Science
Why do we have bad moods? Why do we long for the foods, fashions, and music of our youths? Why do we have vivid dreams? Understanding our humanity is one of the deepest mysteries in science. But fields including biology, neuroscience, anthropology, psychology, and sociology are starting to reveal more…
Bugs in the Brain
Episode 4 of Being Human
Professor Sapolsky introduces you to parasites that exploit their hosts by altering their behavior. After looking at studies, including mites that make ants find food for them and worms that drive crickets to suicide, focus on how rabies and toxoplasmosis can literally change the wiring of the brain in mammals:…