Physiology of the Brain with Jacob and Joseph

The Friday Review

Check by weekly for a quick glance into the world of neuroscience. News, media, discoveries, and some listener engagement - we've got it all for you, each and every Friday. 

September 15

If you're reading this, you're now one of our favorite listeners (but let's be honest, if you listen you're one of our favorite listeners. It's still a fairly small group...).

But no, in all seriousness, we're glad you're reading - this is our first installment of the Friday review. Basically, we're gonna try and take you a bit behind the scenes, perhaps with some pictures, some of our own thoughts, some listener interviews (first one is today!!), and some of the current news in the neuroscience world. 

So check it out below! Today we feature some encouraging thoughts and answers from a friend, Franki Batten and a few articles floating around the neuroscience world!

What's Up In the World of Neuroscience?

"SIDS Research Confirms Changes in Babies' Brain Chemistry" (

This one is actually very related to the work I did this summer. In Houston we looked at the brain circuitry involved in what is called the Serotonergic System, a system in the brainstem that regulated breathing. This study is exploring the same area, but instead of circuitry (how stuff is connected), it's looking at chemical profiles (specifically, how much Serotonin is present?) They found a definite connection with Serotonin and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), which is often theorized to be related to neural respiratory failure.


"Reactivating Visual Memories is the New Alternative to 'Practice Makes Perfect'" (

Want to learn stuff more efficiently? Scientists in Tel Aviv may have some theories and procedures to help make that happen. They research the classic adage "Practice Makes Perfect" and modify it some to see what level of practice is required. They specifically worked with visual stimuli (images on a computer screen in this case) but showed that the transformation from semantic memory (having to recall) to procedural memory (deep rooted) can be achieved through brief flashes on the screen that would trigger visual memories. Pretty amazing! And could prove to contribute to studies exploring how to best maximize learning in academic settings. 


"Connecting a Human Brain to the Internet in Real Time" (

I'll let the title do the talking. You should for sure give this one a read. 

PB With J's "Online Interview" Sessions #1 - Franki Batten on the Autism Episode

  • So what made you interested in PB With J's in the first place?

I was interested in PB+J's mostly because I knew Joseph's passion for Neuroscience and Jacob's lack of study of the subject (but general cheerfulness) would probably combine to make an interesting listen!

  • Which has been your favorite episode so far?

My favorite episode so far has been the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • What caught your attention about that episode? How did you (or did you?) find this episode helpful? Perhaps what you learned, how it changed your perspective on the topic, etc.)

I had an idea of what Autism was, mostly from pop-culture and a little public health background, but wasn't sure of the specifics of the disorder or even the various ways it might manifest itself. This episode was really helpful at explaining what the disorder is and what it looks like in real life. Jacobs questions in this episode and Joseph's first-hand experience caring for children on the spectrum made the science relatable and provided some concrete knowledge. I found the discussion on how we talk about persons on the spectrum as abnormal vs. atypical really insightful and the presentation of coping techniques as normalized behaviors that seemed initially off-putting. 

  • Do you have any thoughts, hopes, or dreams for future episodes? We're pretty open to requests... 

I can't think of anything at the moment, but I'll listen for some traces of everyday neuroscience and let you know if i think of anything!

Joseph Ramsey