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Dec 31, 2008

Video of the Year 2008

2008 was another year of huge growth in online video of all kinds. User-generated, institutional, events coverage, films, pubcasts and supplements, and anti-TV as well as some broadcast television (remember it?). It gets harder to keep up with and sort through the volume but with this narrow a niche, Channel N is doing fine. Here's what I really liked in 2008.

Funny - The Experimental Philosophy blog ad is fresh and funny and well-made.

PSA - Suicide PSA. Most professionally-produced mental health PSAs I saw this year were utter rubbish, but user-generated PSAs (mostly student assignments) really shone. This one is good at inducing guilt.

Short - Trapped: Mental Illness Inside America's Prisons. Visually exquisite with a strong message about severely mentally ill folks who are in prisons instead of now-closed hospitals.

Long - My fave DIY lecture video this year was from the 1st INCF Congress of Neuroinformatics. The presentation quality isn't great, but the quality of the content is fantastic. Integrating Neuroscience Knowledge: Brain Research in the Digital Age is a dazzling tour of what's new in the field(s).

Innovation - JoVE. The whole Journal of Visualized Experiments, now included in PubMed.

Overall - Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight. This neuroanatomist's description of her stroke and recovery went viral, leading to Oprah, a bestselling memoir deal, and millions of inspired viewers. I'm proud to say Channel N was one of the first to promote it.


BCI headset for games

title Tan Le Brings the Force to Life with Mind Control Device
description The president and co-founder of Emotiv Systems demos a brain computer interface (BCI) headset designed for gaming. It's not "mind control," it's wireless EEG with 13 biometric pattern detections synched to video game moves. In beta, the Emotiv EPOC is expected to ship in 2009 for $299 USD.
producer The Entertainment Gathering conference, on
featuring Tan Le
format Flash, mp4, mp3
date 12/12/08
length 00:21:59


Dec 29, 2008

Deal or No Deal Decisions

title Decision Making and Rationality
description The Nobel laureate speaking on decision making and prospect theory.
producer Princeton University
featuring Daniel Kahneman
format mp4
date 16/04/08
length 01:04:50
direct video link


The Neurocritic explains how prospect theory is the basis of the game show Deal or No Deal.

Dec 28, 2008

Face Perception

title fMRI Investigations of Human Extrastriate Cortex: People, Places, and Things
description A basic lecture for the general public about visual perception and facial recognition, from the star-studded Columbia C250 Symposium. Indexed video with slides, and a PDF transcript.
producer Columbia University
featuring Nancy Kanwisher
format RealMedia
date 13/05/04
length 00:47:20


Dec 18, 2008


title Sherwin Nuland: My history of electroshock therapy
description A surgeon/author who underwent ECT (electroconvulsive therapy, commonly called electroshock) for depression gives an eloquent talk on its history and his own experience struggling with depression and its treatments until ECT helped him. There are many flames as well as compliments in the comments; few mental health issues are as divisive and controversial as ECT. However, this is not a pollyanna portrayal.
producer TED Talks
featuring Sherwin Nuland
format Flash, MP4
date **/02/01
length 00:22:18


Dec 10, 2008


title The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior
description "Why is it so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship? Why do we listen to advice just because it came from someone 'important'? Why are we more likely to fall in love when there's danger involved?" Interpersonal psychology lecture on sway. Semi-indexed video in an enhanced player here.
featuring Rom Brafman
format Flash
date 12/06/08
length 00:53:50


Dec 5, 2008

How To Make a Neuron Grow

title Single Cell Electroporation in vivo within the Intact Developing Brain
description How to perform single cell electroporation, using a micropipette to introduce DNA into a single neuron in tadpole brains. A UBC student, Sesath Hewapathirane (in the Kurt Haas lab) received two UBC Faculty of Medicine Graduate Research Awards for 2008-2009 (congratulations) and did a great job with this pubcast video in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, too. Charismatic, with good narration.
producer D. Sesath Hewapathirane, Kurt Haas, JoVE
featuring D. Sesath Hewapathirane
format Flash
date 07/11/08
length 00:13:31


Delinquency Camp

title Darkness Before Dawn
description Vintage educational film about "the nationwide harvest of violence and human waste" from juvenile delinquency. It was being "fought with old and inadequate ideas" and this new and improved idea was a Jewish summer camp for boys. Case study "Bobby's" emotional problems are identified by a psychiatrist in a loud suit, then solved simply by providing his family with a temp homemaker from the Pride Of Judea charity. The recent lecture on brain science and delinquency revealed that camps and group interventions make the problem worse, as boys gang up and teach each other more criminal behaviours.
producer Arnold Panken, P.S. Scherman Company
featuring narrator Wally Duquet, numerous unidentified actors
format Flash
date 1955
length 00:21:14


Dec 4, 2008

Older Delinquents

title The Agony of Jimmy Quinlan
description Homeless alcoholic "derelicts" featured in this documentary from 1970s Montreal. Life seems a big party with free food and lodging and much film imagery of men drinking booze straight from bottles, but Jimmy is "tired of being sick and tired" and tries to quit. Social attitudes have changed over time as the science of addiction, social services and harm reduction make some headway, but the religious missions and bleak outlook remain the same with more people on the street than ever. [Film includes brief unsexy nudity, NSFW.]
producer Janice Brown, for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
featuring Jimmy Quinlan
format Flash
date 1978
length 00:27:07


Dec 3, 2008

Puppets to Prevent Delinquency

title Helping Young Aggressive Children "Beat the Odds" - Parents, Teachers, Schools and Dinosaurs
description The prestigious 30th Annual Faculty Lecture featuring Professor Carolyn Webster-Stratton, a psychologist and nurse-practitioner who researches (non-medicinal) interventions with aggressive young children. She's developed a successful curriculum that uses puppets. Parents and teachers communicate with at risk kids to improve their social confidence and self-regulation skills, to head off later cases of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD and juvenile delinquency. "Early onset aggression in children as young as age 3 is the single most-important predictor of later delinquency, substance abuse and violence." Parent resources. This talk was recommended in the previous lecture on brain science and delinquency.
producer University of Washington, via the Research Channel
featuring Mark A. Emmert, Carolyn Webster-Stratton
format WMV, Quicktime
date 21/02/06
length 00:58:30


Dec 1, 2008

Delinquent Brains

title Brain Science as a Means of Understanding Delinquency and Substance Abuse in Youth
description Nicely produced and packaged lecture on a sensitive neuroethical issue (or "outrageously costly health concern") and brain science. A sympathetic nervous system-linked cardiac activity proxy may be a way to test early for risks of delinquent activity. Via the Research Channel. "Drs. Beauchaine and Tapert explore risks and results of delinquency and substance abuse in youth. Dr. Beauchaine discusses the importance of understanding the brain mechanisms associated with impulsivity, which allows us to identify at-risk children early in life. This provides opportunities for prevention of later substance abuse, school drop out, and delinquency. Dr. Tapert addresses the extent to which heavy alcohol and other drug use during the teenage years might affect brain development and cognitive performance into young adulthood. She also describes her research projects using neuropsychological testing and brain imaging to better understand cognition in youth who are heavy users of alcohol and drugs."
producer University of Washington Allen L. Edwards Psychology Lectures
featuring Ana Mari Cauce, Theodore Beauchaine, Susan Tapert
format WMV or Quicktime
date 08/03/08
length 01:14:37


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