Brain Matters the Podcast is an exciting way for anyone to learn about the fascinating world of neuroscience directly from the researchers who have dedicated their lives to uncovering the mysteries of the brain. Our mission is to make neuroscience accessible, relatable, and intriguing while still respecting the integrity of the science we love.

On this (50th!) episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talks to Dr. Fred Wolf (Assistant Professor, UC Merced). Dr. Wolf is interested in how alcohol and other drugs of abuse change our genes when we take them. Using the fruit fly as a model organism, he is able to use powerful techniques to delve into the complex relationship between drugs, genes, and behavior.

Dr. Wolf helps run his own biology podcast, RadioBio, with graduate students at UC Merced. Check it out at

The music on today's podcast was by koleżanka. Go check out and buy their music at

Direct download: wolf_final2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm CDT

On this episode of Brain Matters, we talked with Dr. Jon Pierce (University of Texas at Austin). Jon uses to C. elegans to study Alzheimer's, Down Syndrome, alcoholism, and more.

Jon is currently raising money to fund undergraduate research and engagement in his lab. You can find more information at:

This episode was brought to you by Maze Engineers. To get 10% off your quote visit: Thanks to Bridget and Brian for their awesome maze ideas!

Direct download: Alzheimers_and_c_elegans_with_dr_jon_pierce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm CDT

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Mayank Mehta (Professor, UCLA) talk about how rodents and human perceive space and time. Mayank has always been obsessed with time and merges physics and neuroscience to understand how the brain deals with these abstract concepts.

This episode was brought to you by Maze Engineers. Get 10% off your quote by visiting and enter the offer code: brain. They have some incredible mazes and other neuroscience goodies so check them out.

Direct download: Space_and_Time_with_Dr_Mayank_Mehta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50pm CDT

What's the most important thing about being a scientist? According to Dr. André Fenton: Curiosity. Anthony and André talked about how André tinkered his way to researching learning and memory at NYU.

Direct download: fenton_new_copy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am CDT

This week on Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. David McCormick (Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, Yale) start off 2017 right. On this episode you’ll get a quick briefing on the early history of neuroscience, information about Frankenstein’s monster, a look at neural circuits, and perspective from the Buddhist Monks of Tibet. You’re gonna want your cochleas ready for this one. 


David mentioned a ton of people and books. Here’s a list in case you wanna dive in.

Major Figures in the Early History of Neuroscience:

Luigi Galvani, Giovanni Aldini, René Descartes, Jan Swammerdam, Alessandro Volta, Emil de Bois-Reymond


Texts David Referenced:

1. Animal Electricity (Galvani, 1791)

2. Essay on Galvanism: “Précis des expériences galvaniques faites récemment à Londres et à Calais“ (Aldini, 1803)

3. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)

4. The Cerebellum as a Neuronal Machine (Eccles, 1967)


Further Reading (if you’re into it like we are):

1. Early History of Neuroscience, Charles Gross

2. Giovanni Aldini: From Animal Electricity to Human Brain Stimulation, André Parent

3. History of Psychology, Ideas and Context (Chapter 8) King et al.


We partnered with Wiley Neuroscience on this one. Follow them on twitter at @neuroscience. Shout out to their team for getting the twitter handle coveted most by neuroscientists.


The music on this episode was by Noveller. The first track was “Trails and Trials” from the soon to be released album “A Pink Sunset for Noone”, the second track was “Rubicon” from the Fantastic Planet LP. Go check out and purchase her music at, or at her current label,


Direct download: The_True_Nature_of_Nature_and_the_brain_too_with_Dr_David_McCormick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54pm CDT

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony and Caleb Kemere (Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University) talk about Caleb's path to studying real time neural engineering.

Direct download: Kemere_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24am CDT

The Brain Matters team will be at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience convention in San Diego. Come say hey! We also got some exciting news - Brain Matters is now officially award-winning and Science-approved!

Direct download: sfn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am CDT

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Franck Polleux (Professor, Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University and the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute) cover a lot of ground. Franck talks about his work as a graduate student and the topics his lab is working on now. The Polleux lab is studying topics like neural progeneration, mitochondria in dendrites of neurons, and what makes the human brain special. This is an episode you won't want to miss.

Direct download: Neurons_Mitochondria_and_Human_Evolution_with_Dr_Franck_Polleux.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm CDT

On this episode of Brain Matters, Matt and Dr. Tod Thiele (Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Scarborough) talk about a model organism we haven't featured on the podcast yet- zebrafish. In his new lab, Tod is continuing his work on neural circuits in the zebrafish using all the latest imaging and optogenetic techniques.

Direct download: Tod_Thiele_Final_render.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

On this episode of Brain Matters, Anthony talked with Adam Gazzaley (Professor, UCSF) about his work on cognition. Adam develops and designs video games that are fun to play and also have enhancing cognitive effects.


Thank you for listening! We'd love it if you rated and reviewed us on iTunes. Those reviews mean more to us than you could ever imagine. We read each one and show them to strangers on the streets of Austin, Texas every time a new one appears.

What would you like to hear on Brain Matters? Leave us a comment on twitter or facebook.

Direct download: Enhancing_Congnition_with_Video_Games_with_Dr_Adam_Gazzaley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34pm CDT