nervous system

Travel to interesting places online!

Today’s post is about some of the interesting links you can find online.  Mostly links to do with brains, psychology and pain – but not all!

Genes to Cognition Online – featuring the 3-D brain, lovely interactive graphical interface to burrow down into really interesting topics like cognitive processes, disorders, research approaches and neuroimaging research, you can lose yourself for hours.

Deric Bownds’ MindBlog is full of brain and music information.  It’s in-depth material that can challenge and intrigue – some great podcasts available, and loads of links.

If you’re ever in need of some stimulating discourse on neuroplasticity and things to do with the nervous system, head to Neurotonics: a PT team blog.  The above two links are courtesy of the contributor’s fascination with brain stuff – and as ever, thought-provoking discussion about the meaning of new discoveries about the brain.

For a huge collection of brain information, BrainMeta is a place to browse. You can link to BrainMaps which is an interactive brain atlas – they have human brains, cat brains, rat brains and others – great for comparative analysis, with some excellent downloadable desktop tools to use to view the images.

Challenging our minds is for kids – a cognitive training programme online that adults can also have fun with.  If you don’t mind the rather computerised voice of ‘Al’, the exercises are good for anyone.  Free registration, and it can be used for months so you can see results before any financial investment is needed.

PsyBlog has been around a while, but never fails to surprise with posts about understanding your mind.  The post on why thought suppression doesn’t work starts like this: It sometimes feels like our minds are not on the same team as us. I want to go to sleep, but it wants to keep me awake rerunning events from my childhood. I want to forget the lyrics from that stupid 80s pop song but it wants to repeat them over and over again ad nauseam.’ – hmm, feel familiar?  A great post on what not to do to forget.

Finally today, a collection of podcasts on ‘ideas worth spreading’ from TED.  I’m only hoping the place where I work will let me open them up (YouTube is not allowed) – so many excellent clips from great speakers including Dan Gilbert discussing Happiness.

Have a great day!

If you’re new to pain management: v

Neuroanatomy is full of names and details that can be quite difficult to learn. I found this site which has a great, albeit simplified, list of labelled images that you need to drag and drop names on as a way of learning them. Another site is Sylvius which has free images with voice-over – and you can purchase an ipod version to carry around with you. Would be a good option if you were needing to study on-the-fly!

It’s not so easy to find good, up-to-date material on functional neuroanatomy of pain that includes the brain. There are a couple of reasonable resources on peripheral mechanisms (see yesterday’s post), but as for those reviewing the role of the brain, well that’s not quite so easy to find. In fact, I’m still searching for something visual, interactive, and recent. The search goes on! So expect another post later today.
What I’m hoping to find is something that pulls together the most recent information on the neuromatrix, along with some good illustrations – at the moment it’s feeling a bit elusive!

Brain Maps!

Do you know your neuro-anatomy?


This site shows me just how lucky we are with the internet as a resource for seeing things that we couldn’t have dreamed about just five or so years ago. Head to Brain Maps for a look at detailed cross-sections and other images of the brains of homo-sapiens, rattus norvegicus, felis catus and more!!

And just when you thought that was enough, this site has even more resources for you to polish up your neurological knowledge.

Why would you want to learn all this? Well in the field of pain, we are essentially dealing with neuroanatomy in some form or another – and heaven knows I am no reductionist, but there is so much that our nervous system does that we don’t yet know about that I think if we’re working with people experiencing pain, then we really have to continually update our knowledge in order to integrate the findings from both gross anatomy and physiology and neuroanatomy and physiology. Oh, and don’t forget about psychology – and if you’ve a moment, and want to see what you can remember about methods? Go here and take this brief test. If you’re going to work in health, you’d better know about scientific method!