Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison

Cognitive Neuroscience Compendium

Please visit our YouTube channel, Cognitive Neuroscience Compediumfor more content!

This compendium of narrated videos and links to Web-based content was first assembled as supplementary online material to support the textbook Postle, B.R. (2015) Essentials of Cognitive Neuroscience (1st ed.), John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, U.K. Unique to it are the “narrated videos” (at the time “Web Clips”) that were solicited by the author and generously produced by > 40 colleagues whose work was either explicitly featured in the textbook, or selected to illustrate an important area of research that the book couldn’t cover. AND THEY ARE AMAZING. Now, a few years later, with a 2nd edition of the book underway, it’s been decided that these narrated videos are simply too good and potentially valuable to the community to be accessible only to those using this textbook. So here they are. Whether an instructor or a student or ‘just’ a civilian interested in the most interesting scientific questions known to humankind, you are encouraged to sample ad libitum, to watch, and to learn. Note that for the videos that describe a specific study, full references are provided in the description that appears below the video on its YouTube page.

Appearing after each section’s collection of narrated videos are links to other content on the Web that we think might also be useful for teaching. If you know of other content that we might add to this compendium, or might be interested in contributing a narrated video, please contact


Anatomy, Physiology, and Methods


Narrated Videos

How does MRI work?                                                                                                                                                Rasmus Birn

MRI-based diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography                                                                    Andrew Alexander

Measuring the local field potential                                                                                                                Mingzhou Ding

How to perform an EEG experiment                                                                                                                        Dan Acheson

An introduction to EEG analysis: event-related potentials                                                                            Dan Acheson

Measuring 'neuronal oscillations for communication' in the human, with electrocorticography (ECoG)                                                                                                                                                                                 Bradley Voytek

Functional MRI (fMRI)                                                                                                                                                  Brad Postle

How to perform an fMRI experiment                                                                                                                        Dan Acheson

Fundamentals of experimental design with fMRI                                                                                            Brad Postle

- Resting state correlations in fMRI signal reveal the organization of the brain's functional networks                                                                                                                                                                           Gagan Wig

Using neural network models to study visual knowledge representation                                                Tim Rogers

Additional Links

Kwabena Boahen, Stanford, "A computer that works like the brain", (TEDGlobal 2007)

Edward Boyden, MIT, "A light switch for neurons", (TED 2011)

Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, "Representational similarity analysis of inferior temporal object population codes" (2010)

Christopher deCharms, Omneuron, "A look inside the brain in real time", (TED 2008)

Scholarpedia entry on the thalamus

Genes to Cognition Online, home of the rotatable, dissectible '3D Brain' application (upper right corner, requires Flash)

- Toccata and Fugue in D minor for the cochlea





Representation, Learning, and Memory


Narrated Videos

Snapshots of H.M.’s contributions to the science of memory                                                            Suzanne Corkin

Pattern separation in the hippocampus                                                                                                                Craig Stark

Relating the age-related decline in long-term memory to hippocampal structure and function        Craig Stark

Pattern completion in the hippocampus                                                                                                                John Lisman

What, if anything, is the medial temporal lobe?                                                                                                Elisabeth Murray

Mental time travel in action                                                                                                                                        Sean Polyn

Neural bases of repetition priming                                                                                                                            Jon Simons

Semantic dementia                                                                                                                                                          Tim Rogers

Sensory recruitment for visual working memory                                                                                            John Serences

Dynamic population coding in prefrontal cortex                                                                                            Mark Stokes

Additional Links

Anterograde amnesia  (the case of Clive Wearing)

Primary progressive aphasia, semantic variant 

Joshua Foer, "Feats of memory anyone can do", (TED 2012)

Sensation, Perception, Attention, and Action


Narrated Videos

- Using neural network models to study visual knowledge                                                                                      Tim Rogers

Neural bases of 3D motion perception                                                                                                                        Bas Rokers

How do we become aware of what we see?                                                                                                                  Vincenzo Romei

Experience-dependent plastic reorganization of auditory cortex                                                                  Shaowen Bao

The raison d’être of the ventral visual pathway                                                                                                    Chris Baker

Encoding place and time in the hippocampus                                                                                                    Howard Eichenbaum

Oculomotor control in youth and adolescence                                                                                                          Beatriz Luna

Dopaminergic modulation of the functions of the frontal eye fields                                                                  Behrad Noudoost

Attention, intention, and retention in frontoparietal cortex                                                                                  Clay Curtis

A causal test of face recognition in the FFA                                                                                                          Josef Parvizi


Additional Links

Neil Burgess, University College in London, "How your brain tells you where you are", (TEDSalon London, 2011)

Vilayanur Ramachandran, UC San Diego, "The neurons that shaped civilization", (TEDIndia 2009)

Mapping the receptive field of an orientation-selective neuron in V1

Simulation of basilar membrane response to acoustic stimuli

Robert Zatorre, McGill University, "Music in the brain: Pitch, Imagery, and Emotion", (2011)

Mapping the receptive field of an orientation-selective neuron in V1

Simulation of basilar membrane response to acoustic stimuli

Unilateral neglect: the clock drawing test

Unilateral neglect in a canine

Parkinson's disease

Huntington's disease 

Associative agnosia


- The Simons Lab at University of Pittsburgh studies the rodent barrel cortex, a distinctly shaped part of the animal's somatosensory cortex

- The Object Perception Lab at Vanderbilt University has an article which discusses specialized systems vs. expertise





Cognitive Control and High-Level Cognition


Narrated Videos

- Leveraging graph theory to understand the large-scale organization of cognitive control                      Mark D'Esposito

The development of cognitive control: inhibition or proactive control?                                                           Yuko Munakata

Thalamic control of interareal synchrony as a mechanism for cognitive control                                         Yuri Saalmann

The effect of playing action video games on perceptual decision making                                                       C. Shawn Greene 

Adolescent decision making                                                                                                                                                 Leah Somerville

The cognitive neuroscience of free will                                                                                                              John-Dylan Haynes

The connectomics of Phineas Gage                                                                                                                        John Van Horn

The neuropsychology of moral judgment                                                                                                                    Michael Koenigs

Stimulating desire: optogenetic stimulation of the central amygdala                                                               Michael Robinson

Effects of meditation on cognitive and neural function                                                                                          Heleen Slagter

Unification for ‘on-the-fly’ production and comprehension of language                                                         Peter Hagoort

Studying sleep (and consciousness) with TMS-EEG                                                                                              Marcello Massimini

Toward a quantitative index of consciousness                                                                                                      Olivia Gosseries


Additional Links

History of Phineas Gage

Project Implicit at Harvard, which measures implicit biases

Simon Fisher, a geneticist at the Donders Institute in the Netherlands who studies how genetics affect language

Antonio Rangel, California Institute of Technology, "The neuroeconomics of simple choice", (TEDxCaltech 2013)

Rebecca Saxe, MIT, "How we read each other's minds", (TEDGlobal 2009)

Mohammed Milad, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, "To fear or not to fear: Where and how in the brain" (2011)

Wernicke's aphasia 

Broca's aphasia 

Hakwan Lau, Columbia University, "How to study the functions of subjective awareness?", (2012)

Victor Lamme, University of Amsterdam, "When is a neural representation a conscious one?", (2014)

- The Owen Lab at Western University in Canada studies consciousness in brain-damaged individuals and how neurodegenerative diseases affect memory, perception, and reasoning problems

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