Recently, I’ve been to the Basel ICON conference, where the recent Nobel laureate Eric Betzig gave an impressive talk on microscopy techniques (including lattice light sheet, SIM and expansion microscopy). Some days ago, I found a similar talk by Eric Betzig (although with less recent results) simply on youtube.
The advantages of online videos compared to live talks are obvious, and I wonder why people do not use them more often, both to learn about research and to communicate their own research. Additionally, compared to research papers, the personality of a researcher is much more obvious from a talk – which is important to know for students interested in working in his/her lab. Here just a small collection of some good talks by neuroscientists which are not as flashy and fancy as TED talks, but much more informative and interesting.
Here is Eve Marder on central pattern generators in lobsters and crabs. She had been developing experiments and models for this seemingly simply system for more than 40 years, thereby exposing the complexity of a system consisting of only 30 neurons.
Ken Harris, a mathematician by training and now more interested in large-scale brain activity recordings in mice, gives a rather technical, but very understandable talk on advances and problems in spike sorting for multielectrode arrays.
Larry Abbott, one of the most well-known theoreticians in neuroscience, with a very interesting talk about experimental findings in the olfactory system of the fruit fly.
Christof Koch on the search for the neuronal correlates of consciousness. In the late 90s, he was one of the pioneers in this field together with Francis Crick; more recently, he is working together with Giulio Tononi.
Edvard Moser on spatial navigation and place cells/grid cells. For this topic he was awarded the Nobel prize 2014.
Haim Sompolinsky with a theoretical perspective on sensory representations memory in distributed circuits. Coming from physics, Haim Sompolinsky helped transferring the physics of phase transitions to the mathematical modeling of neuronal network models in the late 80s.
Some of the links might be outdated in a couple of years, but I hope that researchers will start uploading more recent and well-prepared talks in the years to come, replacing overcrowded plenary talks by often jet-lagged speakers.
Update [2016-07-20]: Maybe this is the right place to mention a very nice series of podcasts, featuring interviews with leading neuroscientists, e.g. Michael Shadlen or Peter Jonas, or of my thesis supervisor in Basel, Rainer Friedrich. Thanks to Anne Urai who posted a link to this webpage on her blog.