YouTubing the Somatosensory Cortex


I was just checking out the Somatosensory Cortex on Youtube to see what types of resources are there. I didn’t know what to expect as YouTube consists of a huge number of videos created from around the world. New footage is constantly added. After a bit of trial and error, there turned out to be some really useful videos on the subject. These could be broadly divided into research videos and neuroanatomy videos.

Research Videos: In this video, the researchers have used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to incapacitate the Ventral Intraparietal Area homologue in humans. They found that this resulted in the arms being mapped onto a ‘default’ location adjacent to the trunk. There is also a brief news snippet from insidermedicine about research suggesting that the somatosensory cortex is more likely to be thickened in people with Migraine.

Neuroanatomy Videos: The first video I looked at was by bullharrier and provides a general overview of the sensory system. Bullharrier videos himself talking by a whiteboard and although there is a little pacing about which is commented on, he provides the audience with a useful 10-minute introduction to the sensory system ending with the conscious perception in the somatosensory cortex. I thought that the drawings were a little difficult to make out (although the labels are easy to work out) but he links in the physiology and this is part of a series he has created on neuroanatomy. A medium like YouTube will produce very popular videos or narrators who provide something unique or of excellent quality and in this regards YouTube has found a neuroanatomy star in the form of Walid Aziz Basharyar who YouTubes under the pseudonym Hyperhighs. Aziz’s channel is very popular with over 3.5 million hits and the central premise of the channel is that he will teach the audience  anatomy and neurophysiology with a combination of music and art. In the case of this video, the art is in the form of Aziz drawing the illustrations while we watch. Another popular YouTuber is Dr Najeeb who in this talk gives a 58 minute overview of the ascending tracts in the Central Nervous System. Although the main focus is on the ascending tracts which are obviously important for the somatosensory cortex Dr Najeeb knows his theory extremely well and his central premise is that there must be a clear elucidation of concepts to facilitate learning. This he achieves well in the video and he sets a standard for others teaching in this area.

Brainwashed Software showcase a highly professional businesses approach to neuroscience education. In this video about the Dorsal Medial Lemniscus, the narrator speaks at a moderate pace, clearly and in a way which easily gains the attention of the audience. There is accompanying music which stays in the background but adds a dramatic effect to the presentation. I think the software used is remarkable as it demonstrates a journey from the sensory neurons in the peripheral nervous system through to the sensory cortex. What I find remarkable is the very close attention to detail. The coronal sections appear to have been taken from histological sections and the orientation of the fibres is shown to change very subtly at the different levels and is complemented by the detailed narration.

There’s quite a mixture of videos here on the somatosensory cortex but this approach shows just how important context is when trying to understand neuroanatomy.

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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