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Pure Curiosity: Dr. Jonathan Downar & Dr. Don Vaughn on Neuroscience & the Future of Mental

In this episode of Pure Curiosity, I speak with Dr. Jonathan Downar, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, and Dr. Don Vaughn, a neuroscientist and behavioral consultant. Together they share their thoughts on the future of mental health, and talk to us about how Neuroscience helps us solve complex human problems.

About Our Guests:

Dr Jonathan Downar serves as the Co-Director of the MRI-Guided rTMS Clinic at University Health Network, and also holds the position of Scientist at the Toronto Western Research Institute. He completed a BSc in biology at McGill University, followed by a PhD in neuroimaging at the University of Toronto with Dr. Karen Davis, before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Calgary in 2005. Dr. Downar joined the Department of Psychiatry at UHN on completion of his residency in 2010. Shortly thereafter, he established the MRI-Guided rTMS Clinic, with a mandate to accept referrals from the community as a clinical resource, while simultaneously conducting translational research into improving the efficacy, cost, access, and range of indications for non-invasive brain stimulation in psychiatric illness. As of October, 2015, the clinic has received over 1600 community referrals and delivered over 20 000 sessions of stimulation. The clinic currently sees some 40-60 patients a day, making it one of the busiest in North America.

To see one of Jonathan’s talks on rTMS, click here.

Don Vaughn is a Stanford-graduate neuroscientist and human behavioral consultant. His research has been featured in TIME magazine, profiled in a documentary by Cadillac, and received over a million views in his TEDx talk “neurohacking: rewiring your brain”. He is currently a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA where he leads a workshop on modern statistics, and adjunct faculty at Santa Clara University where he teaches Introduction to Neuroscience. Based on sensory substitution research, he developed an app called ChatterBaby which allowed deaf parents to ‘hear’ their child’s vocalizations using sight. He consults regularly for venture capital firms on the feasibility of incipient neurotech devices.

To see Don’s TEDx talk, click here.

To follow Don on Instagram go to

Listen to the Podcast Below:

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