Trying to read people’s minds with biosensors | “The Science Show”

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Prof. Anne Andrews

Professor Anne Andrews discusses her brain biosensor research with science journalist Robyn Williams on “The Science Show”.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp’s Science Show is considered by many people to be the world’s best science broadcast program. Andrews’ nine-minute interview was a segment of Williams’ one-hour radio show titled “Trying to read people’s minds with biosensors” which aired on August 4, 2023. The interview and transcript can be accessed here.

In the interview, Andrews discusses the biosensors she and her group are developing. She explains how they work in the brain and why they are expanding the numbers of neurotransmitters that can be monitored. These sensors are largely being developed for use in experimental animals to increase our fundamental understanding of how information is encoded in neurotransmitter fluxes. Andrews is hopeful that in the future, however, her biosensors will be useful for learning about how the human brain functions and to improve the treatment of serious brain disorders.

As UCLA professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, and a Senior Research Scientist in the Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, Andrews leads efforts in basic and translational research on anxiety and depression, and at the nexus of neuroscience and nanoscience. Her interdisciplinary research team focuses discovering, developing, and using in vivo neurotransmitter monitoring approaches to understand how the serotonin (and other) neurotransmitter systems encode emotionally salient information. To learn more about Andrews’ research, visit her website.

From “The Science Show” (Aired August 4, 2023):

Trying to read people’s minds with biosensors

Scientists are measuring the activity of neurotransmitters to create a chemical map of the brain.

It’s hoped this data might shed some light on the mysteries workings of the brain.

But to construct this chemical connectome — much like the genome — new methods are needed.

Anne Andrews
Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California

Robyn Williams


Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,