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The best podcasts about ourselves as well as the world through the lense of Science. Specific topics include things about our brain, emotions to biology, physics and more!

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The best podcasts about ourselves as well as the world through the lense of Science. Specific topics include things about our brain, emotions to biology, physics and more!

OwlTail

Building an Alzheimer's-resistant brain

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"Alzheimer's does not have to be your brain's destiny, says Neuroscientist and author of ""Still Alice,"" Lisa Genova. She shares the latest science investigating the disease - and some promising research on how to build an Alzheimer's-resistant brain. Her research is very surprising. Key Points: - Alzheimers disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder, that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. What's interesting is that the actual biology of Alzheimer’s actually happens, we think, 10 to 20 years before we actually even notice any cognitive memory symptoms. - One of the best ways to fight back against Alzheimer's is to stimulate the growth of new neurons and make new neural connections through reading a book, watching a movie, making new friends in order to help your brain make new connections. - The more reinforcement or rehearsal you do of a memory, the easier it is for you to remember something. If you can draw rich associations especially if they’re emotionally based, you are going to help lock in that memory and it’ll be richly supported by sights, sounds, emotions, who you were with, where you were. "

What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s | Dr. Lisa Genova

The Art Of Living with Kathy Smith
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Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist and New York Times best-selling author. She is part of a world-class team of scientists and advocates who joined forces because they were frustrated by the lack of urgency, funding, and scientific collaboration to address the massive global Alzheimer’s epidemic. They received the highest honors at the 2017 XPRIZE Visioneers Summit. XPrize is a nonprofit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage breakthroughs that could benefit humanity. In this case, to come up with an approach to diagnose, treat, cure and prevent Alzheimer’s. A disease that affects nearly 50 million people worldwide.

She's also the author of a book-turned-movie, Still Alice, which tells the tale of a linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. A role that won Julianne Moore the best actress Oscar in 2015.

She shares with Kathy some information about the current state of Alzheimer's research and what we know about how to stave off its impact on ourselves and our loved ones. For more, visit www.kathysmith.com/podcast.

Mar 14 2018

40mins

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OwlTail

Daniel Kahneman — Why We Contradict Ourselves and Confound Each Other

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"Listen to this episode to hear Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman talk about how we form beliefs, the difference between what you experience and what you remember you experience as well as what we can do to improve our biases thinking. Key points: - ""Facts don’t matter, or they matter much less than people think."" ""When asked about something you believe in, the reasons why you believe or don't believe in something, often have very little to do with the real causes of your beliefs."" - Other factors such as people you trusted that had that certain view or belief ultimately led you to believe certain things, without properly understanding the reasons why. - A lot of error is random, and there is a radical underestimation of the amount of random error in people’s thinking, and I would like to restore the balance because I think our work, Tversky’s and mine, was, in a sense, too influential. It led people to exaggerate the importance of bias in human affairs and in human thinking, but there are many other ways in which people go wrong than biases."

Daniel Kahneman — Why We Contradict Ourselves and Confound Each Other

On Being with Krista Tippett
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The Nobel Prize-winning psychologist on why we think and act the way we do — and why facts matter less than we think in forming our beliefs. With his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for helping to create the field of behavioral economics — and is a self-described “constant worrier.” It’s fun, helpful, and more than a little unnerving to apply his insights into why we think and act the way we do in this moment of social and political tumult. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

Oct 05 2017

52mins

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OwlTail

How Your Brain Makes Sense of the World with David Eagleman

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"“The part that we are consciously aware of is just the very tip of the iceberg,” says David Eagleman. “You’ve got almost a hundred billion neurons in your brain, and they’re all operating their little neuron lives and they’re doing their things with all of their neighbors. Each neuron is connected to about 10,000 others and so it’s…unbelievably complex. It wouldn’t be useful for you to have access to the information at that level…” What we’re aware of is the brain’s interpretation of the world around us in a way that makes sense on a surface level. Listen to this epic conversation about how our experience of the world is actually limited by our biology, and what it might mean in future if we use technology to create new sense. Some key learnings: - “It turns out that it doesn’t matter how the information gets to the brain as long as it gets there."" Right now we use our eyes to see, ears to hear, etc, but you can actually change this and create the ability for blind people to 'see' with their toungue or a deaf person to hear with their skin. - Beyond keeping life interesting, staying mentally engaged has been proven to keep the ravages of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s at bay. “The key is, once you start getting good at something, you do the next thing that’s hard for you,” says David. "

27: David Eagleman | How Your Brain Makes Sense of the World

The Jordan Harbinger Show
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David Eagleman (@davideagleman) is a neuroscientist at Stanford, host of Emmy-nominated PBS/BBC series The Brain, author and co-author of several books including The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World, and CSO of NeoSensory, a company that specializes in sensory substitution technology.

What We Discuss with David Eagleman:

  • The science that encourages lifelong learning as a way to fend off the effects of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
  • How the human brain processes senses beyond sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch -- and how we might upgrade our senses in the not-too-distant future.
  • What flipping a coin can tell us about the subconscious brain.
  • How our memories and self-identities are built from the brain's interpretation of reality -- which is quite different from reality itself.
  • Will we ever be able to download skills directly into our brains?
  • And much more...

Sign up for Six-Minute Networking -- our free networking and relationship development mini course -- at jordanharbinger.com/course!

Like this show? Please leave us a review here -- even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!

Full show notes and resources can be found here.

Apr 10 2018

1hr 9mins

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OwlTail

Challenging Perception and What Reality Is – Anil Seth

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"Reality is constructed by the brain, and no two brains are alike. We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. Listen to this incredibly fascinating interview of Anil Seth talking about how our brain hallucinates what we thought was reality. Key points: - Perception doesn't come from the outside in. It really goes the other direction. It comes from the inside out.” ""Colours aren't there in the real world, the brains is projecting colours into our perception, as a way of interpreting what's happening in the world."" - ""We're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it ""reality."" Although each individual might perceive each colour, smell, etc differently to someone else, our society needs there to be some consensus so that we can function. - ""Language carves up the sensory world into more bits"". Language shapes the way that we explain and communicate what we're pereceiving, which is why some cultures, because they have more words to describe particular colours, can actually more accurately perceive those colours. "

Challenging Perception and Our Conscious Experience – Anil Seth : 590

Bulletproof Radio
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In this intriguing episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dave welcomes Anil Seth, a leading researcher, writer, and public speaker on consciousness science, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. Anil has broad experience communicating new ideas from the forefront of research in these areas, which confront some of humanity’s greatest questions and challenges.

In his work, Anil seeks to understand the biological basis of consciousness by bringing together research across neuroscience, mathematics, artificial intelligence, computer science, psychology, philosophy and psychiatry. He’s currently a professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex and founding co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science.

As well as pioneering this interdisciplinary approach, Anil is recognized for his influential theories about how conscious experiences of the world and self are (distinct) forms of ‘controlled hallucinations.’ His TEDtalk “How Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality” has been viewed nearly 7.4M million times.

This episode will up-end what you think about perception and reality—and how much, or little, control, we really have. Here’s a sneak peek at the conversation:

About Perception

  • “Perception doesn't come from the outside in. It really goes the other direction. It comes from the inside out.”
  • “The purpose of perception is not to figure out objectively what's out there in the world. The purpose of perception is to enable our adaptive behavior.”
  • “We need to develop ways of training our perception.”

About Sensory Experience

  • “Language carves up the sensory world in some more bits.”
  • “The same things in your brain are happening when you're having a hallucination, perceiving something that other people don't, as when you engage in normal perception. It's just some aspects of the balance has changed.”
  • “As humans, we don't just passively experience a stream of sensory information. We're always actively sampling our worlds.”

May 09 2019

1hr 6mins

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OwlTail

From zero to infinity: a brief history of counting

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"Most, if not all of us, have learnt and studied maths at some point in our lives. But, how many of us have thought about how the concepts of numbers came about? Listen to this fascinating episode to hear a bit about the history of maths and some stories from a Professor of Mathematics. Key Points: - In school, you learn about the grammar of maths, not the stories behind it. - We take the number 0 for granted. 0 had to be invented, it was fought for and against when it was first founded. A question was; If 0 stands for nothing, why do we need to count it?"

From zero to infinity: a brief history of counting – Science Weekly podcast

Science Weekly
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Nicola Davis is joined by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy to explore zero, infinity and everything in between

Oct 04 2017

28mins

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OwlTail

How our emotions are actually made with Lisa Barrett

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"The classical school of thought on emotions are that they are universal and hardwired, that you're born with them. However, Lisa's research suggests that emotions are actually constructed, and socially learned. Listen to this episode to hear more about a completely different way to think about our brains and emotions, and how that means we may actually have more control over our emotions than we think. Some of the fascinating ideas explored: - Emotions aren't what we think they are. They aren't universally expressed and recognized. Jurors who are meant to detect whether someone on trial shows remorse, can't actually properly detect emotions, and neither can we. - Your brain uses past experience to try and predict and give meaning to what it is you're seeing. Emotions that you seem to detect in other people, come in part from your own past experiences. - Emotions that seem to happen to you, are actually made by you. Once we realise this, we can start to think about how we can better control the emotions we're feeling."

BS 135 Lisa Barrett on How Emotions Are Made

Brain Science with Ginger Campbell, MD: Neuroscience for Everyone
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This episode features Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of How Emotions Are Made. We discuss the evidence AGAINST the classical theory that emotions are universal and hardwired, as well as her new theory of Constructed Emotions. This new theory has significant implications for how we understand ourselves and others.

Detailed show notes are available at http://brainsciencepodcast.com.

Bonus Content is available for Premium Subscribers and Patreon supporters.

Please send feedback to brainsciencepodcast@gmail.com.

Jul 31 2017

1hr 30mins

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Dr. Moshe Szyf is a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, the study of how living things reprogram their genome in response to social factors like stress and lack of food. His research suggests that...

Jul 31 2017

36mins

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Rethinking Genes, Understanding Epigenetics—David S. Moore, PhD—Psychological Field Group at Pitzer College

Future Tech: Almost Here, Round-the-Corner Future Technology Podcast
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According to David Moore, PhD and faculty member in the Psychological Field Group at Pitzer College, there’s good reason to believe that “genes” as we’ve come to commonly understand them don’t actually exist; they aren’t segments of DNA which start and stop at discrete points, they don’t fulfill just one role in one context, and their expression or lack thereof is not immune to environmental influences. In fact, most molecular biologists would say that there is no single agreed-upon definition of a gene.

Dr. Moore joins the podcast to explore the topic of epigenetics: the phenomenon by which our experiences and environmental factors influence our genes and contribute to our characteristics. These environmental stimuli include the food we eat, how we exercise, the drugs we consume, our experiences in childhood, the level at which we socially interact as adults, and socioeconomic status. For example, a 2004 study conducted by Michael Meaney and Moshe Szyf showed an association between the level of grooming a pup receives from its mother and reactivity to stress in adulthood: the more grooming a pup received, the less reactive it was to stress stimuli as an adult. This finding, labelled by the authors as “epigenetic programming,” has been challenged by many, yet evidence that supports it continues to grow. 

This is just a snippet of the fascinating conversation Dr. Moore offers, which touches on topics such as in utero epigenetics, whether epigenetic states can be changed or reversed once they’ve been established, how the most common antidepressants have been shown to produce epigenetic changes, and the controversial idea that epigenetic changes are inheritable. He also discusses his most recent research, which involves studying mental rotation in human infants—an ability considered the single biggest sex difference in cognition that’s unrelated to reproduction.

Tune in for the details and visit http://pzacad.pitzer.edu/~dmoore/ to learn more. 

Dec 28 2018

41mins

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Original broadcast date: August 25, 2017. How much of who we are is biology? How much is learned? And how much can we change? This hour, TED speakers on how genes and experience collaborate — and compete — to make us who we are. TED speakers include neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky, epigeneticist Moshe Szyf, pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris, and psychologist Brian Little.

Mar 08 2019

52mins

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What you can do to prevent Alzheimer's | Lisa Genova

TED Talks Science and Medicine
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Alzheimer's doesn't have to be your brain's destiny, says neuroscientist and author of "Still Alice," Lisa Genova. She shares the latest science investigating the disease -- and some promising research on what each of us can do to build an Alzheimer's-resistant brain.

Apr 28 2017

13mins

Play