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Brain Science with Ginger Campbell, MD: Neuroscience for Everyone

Brain Science is hosted by Virginia "Ginger" Campbell, MD (Podcast Hall of Fame 2022). She is an experienced physician with a passion for exploring how recent discoveries in neuroscience are revealing how our brains make us who we are. This podcast is for non-scientists, scientists, and everyone in between. It features interviews and discusses the latest books about the brain.

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Brain Science is hosted by Virginia "Ginger" Campbell, MD (Podcast Hall of Fame 2022). She is an experienced physician with a passion for exploring how recent discoveries in neuroscience are revealing how our brains make us who we are. This podcast is for non-scientists, scientists, and everyone in between. It features interviews and discusses the latest books about the brain.

BS 198 Embodied Cognition with Evan Thompson

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This month's episode of Brain Science is a free encore playing of my interview with Evan Thompson about his book Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind. We discuss how the enactive approach to embodied cognition offers potential clues to the mystery of how the brain can generate Consciousness. A free episode transcript is also available.

This is the 2nd of two free encore episodes that are being shared to give listeners a taste of the diverse content available to Premium subscribers. Premium subscribers have access to over 100 additional episodes of Brain Science along with episode transcripts.

The embodied cognition movement is an approach within cognitive neuroscience that includes philosophers, neuroscientists, psychologists and computer scientists. The key idea is that cognition, which includes thinking and decision-making, is inseparable from embodiment. This is not just because it requires sensory inputs to the brain, but also because moving in the world is a key component. Thus embodied cognition does not see this as a passive input/output process, but as something that requires constant interaction with the world via the body.

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Jul 22 2022

58mins

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BS 197 (Encore) Neuroscience for Dummies with Frank Amthor

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This month's episode of Brain Science features an encore playing of my interview with Dr. Frank Amthor, author of Neuroscience for Dummies and Neurobiology for Dummies. It is a great episode for newbies and will be a good review for longtime listeners.

This is a FREE sample of my Premium content and the episode transcript is also FREE.

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Jun 20 2022

1hr 5mins

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BS 196 Consciousness with Hakwan Lau

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This month's episode of Brain Science is an interview with Hakwan Lau, author of In Consciousness we Trust: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Subjective Experience. Lau talks about shortcomings in current theories about how the brain generates consciousness, but he also introduces something he calls perceptual reality monitoring. 

Although this is a somewhat technical discussion it is accessible to listeners who are new to the neuroscience of consciousness.

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May 27 2022

57mins

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BS 195 Neuroscience of Emotion with David Anderson

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This month's episode is an interview with David J Anderson from Cal Tech. We talk about his new book The Nature of the Beast: How Emotions Guide US. We talk about how emotion CAN be studied in animals by using methods that focus on brain states rather than verbal descriptions. Dr. Anderson also explains why this experimental work is essential to developing more effective treatment of mental illnesses.

This episode is a follow up to my discussion of The Neuroscience of Emotion: A New Synthesis by Ralph Adolphs and David J. Anderson in BS 151 (2018)

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Apr 22 2022

1hr 13mins

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BS 194 Mary-Frances O'Connor, author of "The Grieving Brain"

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The neuroscience of grief and grieving is a relatively new field, but one that offers practical discoveries for people of all backgrounds. This month we talk with Mary-Frances O’Connor, author of The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How we Learn from Love and Loss.

We talk about what has been learned from a variety of approaches, including both brain imaging and, surprisingly even from animal studies. We learn why it is so hard for our brains to accept the loss of a loved one and this work offers hope for helping those who struggle with prolonged or complicated grief.

The incredible loss of life cause by the COVID pandemic makes this work especially timely.

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Mar 25 2022

56mins

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BS 193 "Embodied Mind:" What does this mean?

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In this month's episode of Brain Science I explore two big picture questions: What does it mean to claim that the Mind is "embodied?" and How does this change our understanding of our place in the world? The conversation was inspired by the book "Out of the Cave: A Natural Philosophy of Mind and Knowing" by Mark L Johnson and Donald M Tucker.

This episode builds on several previous discussions of "embodied cognition" so it might be challenging to newer listeners. I have included a list of these earlier episodes below.

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Feb 25 2022

20mins

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BS 192 Nina Kraus talks about Sound and the Brain

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This month's episode of Brain Science is an interview with Nina Kraus, author of "Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World." Dr. Kraus has spent 30 years exploring how the brain processes sound. We explore why sound processing involves much more that just the auditory cortex as well how the sounds we experience change our brains, both for better and for worse.

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Jan 28 2022

54mins

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BS 191 15th Annual Review Episode

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This is our 15th annual review episode, which highlights the guests and key ideas we have shared in 2021. Interviews included return visits from Jeff Hawkins and David Eagleman. New guests including Anil Seth and Antonio Damasio, who both emphasized the importance of our bodies (not just our brains) in understanding Consciousness.

Available soon: Free Transcript!

Full Episode List:

BS 180 Bruce Goldstein, author of The Mind: Consciousness, Prediction, and the Brain

BS 181 Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, author of The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention

BS 182 Iris Berent, author of The Blind Storyteller: How We Reason About Human Nature

BS 183 Jeff Hawkins, author A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence

BS 184 Mark Solms, author The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Origins of Consciousness

BS 185 Stephen Fleming, author of Know Thyself: The Science of Self-Awareness

BS 186 Mark Humphries, author of The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds

BS 187 David Eagleman, author of Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain

BS 188 Anil Seth, author of Being You: A New Science of Consciousness

BS 189 Antonio Damasio, author of Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious

BS 190 David Badre, author of On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done

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Dec 22 2021

1hr 24mins

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BS 190 How our Brain gets things done with David Badre

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This month's episode of Brain Science features David Badre, author of "On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done." He gives us an overview of recent research in the field of cognitive control, which has has actually overturned some popular assumptions about things like willpower. Our focus is on the practical implications of this research.

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Nov 24 2021

1hr

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BS 189 Antonio Damasio, author of "Feeling and Knowing"

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Neurologist and best-selling author Antonio Damasio is one of our most requested guests. This month we finally had the opportunity to talk about his newest book "Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious," which he explained is somewhat different from his previous efforts. His goal was to write something "briefer" and more accessible. Thus it is definitely a book that requires no background in neuroscience.

The key theme is that feelings and emotions are foundational aspects of Consciousness.

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Oct 29 2021

54mins

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BS 188 Anil Seth on Consciousness

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BS 188 features neuroscientist Anil Seth discussing his new book "Being You: A New Science of Consciousness." We have had many guests talk about consciousness, but Seth represents the newer generation who have actually been able to devote their careers to this fundamental question: How does the brain generate conscious experience. His perspective is both practical and illuminating.

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Sep 24 2021

1hr 17mins

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BS 187 David Eagleman on his new book "LiveWired"

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BS 187 features bestselling author and neuroscientist David Eagleman. We talk about his latest book "Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain." It is a great overview of the current science of brain plasticity appropriate for both new listeners and longtime fans. 

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Aug 27 2021

55mins

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BS 186 Mark Humphries author of "The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds"

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This month's episode features Mark Humphries, author of "The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds." We explore how the brain uses electrical signaling in surprising ways, beginning with a look at how an action potential (aka. "the spike") is produced. Then we consider what Humphries calls "the dark neurons," which are neurons that rarely generate spikes. We explore their role and also how it relates to the brain's spontaneous activity. One of the more surprising recent discoveries in neuroscience is that most of the brain's activity does not appear to be caused by external stimuli. It is not a passive receiver of information and this has profound implications for our understanding of things like how the brain generates conscious experience.

This episode is for listeners of all backgrounds.

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Jul 23 2021

50mins

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BS 185 Stephen Fleming on "the neuroscience of self-awareness"

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This month's episode of Brain Science is an interview with Dr. Stephen Fleming, author of "Know Thyself: The Science of Self-Awareness." We explore the concept of metacognition and learn that while explicit metacognition (thinking about thinking) may be unique to humans, it is built on building blocks shared with other species. We also explore what can go wrong and why it matters.

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Jun 25 2021

1hr 24mins

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BS 184 Mark Solms, author of "The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness"

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In this month's episode of Brain Science, neuroscientist Mark Solms talks about his new book "The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Origins of Consciousness." Solms was inspired by the pioneering work of Jaak Panksepp who argued that the origins of consciousness can be traced to the brainstem. In his new book Solms presents the evidence for this viewpoint and explains how the work of computational neuroscientist Karl Friston has provided additional support. We consider the implications for our understanding of both human consciousness and our appreciation for the consciousness of other animals.

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May 28 2021

1hr 11mins

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BS 183 Jeff Hawkins shares his new theory of Intelligence

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Jeff Hawkins has spent nearly twenty years on a quest to discover how the brain's cortex generates intelligence. In this episode he talks about his new book A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence, which describes some of his most recent research in a way that is accessible to readers of all backgrounds.

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Apr 23 2021

1hr 4mins

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BS 182 Iris Berent author of "The Blind Storyteller"

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This month's episode of Brain Science features Iris Berent, author of "The Blind Storyteller: How We Reason About Human Nature." We explore how our deeply entrenched biases toward dualism and essentialism impact our attitudes toward neuroscience and toward problems like mental illness.

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Mar 26 2021

1hr 3mins

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BS 181 Sir Simon Baron-Cohen

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This month's episode of Brain Science features Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, one of the world's leading researchers on the neuroscience of autism. We discuss his latest book "The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention." This book reminds us that many different kinds of science can enrich our lives and our understanding of what it means to be human.

Sir Baron-Cohen explores the overlap between the human ability to invent and experiment and the condition that is currently called autism. Autism is often seen as a deficit in social cognition or empathy, but Baron-Cohen shows convincingly that there is a significant overlap between autism and what he calls extreme systemizing. Because systemizing or pattern recognition drives the human ability to constantly invent new technologies, it appears to compliment social skills such as empathy.   Sir Baron-Cohen share the evidence that people tend to be stronger in one area or the other. Most importantly, he emphasizes that autism is not necessarily a disabling condition because those with extremely strong pattern recognition skills can make many valuable contributions.

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Feb 26 2021

45mins

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BS 180 E Bruce Goldstein

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This month's episode of Brain Science is an interview with neuroscientists E. Bruce Goldstein, author of "The Mind: Consciousness, Prediction, and the Brain."

We review some key ideas about how the brain creates the Mind, the important role of unconscious processes and prediction. It is a great starter episode for new listeners and a concise review for longtime fans.

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Jan 22 2021

1hr

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BS 179 14th Annual Review Episode

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It's time for our 14th Annual Review Episode! Despite the challenges of 2020, it has been an outstanding year for Brain Science: the show passed 11 million downloads and Dr. Campbell released of second edition of Are You Sure? The Unconscious Origins of Certainty.

This episode is also a great introduction for new listeners. It can be enjoyed even if you haven’t listened to the episodes being discussed. A free transcript is also available for this episode.

Here is a list of this year's episodes:

Note: the transcript for this episode is Free. Additional show notes and more episode transcripts are available at brainsciencepodcast.com.

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Dec 25 2020

51mins

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