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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 8: Covid on the Brain

What’s causing the “Covid fog” and “long-haul Covid” that have been all over the news lately? Neuropsychologist Heidi Bender and infectious disease specialist Lish Ndhlovu explain how the virus is getting into the brain, what it does when it gets there, and how that affects cognition, emotions, and behavior. Plus… hear firsthand from a patient […]

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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 7: Calm Yourself!

Pain and fear are inevitable, especially these days, but we can retrain our brains to reduce suffering. Dr. Sara Lazar, Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, reveals how just eight weeks of mindful meditation can visibly change parts of the brain to be less reactive to pain. Plus… how meditation apps put the […]

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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 6: The Paradox of Dreams

More than an evolutionary waste of energy, dreams are one of the last mysteries of human cognition. Dr. Raphael Vallat, a neuroscientist and sleep researcher at UC Berkeley, explains what we know about what happens during REM sleep, why we have recurring nightmares, and even how that evening cocktail affects your dreams. Plus… the weirdest […]

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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 5: The “Art” of Making Decisions

A brain experiment on abstract vs representational art reveals the secrets of how we make decisions, and how we impulsive humans may finally learn to delay gratification. Psychologist Daphna Shohamy, Professor of Psychology at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University, explains “construal level theory” and what that means about art — and […]

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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 4: What’s So Funny?

Delve into a comedian’s brain to discover what makes people laugh — and when the comic is also a neuroscientist, it’s no joke! Dr.  Ori Amir  studies what goes on in the brain as jokes are born, and he’s also learned how to “get out of his head” to write some pretty funny stuff. Be afraid: He is working […]

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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 3: Are You Smarter Than a Teenage Neuroscientist?

Welcome to the International Brain Bee, where the innovators of tomorrow — most of them still too young to drive — are spending their days memorizing brain parts, studying neurons, and even dissecting cadaver brains. Meet Norbert Mylinski, who founded the worldwide competition, and Julianne McCall, a Brain Bee alum who is now ‎co-director of […]

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Podcast Season 2

S2 Episode 2: The Change Is Gonna Come: Menopause and the Brain

Menopause can wreak havoc on mood and body temperature as it signals the end of fertility, but some of the biggest changes it causes are in the brain. Emily Jacobs, assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at UC Santa Barbara, explains how the precipitous decline in estrogen during the “change of […]

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Podcast Season 1

S1 Episode 56: Genetics, Metabolism, and Alzheimer’s Disease

One in three cases of Alzheimer’s disease may be preventable, but some cases are quite predictable. Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains how scientists look at genetics, lifestyle, and medical history to evaluate an individual’s risk of developing the disease. Dr. Phil Stieg: This is Dr. Phil […]

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Podcast Season 1

S1 Episode 55: The Gut-Brain Connection

Episode 55: The Gut-Brain Connection Microbes in your intestine are talking to cells in your brain all the time – and what they say can affect everything from inflammatory diseases to psychiatric disorders. Microbiologist David Artis, PhD, and psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, explain the connection between your microbiota and your mind – and how […]

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Podcast Season 1

S1 Episode 54: Focus on ADHD

Diagnosing and treating attention deficit disorder can be tricky – not every hyperactive kid has ADHD, and some very calm children are extremely inattentive. Pediatric clinical neuropsychologist David Salsberg, PhD, explains what part of the brain is “asleep” in those with true ADHD, and how to identify kids who need intervention. Plus… when is medication […]