At one time or another, many of us feel stuck: in the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong city – the wrong life. Psychologists and self-help gurus have all kinds of advice for us when we feel rudderless. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore a new idea, from an unlikely source: Silicon Valley.
Tagged with “brain” (52)
About John Searle’s TED Talk
Philosopher John Searle argues that consciousness is what makes us human. He makes the case for studying consciousness and accepting it as a biological phenomenon.
Imagine that every time you met someone new, the moment they left the room you forgot you had ever spoken to them, and when they returned it was as if you had never seen them before. Imagine remembering your childhood, your parents, the history you learned in school, but never being able to form a new long term memory after the age of 27.
Welcome to the life of the famous amnesic patient “HM”, who had experimental surgery to relieve his terrible epilepsy, and woke up with a profound memory impairment. Neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin studied HM for almost half a century, and considered him a friend, even though he could never remember how he knew her. Suzanne gives us a glimpse of what daily life was like for him, and his tremendous contribution to our understanding of how our memories work.
Does our ability to talk about and believe in things that don’t exist explain our dominance over all other forms of life?
Can reading the mind allow us to use thought control to move artificial limbs?
Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, is one of the world’s leading researchers into using the mind to control machines. One of his aims is to build a suit that a quadriplegic person can wear and control so that he or she can kick a football at the opening of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. His lab is working on ways of providing a sense of touch to these limbs so that the prosthetics feel more like a part of a person’s body and less like an artificial appendage. Geoff Watts visits Nicolelis’ laboratory to see just how near we are to achieving his aim on the football pitch.
Michio Kaku is the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, a leader in the field of theoretical physics, and cofounder of string field theory. Kaku, the New York Times best-selling author of Physics of the Impossible, Physics of the Future and Hyperspace, discusses his new book The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind. With Dr. Kaku’s deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, The Future of the Mind is a scientific tour de force – an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience.
In his new cover article for National Geographic magazine, science writer Carl Zimmer explores the inner workings of the human mind, and delves into the latest technologies on mapping the brain and finding out what specific neurons do - including one neuron that’s only triggered by pictures of Jennifer Aniston. We talk with Zimmer about how far the science of the mind has come - and how far it still needs to go before we can answer questions about consciousness and free will.
Host: Michael Krasny
Guests: Christof Koch, chief science officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science Carl Zimmer, science writer who contributes frequently to National Geographic and The New York Times and three-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Journalism Award
This week’s edition is dedicated to the little understood phenomenon of "sleep paralysis": the experience of waking from sleep (or waking at the point of entering sleep) and being unable to move. It can be accompanied by hallucinations, fear, the sense of a "presence" in the room and the feeling of crushing pressure on the chest. People who have an episode of sleep paralysis will sometimes attribute it to something paranormal, such as attempted alien abduction.
Christopher French, professor of psychology at Goldsmiths College London, and film maker Carla MacKinnon came into the studio to discuss The Sleep Paralysis Project where artistic and scientific perspectives on the condition come together to shine a light on this neurological glitch in our normal waking pattern.
Suppose neuroscientists map the billions of neural circuits in the human brain….are we any closer to cracking the great existential mysteries - like meaning, purpose or happiness? Scientists, contemplatives and religious thinkers are now exploring the connections between neuroscience and contemplative practice, and creating a new science of mindfulness.
“What a drag it is getting old,” sang the Rolling Stones, back in the day. Oliver Sacks begs to differ.
The best-selling neurologist-author turned 80 last week. And he’s loving it. More leisure. More freedom. Freedom of time. Freedom of mind, heart, soul.
He can’t lift 600 pounds anymore, the way he did as a young body-builder in California. And he knows death comes closer, of course. But old age has not turned out grim for this famed thinker and writer. It’s fun.
This hour, On Point: Oliver Sacks on the joy of old age.
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