Month: December 2018

Loss and Renewal

Maya Shankar was well on her way to an extraordinary career as a violinist when an injury closed that door. She eventually found a new path forward in a very different field.

Compassion

This week, we look at the science of compassion, and why doing good things for others can make a big difference in your own life.

Radio Replay: Yum and Yuck

We dig into the psychology that determines the foods that make us salivate and the scents that make us squirm.

Alan Alda Wants Us To Have Better Conversations

Arguments and bickering can sour family gatherings during the holiday season. This week, we share tips on how to avoid miscommunication from our January 2018 conversation with actor Alan Alda. You might know him from his roles on television shows like M*A*S*H, The West Wing and 30 Rock, but in recent years Alda has also focused on helping scientists, and the rest of us, communicate better. His book is If I Understood You, WouldI Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating.

Starving the Watchdog

When a newspaper shuts down, there are obvious costs to the community it serves: job losses, fewer local stories. But new research suggests there’s another consequence that’s harder to spot—one that comes with a hefty price tag for residents. This week on Hidden Brain we ask, who bears the cost when nobody wants to pay? For more information about the research in this episode, visit https://n.pr/2zSPraS.

Spoiler Alert

Why do we always fall for surprise endings? It turns out that our capacity to be easily fooled in books and movies is made possible by a handful of predictable mental shortcuts. We talk this week with Vera Tobin, one of the world’s first cognitive scientists to study plot twists. She says storytellers have been exploiting narrative twists and turns for millennia — and that studying these sleights of hand can give us a better understanding of the contours of the mind.


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