October 6, 2017 – How Emotions Are Made

My guest on this program is Lisa Feldman Barrett, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in psychiatry and radiology. She received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on emotion in the brain. She is the author most recently of How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, in which she disputes the prevailing view that emotion and reason are at odds. She argues that emotion is not hardwired, but is constructed by our brains and our bodies as we go along. In addition, emotions are not cross-culturally universal-e.g. fear does not live in the amygdala-and there are no body patterns or changes, or patterns of brain activity that specifically and solely identify any one emotion. Her work in this area has been termed a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics, and natural selection in biology. The book reveals the latest research and intriguing practical applications of the new science of emotion, mind, and brain.

July 7, 2017 – The Knowledge Illusion

My guest on this program is professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University, Steven Sloman. He is the editor in chief of the journal Cognition, and his recent book is The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. In this book, he and his co-author Philip Fernbach, argue that intelligence and knowledge are fundamentally communal in nature, and despite how well we might be individually educated, none of us is as smart as we think we are.

April 24, 2015: Mind & Media

My guest on this program is UCLA Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Patricia Greenfield. Her central theoretical and research interest is in the relationship between culture and human development and she sees media as a key component of modern culture. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of an Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cultural and Contextual Factors in Child Development from the Society for Research in Child Development. We’ll be talking about her classic book, Mind and Media: The Effects of Television, Video Games, and Computers.

February 13, 2015 – Trying Not to Try: The Art & Science of Spontaneity

My guest today is Edward Slingerland, professor of Asian Studies and the Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia. He is an internationally renowned expert in Chinese thought, comparative religion, and cognitive science. He has written more than 20 academic articles, and Continue reading

January 30, 2015 – Mind Change

This program has been re-scheduled for May 22, 2015.

The guest on this program is Susan Greenfield, neuroscientist, broadcaster, and bestselling author. Her most recent book is Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains. She is also a senior research fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a member of Continue reading

December 19, 2014 – Spirituality Without Religion

This program features a conversation with Sam Harris, author of numerous best-selling books, cofounder and CEO of Project Reason, and author most recently of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Dr. Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. He is often associated with the Continue reading

October 10, 2014 – Psychology & Adolescence

This program features a conversation with Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Temple University. He is a nationally recognized expert on parent-child relations and psychological development during adolescence, and the author of the leading Continue reading

September 26, 2014 – Consciousness and the Social Brain

This program features a conversation with Michael Graziano, Professor of Neuroscience at Princeton University. Author of several non-fiction books, his most recent is Consciousness and the Social Brain, in which he presents a theory for how the brain produces consciousness. He has also written novels, children’s books, and music.

Previous books:
God Soul Mind Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Reflections on the Spirit World
The Divine Farce
The Love Song of Monkey

June 20, 2014 – A Case of Identity

On this program, we talk with Jennifer Ouellette, science writer and author most recently of Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior.

Continue reading

October 11, 2013 – Who Are We?

My guest on this program is Patricia Churchland, author most recently of Touching a Nerve: The Self As Brain. She is a professor emerita of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for her pioneering work in neurophilosophy. She has written many books (some listed below), and her work explores the impact of scientific developments on our understanding of consciousness, the self, Continue reading