Back to Top



12 Nov 2019

Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas

Sure, you might have a tongue piercing. But would you consider something far more extreme for a bump on the social ladder? In episode 62, we're joined by Dimitris Xygalatas from the University of Connecticut, who talks with us about how extravagant and painful rituals can foster greater subjective......
Listen to the episode...Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas
29 Oct 2019

Hearing Better than a Barn Owl – Saptarshi Das

How can what engineers learn from how barn owls pinpoint the location of the faintest sounds apply to their development of nanotechnologies capable of doing even better? In episode 61, we're joined by Saptarshi Das, a nano-engineer from Penn State University, who talks with us about his open-acces......
Listen to the episode...Hearing Better than a Barn Owl – Saptarshi Das
15 Oct 2019

Enduring Effects of Neurofeedback – Michelle Hampson

When real-time fMRI neurofeedback improves people's symptoms long after treatment, might that influence the guidance that's provided to patients, and also inform the design of future clinical trials? In episode 60, we're joined by Michelle Hampson from Yale University's School of Medicine. She dis......
Listen to the episode...Enduring Effects of Neurofeedback – Michelle Hampson
1 Oct 2019

Does Practice Make Perfect? – Brooke Macnamara

In striving to develop expertise, are 10,000 hours of deliberate practice really required, and must it be guided by a teacher or coach? In episode 59, we're joined by Brooke Macnamara from Case Western Reserve University. She'll discuss her attempted replication of the study which led to the mantr...
Listen to the episode...Does Practice Make Perfect? – Brooke Macnamara
17 Sep 2019

The Neuroscience of Terrorism – Nafees Hamid

What can brain scans of radicalized jihadists tell us about how they react to what they perceive as attacks on their sacred values? In episode 58, we're joined by Nafees Hamid from Artis International who talks with us about his article “Neuroimaging ‘will to fight’ for sacred values: an empirical...
Listen to the episode...The Neuroscience of Terrorism – Nafees Hamid
3 Sep 2019

Not-So Big Personality Traits? – Karen Macours

What changes when we attempt to measure personality outside of the contexts where the instruments were developed and validated? In episode 57, we're joined by Karen Macours from the Paris School of Economics about her research into practical issues with using a popular Big Five personality measure......
Listen to the episode...Not-So Big Personality Traits? – Karen Macours
20 Aug 2019

Taking Heat in Space – Naia Butler-Craig

How can a satellite the size of a loaf of bread take the heat of operating in the extreme conditions existing in space without overheating? In episode 56, we're joined by Naia Butler-Craig from the Georgia Institute of Technology to discuss her open access article “An investigation of the system a...
Listen to the episode...Taking Heat in Space – Naia Butler-Craig
6 Aug 2019

Fishing for Color – Zuzana Musilová

How do some fish see color in the black-and-white world of the ocean's depths? In episode 55, Zuzana Musilová, an evolutionary biologist at Charles University in Prague, discusses her research into the unique way that some fish in the deep ocean’s darkness may be able to see in color. Her article ...
Listen to the episode...Fishing for Color – Zuzana Musilová
23 Jul 2019

Collective Memories – Ida Momennejad & Ajua Duker

Can communication across networks of people be optimized to share information, while at the same time lessening the likelihood of information bubbles and echo chambers? In Episode 54, we're joined by Ida Momennejad and Ajua Duker from Columbia University and Yale University, respectively, to discu......
Listen to the episode...Collective Memories – Ida Momennejad & Ajua Duker
9 Jul 2019

Behind the Curtain of Algorithms – Been Kim

Might we be better able to understand what's going on inside the "black box" of machine learning algorithms? In episode 53, Been Kim from Google Brain talks with us about her research into creating algorithms that can explain why they make the recommendations they do via concepts that are relatabl......
Listen to the episode...Behind the Curtain of Algorithms – Been Kim