Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
Josh Gitelson: My Unsung Hero
At the end of every episode, we take a moment to thank an Unsung Hero: someone who’s not on the staff of the show, but who went above and beyond in helping us out. In recent weeks, we've been asking you to share your own examples of someone who's made an impact on your life. This time, Josh Gitelson of State College, Pa., recalls a small gesture of kindness from a stranger on a plane.
Do you have a story of an unsung hero you want to share with our listeners? Tell us about it! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line "Unsung Hero." For some guidelines on what we're looking for, go to hiddenbrain.org/unsunghero.
One Head, Two Brains
Your brain is divided in two: a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere. In this 2019 episode of Hidden Brain, we dive into Iain McGilchrist's research on how the left and right hemispheres shape our perceptions. Iain argues that differences in the brain — and Western society's preference for what one hemisphere has to offer — have had enormous effects on our lives.
Deb Pierce: My Unsung Hero
In every episode of Hidden Brain, we thank an Unsung Hero — a colleague, a friend or a family member who has helped make our work possible from behind the scenes. Recently, we asked you to tell us about your own unsung heroes. This week, Deb Pierce of Newton, MA, remembers the woman who showed up at one of the hardest moments in her life.
Why Conversations Go Wrong
Do you ever struggle to communicate with your mom? Or feel like you and your spouse sometimes speak different languages? We talk with linguist Deborah Tannen about how our conversational styles can cause unintended conflicts, and what we can do to communicate more effectively with the people in our lives.
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Unsung Hero: A Cold Nevada Night
In every episode of Hidden Brain, we thank an Unsung Hero. Many listeners have written to say they love this segment, even sharing their own Unsung Heroes. Today, we're sharing one of those stories with you.
Hahaha! The average four-year-old child laughs 300 times a day. By contrast, it takes more than two months for the average 40-year-old adult to laugh that many times. This week, we talk with behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University about why so many of us fall off a “humor cliff” as we become adults. Plus, how we can inject more laughter into our lives, even during the most difficult of times.