170 episodes

Translating groundbreaking research into digestible brain food. Big Brains, little bites. Produced by the University of Chicago Podcast Network & Winner of CASE "Grand Gold" award in 2022, Gold award in 2021, and named Adweek's "Best Branded Podcast" in 2020.

Big Brains University of Chicago Podcast Network

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 381 Ratings

Translating groundbreaking research into digestible brain food. Big Brains, little bites. Produced by the University of Chicago Podcast Network & Winner of CASE "Grand Gold" award in 2022, Gold award in 2021, and named Adweek's "Best Branded Podcast" in 2020.

    Is Mindfulness The Secret To Health?

    Is Mindfulness The Secret To Health?

    Can you heal faster just by tricking your brain? Could you lose weight with only a change of mindset? Could you think yourself into being younger? If you think the answer to all these questions is no, you haven’t read the research from renowned Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer.

    Our podcast is taking a quick summer break, but we wanted to take this time to share some of our favorite episodes with you. The summer is a perfect time to take a step back, evaluate where we are in our lives, and perhaps even create new healthy habits. That's why we wanted to re-share our episode with Ellen Langer, one of the world's leading experts on mindfulness.

    Langer is a bit of a legend. She’s the first woman to ever receive tenure in psychology at Harvard, and her work has earned her the moniker: “The Mother of Mindfulness”. Her 40-year research career into the mind-body connection—and how mindfulness can hack that system—has delivered some unbelievable results that she believes hold the key to revolutionizing our health. She complies all of her work in her latest book “The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health.”

    • 33 min
    Feeling Stuck? Here’s How To Achieve a Breakthrough, with Adam Alter

    Feeling Stuck? Here’s How To Achieve a Breakthrough, with Adam Alter

    We've all been stuck at some point in our lives — whether we've been stuck at a job and wanting to make a career change, stuck in a location and wanting to move somewhere new, or stuck in relationships or friendships. But the method to getting “unstuck” and achieving a breakthrough might be easier than you think.

    Using research-backed tools, New York University's Adam Alter shares his tips for how to get unstuck in his new book, Anatomy of a Breakthrough. Alter shares success stories from some of the world's most successful people, and explains how altering your thoughts and habits could lead you on a better path to success. Alter is a professor of marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business and the Robert Stansky Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellow.

    • 33 min
    What Makes Something Memorable (or Forgettable?) with Wilma Bainbridge

    What Makes Something Memorable (or Forgettable?) with Wilma Bainbridge

    There is a science to what we remember and what we don't. For instance, why do we remember certain pieces of artwork, some brands’ logos, or even people's faces? University of Chicago psychologist Wilma Bainbridge has been studying what makes things memorable for over a decade. Through her research, she has found that there is a common thread about what most people remember—and even what we remember incorrectly (a phenomenon called the Mandela effect)—but most recently, why some visuals are intrinsically more memorable.

    Bainbridge directs the Brain Bridge Lab, where her team has created a machine learning model called ResMem, which can predict the memorability of faces, artwork and more. They have tested their AI tool in real-life settings, like the Art Institute of Chicago, with hopes that similar memorability tools could be used in educational settings, criminal justice, science and medicine.

    • 26 min
    Learning To Speak To Whales Using AI, with David Gruber

    Learning To Speak To Whales Using AI, with David Gruber

    If aliens landed on Earth tomorrow, how would we talk with them? Well, we already have a kind of creature on this planet we could attempt to talk to first, and in the last few years a team of renowned scientists have been exploring the ocean studying sperm whales to get that conversation going.

    David Gruber is a professor of biology and environmental science at CUNY and the founder of Project CETI, an interdisciplinary scientific initiative that is using the latest developments in AI to understand, and possibly communicate with, sperm whales. The day when we break the cross-species communication barrier may be here sooner than you think. Just this year CETI managed to decode what could be called a sperm whale “alphabet”.

    • 26 min
    Storm Warning: Why Hurricanes Are Growing Beyond Measure, with Michael Wehner

    Storm Warning: Why Hurricanes Are Growing Beyond Measure, with Michael Wehner

    We all know that extreme weather events like hurricanes are getting worse due to climate change, but what scientists would really like to know is: By how much worse exactly? This year a team of researchers argued that hurricanes have become so much more extreme due to climate change that we need to add a new category 6 to the Saffir-Simpson scale, which measures the wind speed of hurricanes.

    One of those scientists was Michael Wehner from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Using the latest and fastest computers to model how a warming world is reshaping extreme weather events, Wehner is leading a new realm of climate modeling called "end-to-end attribution." This would allow us to not only understand how much worse disastrous weather is becoming but even quantify that difference in terms of damage and destruction.

    • 27 min
    How To Manifest Your Future Using Neuroscience, with James Doty

    How To Manifest Your Future Using Neuroscience, with James Doty

    We've all heard the phrase "Manifest Your Destiny" when it comes to wanting that new promotion, figuring out a new career path or just trying to achieve that long-term goal. It turns out that the act of manifestation is not merely pseudoscience—it actually has a body of research in neuroscience to back it up. Dr. James Doty has been exploring this topic throughout his career; and offers scientific research as well as tools on how to manifest your goals in his new book, Mind Magic: The Neuroscience of Manifestation and How It Changes Everything.

    James Doty is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University, where is also the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. He explores how manifestation is not only a tool to achieve what we want, but it is also fundamentally about being selfless and caring for others in order to activate our deep internal happiness.

    Link to the advertised Chicago Booth Review Podcast: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/review/podcast?source=cbr-sn-bbr-camp:podcast24-202405/02

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
381 Ratings

381 Ratings

muzakmaestro ,

Wonderful pod!

Very digestible interesting and informative - keep up the great work!

Royce1629 ,

Great show!

It's informative, interesting, and approachable! A great way to communicate complicated science topics to people who are far busier than is probably good for us.

MikeyhePlumber ,

#1 Podcast in the world

Best Podcast I have listened to in a long time very informative and interesting!

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