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 email@example.com, 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.
If you like our work, please try to support us! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. To learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org
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.
Love this show!!
So interesting and so well done. I learn so much.
Loved the episodes on humor and conversations!
I absolutely loved the recent episodes on humor and conversations. I’m wondering if you’d consider a part B to the conversations one with a focus on electronic conversations (IM and zoom calls) where we don’t have cues to guide us. We are all in this situation now and it’s getting increasingly difficult!
When Conversations Go Wrong
I love Hidden Brain and get so much out of most sessions. I just listened to the When Conversations Go Wrong episode. At the end of it, I thought about the difficulty my husband and I experience since his traumatic brain injury. The things she spoke about, cadence and perspective are definitely relevant. We also have some language challenges as he often struggles to find the word he’s seeking and I’m struggling to make sense of what he’s saying. We both get very frustrated especially since before his brain injury we were really good at communicating with one another. With so many people caring for loved ones with acquired brain injuries and/or dementia, I’m wondering if you can focus on those challenges as it relates to the “Hidden Brain” and how language comprehension can be altered. Thanks for such a thoughtful Podcast.