33 episodes

Filmmakers and writers don't always understand neuroscience - but we do! Kind of, anyways. Each episode, neurotech industry veterans Stephen Hou and Nick Halper discuss a work of fiction that involves neuroscience in some way. Nick and Stephen will dig into the plot, unpack the science/technology, and if necessary, mercilessly roast the filmmakers for scientific or cinematic missteps.

Neurratives - A Podcast about Neuroscience in Fiction Stephen Hou

    • Science

Filmmakers and writers don't always understand neuroscience - but we do! Kind of, anyways. Each episode, neurotech industry veterans Stephen Hou and Nick Halper discuss a work of fiction that involves neuroscience in some way. Nick and Stephen will dig into the plot, unpack the science/technology, and if necessary, mercilessly roast the filmmakers for scientific or cinematic missteps.

    Episode 28 - The Music Never Stopped | Bad babies get rabies

    Episode 28 - The Music Never Stopped | Bad babies get rabies

    Our hosts Nick and Stephen complete the trilogy of movies based on writings of Dr Oliver Sacks, with 2011's The Music Never Stopped. In this film, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles truly are the best medicine, as a severely brain-damaged patient and his estranged father bond over a shared love of music. How well does this movie depict memory and neurological damage? How does it stack up to our previous two Oliver Sacks movies? What on earth does our episode title mean? All this and more in this episode!

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Episode 27 - The Man With Two Brains |

    Episode 27 - The Man With Two Brains |

    "Boy, we're going to struggle for stuff to say," said an idiot, ten minutes into what ended up being a 92-minute podcast episode. Nick and Stephen jump back into the world of neurosurgery and kick off our Brain in a Vat miniseries, with The Man with Two Brains. In this 1983 comedy, Steve Martin plays a brilliant neurosurgeon who falls for a preserved brain, Anne, amidst his tumultuous marriage with the scheming Dolores, played by none other than the voice of Jessica Rabbit.

    Chaos ensues when Michael seeks a new body for Anne while dodging Dolores's plots and crossing paths with a notorious serial killer. Join us as we dissect this comedic rollercoaster where love, science, and a dash of the macabre intertwine.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Episode 26 - Lucy | The 10% myth, Part One

    Episode 26 - Lucy | The 10% myth, Part One

    Well we had to get to it at some point. In this episode of Neurratives, Nick and Stephen tackle the first of a yet-unspecified number of episodes that will tackle movies dealing with the myth that humans only use 10% of their brains. We'll be taking a look at 2014's Lucy, directed by Luc Besson, best known for Taken, Leon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element. The titular character played by podcast favorite Scarlett Johansson, is forced into being a drug mule and when she is exposed to an overdose of the drug, she 'unlocks' the rest of her brain. Predictably, things go completely off the rails. What do our two hosts make of the 10% myth and how it's portrayed in this movie? What brand of office chair can survive a 100% unlocked brain-fueled journey through space-time? What happens when an action movie director needs to set a scene during an academic symposium of some kind? All this and more on this episode!

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Episode 25 - Be More Chill | A BCI musical. Yes, really.

    Episode 25 - Be More Chill | A BCI musical. Yes, really.

    Well it turns out that a musical about a brain-computer interface made it to Broadway a few years ago and of course Stephen and Nick are contractually obligated to review it. In this episode about the 2019 Broadway musical Be More Chill, based on the young-adult novel by Ned Vizzini, our hosts dive into this goofy, very strange musical about a teenager who tries to use an AI BCI called a 'SQUIP' to become popular and the unexpected consequences that follow. What do we have to say about this show's take on BCI? Which one of our hosts hates red Mountain Dew and which one loves it? Why did this show make us feel old? Tune in for all of this and more!

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Episode 24 - Avatar: The Way of Water | A blue-tiful mind

    Episode 24 - Avatar: The Way of Water | A blue-tiful mind

    Enough of weird obscure old movies that Stephen digs up from the dregs of IMDB-it's time for a big commercial hit movie! The third-biggest commercial movie ever (as of recording) in fact! That's right, it's time for us to cover Avatar: The Way of Water. In the first Avatar movie, still the highest-grossing movie ever, we saw characters use brain-computer interfaces to remotely operate giant blue genetically-engineered bodies on a planet whose fauna is connected through a planet-wide neural gestalt consciousness. With the first movie laying that foundation, what fun new neuroscience will James Cameron's epic sci-fi sequel cover? Join Nick and Stephen as they talk whales, neurology referral pathways, and the Salt Lake valley east-west blood feud.

    • 2 hr 7 min
    Episode 23 - JUNG_E | Neuroethics is important, mmmkay

    Episode 23 - JUNG_E | Neuroethics is important, mmmkay

    The boys are back! After an unintentionally long hiatus, Nick and Stephen return with a discussion of Netflix's JUNG_E, directed by Yeon Sang-Ho (Train to Busan). In this film, a team of scientists struggles to perfect a combat AI using the neural data of a decorated military veteran. We'll explore the implications of this movie's world of loose, permissive neural data protection and connect it to real-world brain-computer interfaces. 

    Also, we power rank combat robots. You won't want to miss out.

    • 1 hr 21 min

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