DiscoverInner Cosmos with David Eagleman
Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman
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Inner Cosmos with David Eagleman

Author: iHeartPodcasts

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Neuroscientist and author David Eagleman discusses how our brain interprets the world and what that means for us. Through storytelling, research, interviews, and experiments, David Eagleman tackles wild questions that illuminate new facets of our lives and our realities.
29 Episodes
Are there really dozens of words for snow in northern cultures? What did the movie Arrival have to do with language and cognition? Why are Russians better than Americans at distinguishing certain shades of blue? And what does any of this have to do with space, time, gender, and how your language influences your thought? Join Eagleman and his guest, cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky, as they take a deep dive into the intersection of words and understanding.
Can your thoughts be read with neurotechnology? When is measuring the brain like reading the mind? How close or far are we from being able to know if you're thinking about some particular thing you did or intend to do? What's hype and what's real? Join Eagleman for a deep dive into mind reading: what it means, where we are now, and whether your thoughts could ever be readable with new technologies.
We all know people who hate the word "moist". But why are they fine with synonyms such as "damp" or "wet"? What’s going on in their brains, and what does this have to do with synesthesia, autism, shapes, slacks, and sound probabilities? Join this week's episode as Eagleman leads us into the new and wild world of word aversion.
Why are we humans so easily deceived? What are the tricks of the trade, and how can we train ourselves to be more aware of them? What does all this have to do with Theranos, forged letters, and the shell game? Although you presumably wouldn't cheat a stranger out of all her money, there are people who would -- so how can we beef up our immunity against deception? Join Eagleman with guests Christopher Chabris and Dan Simons to discuss their new book, Nobody's Fool.
Why do you still feel the waves after getting off a boat? Why does the wall seem to come at you faster after you step off the treadmill? Why do the rocks seem to move upward after you stare at a waterfall? Why did people in the 1980s think their book pages had some red color in them… but no one thought that before or after the 80s? And what does any of this have to do with drugs, heartbreak, yellow sunglasses, or Aristotle watching a horse stuck in a river? Join Eagleman to understand how the brain constantly readjusts its circuitry to best read the world, and what it means for our (sometimes strange) perceptions of what's out there.
If we meet extraterrestrials someday, how will we figure out what they're saying? We currently face this problem right here at home: we have 2 million species of animals on our planet... and we have no Google Translate for any of them. We’re not having conversations with (or listening to podcasts by) anyone but ourselves. Join Eagleman and his guest Aza Raskin to see the glimmer of a pathway that might get us to animal translation, and relatively soon. 
Why do briefly glimpsed people appear to be more attractive? Why did portrait photographers put Vaseline on their lenses, and what does that have to do with Instagram filters? Why are thirsty people more likely to perceive something as transparent? And what does any of that have to do with mating, optimal decision making, puberty, frogs, and movie stars? In this episode, Eagleman gets us to view the familiar as strange as we examine beauty, instincts, and what drives us.
Would you torture someone if you were commanded by an authority figure? To what degree are your decisions contextual, and what does this have to do with matching the length of a line, the Iroquois Native Americans, the banality of evil, soldiers posing with dead bodies of their enemies, propaganda, giving shocks to a stranger, or how we should educate our children? Join Eagleman for part 2 of the exploration into brains, dehumanization, and what we can do to improve our possible future.
Why do we so naturally form ingroups and outgroups? And what does that have to do with evolution, monkeys, Greeks, psychopaths, Syndrome E, and propaganda posters? Join Eagleman to learn why our brains are so wired for tribalism, what the consequences are for the world, and how a bit of knowledge goes a long way to making us more immune to propaganda. 
How good is your memory, really? Why do we feel so certain about our memory, even while it is so suspect? Can something told to you after an event change your memory of the event? Why is it so hard to reconstruct a face? Is there a relationship between confidence and accuracy? How is your ability to remember a scene changed if there's a gun pointed at you? Join Eagleman to find out why eyewitness testimony is the most questionable technology we allow in courts.
How would we know if we were living in a simulation? What if you were a butterfly having a dream it was a human? What does any of this have to do with John Lennon, or Renee Descartes, or freezing yourself in a vat of liquid nitrogen? How will we eventually solve the problem that human bodies can’t do space travel? Join Eagleman for a wild ride into the strange possibility of making brains immortal.
How do your billions of tiny brain cells build consciousness as they chatter away with electrical spikes and chemical signals? And why is your laptop, with its sophisticated algorithms and billions of parts, presumably not conscious? Could other large systems like a city become conscious? And what does this have to do with ant hills, blue birds, or your memory of your first kiss? Join Eagleman on a journey into one of the central mysteries of neuroscience: why we have awareness.
Why is there so much polarization, and what does this have to do with neuroscience? Why do people on all sides of the political spectrum feel that if they could shout loudly enough in all caps on Twitter, everyone would come to see they’re right? And what does any of this have to do with literature, genetics, nobleman Lord Gordon, bumperstickers, visualization, or the Iroquois Native Americans? Join as Eagleman draws from distant fields to show why we always feel so certain we know the truth.
When does neuroscience overlap with the legal system? Do we have free will or don't we? Did changes in Charles Whitman's brain have something to do with him becoming a mass shooter? Why was the heir to the Gucci fashion fortune killed by his wife? Join Eagleman on a wild journey to understand what happens when the study of the brain and the law end up in the same courtroom.
Who is doing the choosing when you make a choice? Is there someone in your head but it’s not you? What is a chicken-sexer, and what do they have to do with British plane spotters during WWII? Do we have free will or don’t we? Dive in to discover the ways in which you typically operate with no conscious access to your behaviors.
How far in the past do you live? Why are live television shows not actually live? What does any of this have to do with nuclear bombs, car accidents, plane crashes, volcanos, or the last episode of the Sopranos? Join Eagleman in a mind-bending dive into the neuroscience of time and what it could mean for your last moment.
Can a blind person come to see through her tongue? What would it be like to smell with the nose of a dog? How can we perceive streams of information that are normally invisible to us? And what does any of this have to do with pilots or Westworld or tinnitus or friendly fire or a wristband with vibratory motors? We don't detect most of the action going on in the world around us... and today we'll explore how technology might change that.
Why are some of the best musicians blind? Can blind people learn how to echolocate, like a bat? What do your nightly dreams have to do with the rotation of the planet? Once we find alien life on other planets, should we expect that aliens have dreams at night? Find out why dreaming might be the strange lovechild of brain plasticity.
What do charlatans have to understand about human perception? Why are you so bad at recognizing a real penny among fakes? What did Eagleman have to do with the redesign of the Euro, and why did he campaign to the European Central Bank that all their bills should be blank with a single hologram in the middle? In this episode, explore the crossroads of perception and deception. Brief appearance from special guest Adam Savage. 
We all have goals, and we all face temptations that get in the way. So what's happening in the brain when we act in a manner that isn't in accordance with who we want to be? Computers don’t have these problems, but being human can be tough. In the previous two episodes we exposed the rivaling networks battling it out under the surface. Today we’re going to talk about the gap between what you intend to do and what you actually do when temptation is there. 
Comments (12)

Sama Aghlmand

09:02 You're absolutely right. I think when he is 7, he has an imaginary friend. but when 13, he has an imaginary monster *nothing changed in outside world The main topic is inside world.. the "line" means line. But friend and monster have different opinion

Aug 22nd

Sama Aghlmand

I really wanna to be a participant of that experiment and say lie.. after it, scream Ohhhhh! electrical shock really hurted me, it was funny buddy... I'll continue to lie and you can't put me under pressure and convince me to tell the truth. just enjoy this awesome pain😂

Aug 15th

Sama Aghlmand

In addition to the existing content, you choose the title of each episode in the best way. It makes your podcast unique (If we don't consider the ads in the middle of each episode!)

Aug 8th

Sama Aghlmand

07:40 I have to note this quote

Aug 8th

Sama Aghlmand

30:42 Oh mannnn🤯 how amazing and scary!

Jul 28th

Sama Aghlmand

27:32 That's the darkest part. So, in my opinion we can't enjoy the future (10:25) now!

Jul 28th


good one! I laughed how the episode en

Jun 23rd

Eric Magnuson

David Eagleman is by far my favorite science communicator. And this podcast definitely doesn’t disappoint!

May 29th

Parsa Habibi

a nice and complet episode 👌 🦆

May 11th


Fascinating! Thanks

Apr 17th

Ilgar Adeli

What ending! Simple(not easy) way to live longer

Apr 3rd

Kwabena Brako


Mar 30th
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