3D illustration of a male brain by kirstypargeter/iStock.
3D illustration of a male brain by kirstypargeter/iStock.

Connecting Our Brains, with Charles Liu

Credit: kirstypargeter/iStock.
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About This Episode

Brains, human and others, are fascinating machines that continue to reveal their mysteries as we study and understand more and more about them. On this episode of StarTalk All-Stars, astrophysicist Charles Liu, PhD, is back to host alongside comic co-host Chuck Nice as they investigate brains and answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries with neurophysiologist and science communicator Dr. Kiki Sanford, PhD. 

You’ll learn about Kiki’s science journey and how her early studies of birds peaked her interest in neuroscience. Find out if there are similarities between human brains and bird brains. We discuss the cleverness of crows and their ability to improvise. You’ll hear whether bird memories and human memories form and work with the same level of complexity. Kiki explains how we can apply the “try and fail” method and the innate curiosity of the animal kingdom to teaching young children. 

Investigate the phenomena of false memory. Explore how our brains interpret information. Discover new techniques being developed to change traumatic memories to non-traumatic memories. Find out why we might forget important things but remember useless things. Kiki tells us one of her most notable memories defending her dissertation. Learn whether neuroscience can be used to develop artificial intelligence. Is it possible to structure a computer the way our brains are structured? You’ll also hear about the IBM “memristor.” Kiki helps us understand the “invisible” aspect of mental health and why the medical community is ill-abled to address many mental health issues. We at how the individual parts of the brain come together to function as one unit. All that, plus, Kiki links the study and understanding of our brains to the vastness of the cosmic perspective.

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