Head and Brain image from "Are You Out of Your Mind" with Oliver Sacks, Neil deGrasse Tyson
Head and Brain image from "Are You Out of Your Mind" with Oliver Sacks, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Are You Out of Your Mind?

Image credit: University of California, Davis.

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About This Episode

The brain’s 100 billion neurons speak to each other by chemical and electrical signaling, and this complicated communication provides us with everything we know and defines who we are. But when it is led astray, we can end up with false memories, hallucinations, and many other misunderstandings of the world around us. Learn about the role of the hippocampus in memory, the effects of LSD on the brain, the possible medical uses of LSD and other psychotropic drugs, and what a 19th century railroad worker named Phineas Gage can teach us about traumatic brain injuries.

Oliver Sacks, author of best-selling books on brain disorders, including “Awakenings” which was made into an Oscar-nominated film, discusses some strange cerebral shenanigans that can shape our senses. Neil is also joined by Cara Santa Maria, a science educator with a background in neuroscience, and the comedian Chuck Nice, whose mother used to tell him that “he ain’t right in the head”

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  • Matt

    What area of the brain is responsible for the feeling of doubt?

    Ever time i doubt something i have a weird tingling sensation in the back of my head, which is why i thought i’d ask.

    I know it’s an old thread but please, if you read this any information would be fantastic!

    • Hmm. Well doubt could be related to anxiety, because doubt means you are being skeptical of something for fear of/no desire to have any info that is incorrect since wrong information could be bad for you. So maybe it arises in part from the amygdala? The amygdala is largely responsible for fear/emotional response. Or it could be the hypothalamus, or from the activity of both. I’m only a neuroscience undergrad so I’m not sure–take this
      with a grain of salt! 😀

    • Hmm. Well doubt could be related to anxiety, because doubt means you are being skeptical of something for fear of/no desire to have any info that is incorrect since wrong information could be bad for you. So maybe it arises in part from the amygdala? The amygdala is largely responsible for fear/emotional response. Or it could be the hypothalamus, or from the activity of both. I’m only a neuroscience undergrad so I’m not sure–take this
      with a grain of salt! 😀

  • daniel green

    Cognitive neuroscience I believe is the next step for the world around us.
    I’ve become quite interested also integrating biotechnology . Both of these fields together could
    bring a new type of science that we can’t even begin to fathom as a species.

  • Stacie

    This girl’s really educated and all, but you should know she’s hot. Because obviously it’s really impressive when someone is attractive and still intelligent -_-

  • Milou
  • Ocelot

    I know… but he’s a comedian. Perhaps if he knew the challenges faced by women in science he might not have said that.

  • Ocelot

    Apparently NDT has never tried Amphetamine while doing math.

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