Extended Classic: “Are You Out of Your Mind?” with Oliver Sacks

Photo Credit: Adam Scourfield.

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About This Episode

Now extended with exclusive, never-before-heard content, in which Neil and his recently departed friend Oliver Sacks talk about evolution, religion and atheism, and compare a sense of wonder and awe towards the natural world with belief in the supernatural.

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.”

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Extended Classic: “Are You Out of Your Mind?” with Oliver Sacks.

 

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