StarTalk Live: Big Brains at BAM (Part 3)

You Can Also Listen On

About This Episode

Join host Neil deGrasse Tyson and our guest neuroscientists Mayim Bialik and Dr. Heather Berlin as we complete our exploration of the human mind, from the cutting edge – hyperscanning, to the hypothetical – telepathy and telekinesis, to the unthinkable – eugenics. Together with co-host Eugene Mirman and guests Bill Nye, Michael Ian Black and Paul Rudd, you’ll explore neuroethics, savant syndrome, spindle cells, animal consciousness and déjà vu. Learn about the use of ketamine and ecstasy for therapy. Find out if free will is an illusion, and whether the quantum theory of consciousness is scientifically based or a misapplication of physics. Plus, Heather and Mayim, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, discuss the complicated process of humor and the neural basis for comedy, creativity and improvisation.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: StarTalk Live: Big Brains at BAM (Part 3).

In This Episode

Music in This Episode

Related Episodes

Episode Topics

  • Guilherme

    Neil kinda screams when he feels he is going to be interrupted. That’s annoying =s

  • Barry

    Michio Kaku talks a lot about neural signatures, artificial telekinesis and telepathy in Future of the Mind. Great book for pondering future developments in brain science.

  • One thing for sure is that, you cannot have consciousness without having mass. Right?

  • And please have Sam Harris, also Brian Greene as guests on a Startalk episode?

  • Also, I don’t think consciousness is a stock variable, it should be a flow variable, strongly correlated with energy (or mass) but not sure about the direction of causation. Btw, that 9-year old kid is more smart than all my attempts of smartness added over my entire 26 year lifetime.

  • rayhana

    Also, I don’t think consciousness is a stock variable, it should be a flow variable, strongly correlated with energy (or mass) but not sure about the direction of causation. Btw, that 9-year old kid is more smart than all my attempts of smartness added over my entire 26 year lifetime.

  • Steve Gresham

    38:40 there is a LOT of people on death-row that was asked by cops, in any case,”what happened?” Then years later asked again the same questions… Then convicted, because the story changed. REMEMBER NEVER TALK TO COPS, they are not there to find innocence.
    Always get a layer.

  • Steve Gresham

    38:40 there is a LOT of people on death-row that was asked by cops, in any case,”what happened?” Then years later asked again the same questions… Then convicted, because the story changed. REMEMBER NEVER TALK TO COPS, they are not there to find innocence.
    Always get a layer.

  • Steve Gresham

    I loved the little girl at the end of the show. It is always nice to see children having an interest in science. I hope she never stops asking question.

  • Nice to hear a VNV Nation song pop up! Make sure you get ‘the farthest star’ in a future show! 😀

  • David Genge

    Who said “Whereof we do not know, thereof we ought not speak”? People use the word “consciousness” without being possessed of a good definition of it. If you think you have a good definition (and of course you know what it is because you are conscious right now (I mean if you’re not, then you’re not reading this))) then try writing it down (without using similes, like ‘aware’ or ‘awake’). I predict that you will struggle mightily and end unsatisfied with your essay. The best attempt I have ever found was in a book titled “Gödel, Escher, Bach”, subtitled “An Eternal Golden Braid” (or GEB or EGB) tagline “a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll”. This book is by far the most intellectually stimulating, humerous and entertaining of all the books I have ever read (it did win the Pulitzer (and when I scanned through the list of all Pulitzer winning books to find more like that I was quite disappointed for I found none)). When you finish it you will have a pretty good grasp of what you are, what consciousness is and you will be able to understand everything in movies like “The Matrix” the first time you watch them. (achhh! What am I saying! There are no movies like The Matrix). Warning! If you do read that book you will very likely finish it having lost your belief in souls. As an accompaniment you might also find a book about the evolution of consciousness extraordinarily enlightening. I’m talking about “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” which outlines a very (very) convincing theory that explains why people believe in souls and gods and why music and poetry grip the mind and why schizophrenics hear voices and how the invention of writing helped trigger the emergence of self consciousness and and lots and lots of other cool stuff. These two books are must reading for everyone!

    • Vex

      We invented the word. You can not claim to know that there is a definition for a word we made that is beyond what we made the word for. You just assert that consciousness isn’t what we define it as, it is some unknown definition, and then you can use that to accept ANYTHING you want. You can accept the matrix or anything like that… probably why it is all (so far) bollocks.

  • David Genge

    Who said “Whereof we do not know, thereof we ought not speak”? People use the word “consciousness” without being possessed of a good definition of it. If you think you have a good definition (and of course you know what it is because you are conscious right now (I mean if you’re not, then you’re not reading this))) then try writing it down (without using similes, like ‘aware’ or ‘awake’). I predict that you will struggle mightily and end unsatisfied with your essay. The best attempt I have ever found was in a book titled “Gödel, Escher, Bach”, subtitled “An Eternal Golden Braid” (or GEB or EGB) tagline “a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll”. This book is by far the most intellectually stimulating, humerous and entertaining of all the books I have ever read (it did win the Pulitzer (and when I scanned through the list of all Pulitzer winning books to find more like that I was quite disappointed for I found none)). When you finish it you will have a pretty good grasp of what you are, what consciousness is and you will be able to understand everything in movies like “The Matrix” the first time you watch them. (achhh! What am I saying! There are no movies like The Matrix). Warning! If you do read that book you will very likely finish it having lost your belief in souls. As an accompaniment you might also find a book about the evolution of consciousness extraordinarily enlightening. I’m talking about “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” which outlines a very (very) convincing theory that explains why people believe in souls and gods and why music and poetry grip the mind and why schizophrenics hear voices and how the invention of writing helped trigger the emergence of self consciousness and and lots and lots of other cool stuff. These two books are must reading for everyone!

  • Mike

    Oingo Boingo!
    Thank you for that surprise morsel of audio happiness!

  • Mark Brown

    Will the video asset be released eventually? I’m fiending to see this AMAZING PANEL interact-

    • startalkradio

      Yes.

      • Mark Brown

        Thank you STR! My wife and I look forward to watching it. Please be well!

  • Hey Neil! I am an autodidact, check this out… http://www.simulationism.net/

  • robjla

    Cool i wanna go hope its not too late

    • startalkradio

      Robjla, it is unfortunately too late. The live show took place on February 24, 2014.

    • Robjla, it is unfortunately too late. The live show took place on February 24, 2014.

  • Lawrence Gillespie

    So informative and entertaining. How funny is Eugene Mirman.

  • McKenna Disciple

    I was disappointed with the audience when they laughed at the mere mentioning of the words psychedelics and hallucinogens

You Can Also Listen On

Music in This Episode