December 24, 2018 7:28 pm

Tuesday, Spend the Holidays with Charles Liu, Chuck Nice, and Dr. Kiki as We Explore Brains on StarTalk All-Stars

Has someone ever called you a bird brain? Well, if so, it’s your lucky day. On the final episode of StarTalk All-Stars this season, astrophysicist and host Charles Liu, PhD, is back alongside comic co-host Chuck Nice to explore brains – human and others – with neurophysiologist and science communicator Dr. Kiki Sanford, PhD.

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

Credit: kirstypargeter/iStock.

Kiki tells us about her science origin story and how she began studying the brain all because of her interest in birds. Kiki takes us through the memory of defending her dissertation and why she thinks that we can learn from the try and fail nature and innate curiosity taking place in the animal kingdom. Find out if birds have the same memory capabilities or other similarities to humans, and Kiki explains why being called a bird brain can be taken as a compliment.

You’ll learn about the emergent properties of complex systems and how individual parts of the brain function together to make an amazing mechanism. We explore the phenomena of false memories. We discuss new techniques being worked on that can change traumatic memories to non-traumatic memories.

Are you someone who can remember useless information like jingles and factoids but forget important information like the name of your best friend and your mother’s birthday? Kiki gives us the scoop on why that happens. We investigate if neuroscience can be used to develop artificial intelligence. Find out more about the IBM “memristor.”

Lastly, we dive into mental health as Kiki helps us understand the “invisible” aspect of mental health and why the medical communities are ill-equipped to address many mental health issues. All that, plus, Kiki links our understanding of the brain to the cosmic perspective.

Please join us tomorrow night for Connecting Our Brains, with Charles Liu at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

Two Important Notes: First, we want to extend a special thanks to MyRadar App, for sponsoring All-Stars this season. Without their support, we might not have been able to bring you as many deep dives into serious scientific subjects as we did this year. And second, StarTalk All-Stars will be going on hiatus after Tuesday’s episode. Until we return in 2019, please enjoy our wonderful back catalog of episodes and stay curious!

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen