Neuroscience

The Dark Side of Neuroplasticity

When you hear the word “neuroplasticity,” you probably think of it in terms of a young brain’s ability to learn or an older brain’s struggles to rebound from injury. The possibility of a neuroplasticity-boosting drug remains one of medicine's true holy grails, but is there a dark side? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the balance of plasticity and stability in the human mind. 

Listener Mail: Kingdom of the Face Blind

What's it like to live with prosopagnosia or face blindness? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they devote an entire Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode to listener thoughts, observations and experiences. 

From the Vault: Tip of the Tongue

Your know the feeling. You're trying to recall the name of a time-keeping musical device or the the actor who played Fredo in 'The Godfather' and all that comes to mind is a memory-hole in the shape of a metronome or John Cazale. It's on the tip of your tongue and it's a universal experience of memory retrieval. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss the science of TOT phenomenon and what you can do to prevent it. (Originally published April 14, 2016)

From the Vault: Techno-Telepathy

You've always wanted to meet a sensitive alien telepath who could understand you like no one else, but SETI is really dropping the ball on your galactic personal ad. Could new technologies that push the frontiers of brain science allow telepathic communication between humans? Join Robert and Joe as they make a case for the slogan, 'Talk is cheap. Scan me!' (Previosuly published Dec. 22, 2015)

From the Vault: The Stone of Madness

Madness has always intrigued artists, and medieval paintings sometimes presented this malady's treatment via the surgical removal of cranial stone. What was the stone of madness? Was it mere fantasy, metaphor or an actual medical condition? In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe collect their trepanation tools and investigate. (Originally published Jan 7, 2016)

This Present Moment: Philosophy & Neuroscience

What is now? What is the present moment? These questions continue to stagger us, for nothing is so simultaneously familiar and alien than the passage of time. Nothing seems more “real” to us that the present, yet it vanishes into nothing at every attempt to capture or quantify it. In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe dive into the experience, physics, philosophy and neuroscience of now.

This Present Moment: Experience and Physics

What is now? What is the present moment? These questions continue to stagger us, for nothing is so simultaneously familiar and alien than the passage of time. Nothing seems more “real” to us that the present, yet it vanishes into nothing at every attempt to capture or quantify it. In this special two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe dive into the experience, physics, philosophy and neuroscience of now.

Creepypasta 4: More SCP, Polybius and Grifter

Dive into a world of indestructible reptiles, killer video games, bizarre god towers and haunted video tapes as Robert and Christian take on a fourth helping of creepypasta. Join them on Stuff to Blow Your Mind as they seek scientific, psychological and cultural connections between the Internet’s weirdest fiction-shrouded urban legends and the human condition.

Laughing During Horror Movies

Have you ever heard inappropriate laughter during a horror movie? For that matter, are you the guilty party? Join Robert and Christian as they explore our curious reactions to frightful cinema and how horror and comedy converge in the human mind.

Shared False Memories and The Mandela Effect

If you’ve ever reminisced with friends about movies that never existed or historical details that never came to pass, then you’ve experienced the weirdness of shared false memories. Also known as the Mandela Effect, it’s led some to interpret erroneous memories of 90s Sinbad movies as paranormal events. But as Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, it all boils down to the complex, amazing and fallible way our memory works.