Meet Your Mind: A User's Guide to the Science of Consciousness

Aug 20, 2012

Coming soon is a series of six one-hour programs brought to you by To the Best of Our Knowledge, the Peabody Award-winning public radio show about ideas. The mystery of consciousness -- what it is, where it comes from, how it works -- is like a big ball of string. Pull one end and as it unravels, one question leads to another: What is thinking and how do we do it? Is the mind the same as the brain? Are animals conscious? Can machines think? Is there a neuroscience of creativity? And what does all this brain science tell us about the most personal question of all: Who am "I"?

Want to explore along with us? Here's some of what you'll hear in "Meet Your Mind: A User's Guide to the Science of Consciousness":

  • Part 1: "Mind and Brain" - tackles the mystery of how the physical "stuff" – the three pounds of wetware in our brains - produces mental experiences.
  • Part 2: "Memory and Forgetting" - the science of memory and forgetting; how to build a memory palace, and how to erase a thought.
  • Part 3: "Wiring the Brain" - examines the connections between different parts of the brain, and how this shapes our intuition, insight and analytical thinking.
  • Part 4: "The Creative Brain" - what is creative genius? the neuroscience of jazz, art and other creative endeavors.
  • Part 5: "Extraordinary Minds" - from savants to cyborgs, some brains are wired differently, giving us a glimpse of new kinds of human potential.
  • Part 6: "Higher Consciousness" - explores the spiritual dimensions of consciousness, from psychedelics to religious experience and contemplative practice.

You'll hear a stellar lineup of interviews, including neuroscientists Oliver Sacks, Richard Davidson, Eric Kandel, Christof Koch, David Eagleman, Jill Bolte Taylor, Michael Gazzaniga and Sebastian Seung; psychiatrists and psychologists Daniel Kahneman, Susan Blackmore, Giulio Tononi and Iain McGilchrist; philosophers Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, Alva Noe and Ken Wilber; writers and musicians Lynda Barry, Vijay Iyer, Daniel Levitin, Andre Aciman, Joshua Foer and Sy Montgomery; and visionary thinkers Ray Kurzweil, Matthieu Ricard, Karen Armstrong and Stanislav Grof.

Listen to Sample Interviews