(Getty Images)

In his new cover article for National Geographic magazine, science writer Carl Zimmer explores the inner workings of the human mind, and delves into the latest technologies on mapping the brain and finding out what specific neurons do – including one neuron that’s only triggered by pictures of Jennifer Aniston. We talk with Zimmer about how far the science of the mind has come – and how far it still needs to go before we can answer questions about consciousness and free will.

Guests:
Carl Zimmer, science writer who contributes frequently to National Geographic and The New York Times and three-time winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Journalism Award
Christof Koch, chief science officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science

  • Jon Gold

    Can either guest address oxytoxin in relation to the brain? And give a basic overview of what happiness is or how to cultivate these ‘good’ molecules in the brain maintaining a healthy brain?

  • Jon Gold

    sorry mis-spelled oxytocin

  • Kishore Hari

    I’m curious to hear what claims we often hear about the brain from these studies are wrong or over-reach the current research.

    • Robert Thomas

      This is a great question. The effectiveness of “transfer of information” from the sciences (and other technical disciplines like medicine, engineering, historical investigation etc.) to the general public through the medium of popular journalism is an important subject and would be helped to be illuminated by such a discussion.

  • $2870056

    The situation is not, as your “guests” say, “The brain is gone.”

    The individuals on life support who are in the news have brains – an organ. It no longer functions adequately. They lack brain function to independently breath, swallow, respond to stimuli.

  • Robert Thomas

    “Mindfulness…”

    Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhggggg

  • Robert Thomas

    “Quantum…”

    Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhggggg

  • Art4med

    How about cortisol levels and the relationship to frontal lobe as sources of substance *addiction?

  • Robert Thomas

    Rock + Meat = Brain of Naturopath

  • Chris Davidson

    Please discuss the brain to brain interaction that occurred in experiments done at UNAM by Grinberg-Zylberbaum. Thanks!

  • Art4med

    Enjoyed this show and your approach. Found via @cz on T from ATL

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor