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To the Best of Our Knowledge: Memory, Mind & The Self | [Jim Fleming]

To the Best of Our Knowledge: Memory, Mind & The Self

New York Times columnist David Brooks is best known for his political writing, but he's also fascinated by recent findings in psychology and neuroscience. In fact he says many of our public policies fail because we're not actually the rational decision makers we think we are. In this hour, we'll talk with David Brooks, also, rising jazz star Vijay Iyer on the neuroscience of music.
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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience are changing how we think about thinking. Would you like to sharpen your memory? You can, with just a few tips from Joshua Foer, the author of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. He tells Jim Fleming the trick is to tell yourself an unforgettable story.

Next, the antithesis of that desire belongs to Jill Price, who simply can't forget. She suffers from "hyperthymesia," or "total recall," which means she can remember every day of her life since the age of fourteen.

Then, no one doubts memory is one of the things that shapes our sense of self, but is there a science of self? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio runs the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, and has written several popular books including Self Comes to Mind. Steve Paulson talked with Damasio about the science of memory and self.

After that, Jazz pianist Vijay Iyer would understand. Indian by heritage, American by birth, Iyer is trying to create a new kind of music, a synthesis of Western jazz and Indian music. With a Ph.D. in physics, and an understanding of both math and neuroscience, he tells Anne Strainchamps how he melds science with art.

Following that, Coke consistently outsells Pepsi, though Pepsi routinely wins blind taste tests. Some agencies are now hiring neuroscientists to help figure it out. Danish neurobiologist Lone Frank, author of Mindfield, tells Steve Paulson some people are hoping neuro-marketing will lead to huge profits.

Finally, New York Times commentator David Brooks has been fascinated for years by research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. It's what he talks about in his latest book, The Social Animal. Brooks tells Steve Paulson that brain sciences are overturning centuries of old thinking about human nature. [Broadcast Date: April 6, 2011]

Listen to:

  • Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  • Self Comes to Mind by Antonio Damasio
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    (P) and ©2011 Wisconsin Public Radio

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