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In this hour, Washington Post science writer Shankar Vedantam is the author of The Hidden Brain. He tells Jim Fleming how a great deal of our thinking is shaped by our unconscious minds, such as routine tasks we do automatically.
Next, novelist Siri Husvedt has an undiagnosed seizure disorder which afflicts her at unpredictable moments. She describes it in her book The Shaking Woman, Or a History of My Nerves. She tells Anne Strainchamps about her lifelong hypersensitivity to some kinds of stimuli and what she's concluded about the nature of the self and personal identity.
Then, we re-visit an old interview with the late Francis Crick where he lays out his "astonishing hypothesis," which is now the standard scientific view of consciousness.
After that, Steve Paulson talks with philosopher Alva Noë, author of Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness. And we wind up stuck in "Bladerunner."
Following that, Don Lattin is the author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America. He tells Anne Strainchamps the whole strange trip started when Leary swallowed some magic mushrooms in Mexico in 1960. And then things got really strange.
And finally, Somu Shamdasani is a historian of psychology at University College, London, and editor of Carl Jung's Red Book. Thanks to his doggedness, the book's finally being published, decades after Jung's death. Shamdasani tells Steve Paulson about the extraordinary artwork in the Red Book and what issues Jung used it to work through. [Broadcast Date: March 16, 2011]
Listen to The Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam.
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