Sunday, August 26, 2007

Brain Science Podcast #19: Gut Feelings

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Show Notes for Brain Science Podcast #19: Gut Feelings

This episode is a discussion of Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (2007) by Gerd Gigerenzer

Dr. Gigerenzer argues that unconscious decision-making or intuition is actually based on the use of hueristics (rules of thumb) that can be explored, and even brought into awareness. In this episode I discuss his basic arguments with an emphasis on the differences between intuitive reasoning and formal logic. Then we explore some examples including the application of these ideas to more controversial areas like morality and social instincts. Listen to episode.

Some of his ideas are provocative and I hope you will discuss them on the Brain Science Podcast Discussion Forum.


Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious (2007) by Gerd Gigerenzer

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005) by Malcolm Gladwell

See also Brain Science Podcast #13: Unconscious Decision Making

Links of Interest

Gerd Gigerenzer-wikipedia

Gerd Gigerenzer-home page at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Jonathan Haidt-social psychologist mentioned in this episode

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Group on Facebook

I just started a new group on Facebook called Alabama Podcasters. I am using the Birmingham Podcasting logo because I hope this group will help us find more local podcasters both from around Birmingham and the rest of Alabama.

Friday, August 10, 2007

FINAL TAXI : Charles Lane -The Face Is Familiar


Charles Lane, the prolific character actor whose name was little known but whose crotchety persona and roles in hundreds of films made him recognizable to generations of moviegoers took his Final Taxi at 102.

Lane, whose career spanned more than 60 years, appeared in such film classics as “It‘s a Wonderful Life,” “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Primrose Path.” He also had a recurring role as the scheming railroad man Homer Bedloe on the 1960s TV sitcom “Petticoat Junction” and appeared often on “I Love Lucy.”

Mr. Lane’s voice was heard in Disney’s 1970 animated feature “The AristoCats.” He was an admiral in “The Winds of War” TV miniseries and appeared in the movie “Murphy’s Romance” with Sally Field in 1986.

He also acted in TV episodes of “Soap,”"The Flying Nun,” “Bewitched” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” and showed up on “L.A. Law,” “St. Elsewhere” and “Lou Grant.”

Mr. Lane had small parts in “The Music Man,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “The Carpetbaggers,” among his many films. His acting résumé included roles as a judge, gambler, priest, bank examiner, military officer, customs and immigration official and Western lawman.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Brain Science Podcast #18: Interview with Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg

Brain Science Podcast #18 is an interview with Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, PhD.elkhonongoldberg.gif

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Show Notes:

  • I apologize for the uneven sound quality of this episode. If any one out there has any suggestions please drop me an email.
  • Dr. Goldberg shared a little bit about the breadth of his work as a neuropsychologist.
  • We talked about his rather unique perspective on the difference between the right and left brain hemispheres. He explained why he feels that as we get older we move from reliance on the right hemisphere, which he feels is the novelty hemisphere, to a reliance on the left hemisphere, where our lifetime store of patterns enables us to use pattern recognition as a short cut in problem solving.
  • We talked about the importance of constant mental challenge, and Dr. Goldberg gives his advice about how we can keep our brains healthy through out our lives.


The following are two companies that Dr. Goldberg is working with to provide information to the public and also tools for cognitive enhancement:

  • SharpBrains-this is a clearing house for information and they evaluate many of the products currently being offered.
  • HeadStrong Cognitive Fitness-this Australian company offers a net-based program for cognitive enhancement based on Dr. Goldberg's research. I am hoping to test their products in the near future.

Listen to Brain Science Podcast #18 Now


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Friday, August 3, 2007

Books and Ideas #13: Harry Potter with guest co-host, Patrick Pricken


Even if you haven't finished reading Book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by JK Rowling you can enjoy this podcast, which features guest co-host Patrick Pricken, from Germany. Patrick's blog, which features movie and book reviews can be found at (The blog is in German, but translation to English is available from Google.)

We talked about what why JK Rowling's work has international appeal, even among adult readers. We explore our favorite characters and talk about whether Book 7 lived up to our expectations.

The episode is spoiler-free up to the 17 minute mark. The last 15 minutes does contain specific material from the last book, so if you haven't read it yet you will want to stop listening at 17:00, until you finish the book.

If you would like to talk about the podcast or share your favorite Harry Potter memories, please join us in the the special section with in the Brain Science Podcast Discussion Forum.

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