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Mind Field Season 2


Your Brain on Tech

   2018    Technology
Two and a half thousand years ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates worried that the wide use of writing would have a negative impact on people's minds. He said that writing would create forgetfulness, because people will not use their memories. They would trust the external written characters and not remember themselves. In a world with an ever-growing tech industry, Michael Stevens tries to find out what effect technology has on our brains. He finds Technology isn't just changing our lives, it's changing our brains. In his experiments he tests what just 10 days of gaming does to things like our spatial memory.

How to Make a Hero

   2018    Culture
A hero is just someone who acts selflessly, out of concern for others, at personal risk and without the expectation of reward. In this episode, Michael Stevens asks employees to help him run a seemingly dangerous experiment, to see if they would blow the whistle to stop him.

Divergent Minds

   2018    Medicine
Autistic minds provide windows into how we all think, feel, and behave. A complete brain science should be able to account for all kinds of minds and brains. As long as some minds remain a mystery, so too will all minds.
Michael Stevens travels to London to meet a blind, autistic savant with astonishing musical abilities, and volunteers to have his brain's function temporarily disrupted at UCLA's Neuromodulation Lab.

The Electric Brain

   2018    Medicine
The nervous system is fundamentally electric. When we move our arm, it moves because a electric signal has been sent to the muscle that controls it. Now, because the brain is electric, we could also use electricity to record what the brain is doing or bypass it entirely, and control a body. That means that we could restore movement to people who are paralyzed, feel through an artificial hand as if it was our own, and even read people's minds.
Michael Stevens explores how electricity can be used to move cockroaches, control other peoples' limbs and even read peoples' thoughts.