ancestor-sleep

Polyphasic Spree (Live From PAX East 2018)

Around a third of the population have trouble maintaining sleep throughout the night. While nighttime awakenings are distressing for most sufferers, there is some evidence from our recent past that suggests this period of wakefulness occurring between two separate sleep periods was the norm. Throughout history, there have been numerous accounts of segmented sleep, with a common reference to “first” and “second” sleep. Jeff and Anthony hope you can make it all the way through this episode. Recorded live in Boston at PAX East 2018.  More Details/Download MP3 →

DejaVu_4798

Deja View

Most of us know it – that weird, sudden feeling of experiencing something not for the first time. It’s called déjà vu – French for “already seen” – and it’s an uncanny feeling. But according to new research, that’s all it is. Just a feeling. The most accepted explanation is that it has to do with memory. Much like a word can be on the tip of your tongue, a memory could be on the tip of your mind – there, but not quite accessible. Jeff and Anthony think they might have done this story before.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Why-Older-People-Lose-Their-Memory

Special Aged

It’s pretty extraordinary for people in their 80s and 90s to keep the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger, and now scientists are peeking into the brains of these “superagers” to uncover their secret. The work is the flip side of the disappointing hunt for new drugs to fight or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Parts of the brain shrink with age, one of the reasons why most people experience a gradual slowing of at least some types of memory late in life, even if they avoid diseases like Alzheimer’s. But it turns out that superagers’ brains aren’t shrinking nearly as fast as their peers’.  More Details/Download MP3 →

MCS_girl

Smell Wishers

What are the ingredients of a good relationship? Trust? Communication? Compromise? How about a sense of smell? When researchers in the United Kingdom surveyed almost 500 people with anosmia (the loss of sense of smell), more than 50 percent of them reported feeling isolated, and blamed their relationship troubles on their affliction. Smell is important in social bonding, says psychologist Pamela Dalton, at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia. When a mom smells her newborn baby, the scent activates brain regions associated with nurturing behavior. Smells might also trigger brain activity linked with affection, compassion, or romantic love. Jeff and Anthony give this story the sniff test.  More Details/Download MP3 →

1200-503914486-confused-brain

Retro Virus

Inside the brain, proteins don’t stick around longer than a few minutes. And yet, our memories can hang on for our entire lifetime. Recently, an international collaboration of researchers discovered something strange about a protein called Arc. This is essential to long-term memory formation. What they found was that it has very similar properties to how a virus infects its host. Jeff and Anthony consider what life could have been like without the ability to remember.  More Details/Download MP3 →