“Hallucination, Imagination, Dreams & Drugs” — Podcast 8: Oliver Sacks

On Episode 8 of the Connectome podcast, Ben talks with Oliver Sacks, renowned neuroscientist and author of such books as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Musicophilia and Hallucinations. In particular, Sacks joins us to talk about some patients of his who’ve been hallucinating strange varieties of musical notation. But musical hallucinations are only the beginning – Sacks also shares his insights on dreams, hallucinogenic drugs, selfhood, and plenty of other phenomena that make subjective experience so mysterious. Whether you’re new to Dr. Sacks’ work or a lifelong fan of his writing, this interview raises some consciousness-related … Continue reading “Hallucination, Imagination, Dreams & Drugs” — Podcast 8: Oliver Sacks

“Consciousness, Dreams & Drugs” — Podcast 2

On the second Connectome podcast, Ben muses about three of the hottest topics in neuroscience today: what “consciousness” might be, how it relates to dreams, and how drugs can play some strange tricks on that relationship. Enjoy, and feel free to email us questions and suggestions for next time!   (Produced by Devin O’Neill) Continue reading “Consciousness, Dreams & Drugs” — Podcast 2

Drugs, Neuroscience, and You

Let’s be honest here: if a person really wants to try an illegal drug, he or she is going to find a way to try it. To me, the most reasonable response to this fact seems to be to share clear, science-backed explanations of the effects and risks involved with each drug. So today, I’m going to take a little break from my usual newsy reporting, and provide a condensed rundown on some drugs, in the style of my Memory Menagerie write-up. First, just a couple quick notes about this summary. For one thing, it’s going to focus on drugs … Continue reading Drugs, Neuroscience, and You

Perfect Memory and the Ten Percent Myth

This story begins in a bar. On the wall-mounted TV, the popular channel Sports Channel was taking a break from the popular show Men in Suits Awkwardly Attempting Rapport to show a trailer for the movie Limitless. I’m not gonna lie – I was intrigued by the plot at first; and not only because literally anything on TV is made more awesome by alcohol consumption. Plus, I’ve always been fascinated by Flowers for Algernon-type stories, where human minds contain vast potential for genius, just waiting to be unleashed by the right combination of drugs or electrical signals or meditation techniques. As you might guess, … Continue reading Perfect Memory and the Ten Percent Myth