Skeptic Check: Brain Gain (rebroadcast)

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By Big Picture Science and SETI Institute. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Looking to boost your brainpower? Luckily, there are products promising to help. Smart drugs, neurofeedback exercises, and brain-training video games all promise to improve your gray matter’s performance. But it’s uncertain whether these products really work. Regulatory agencies have come down hard on some popular brain training companies for false advertising. But other brain games have shown benefits in clinical trials. And could we skip the brain workout altogether and pop a genius pill instead?

In our regular look at critical thinking, we separate the pseudo from the science of commercial cognitive enhancement techniques.

Guests:

· Caroline WilliamsScience journalist and author of “My Plastic Brain: One Woman’s Yearlong Journey to Discover If Science Can Improve Her Mind

· Adam GazzaleyNeuroscientist, University of California, San Francisco, and the executive director of Neuroscape. His book is “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World.”

· Amy ArnstenProfessor of neuroscience and psychology at Yale Medical School

· Kevin RooseJournalist for the New York Times.

· Leonard MlodinowPhysicist and author of “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change

Originally aired August 6, 2018

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486 episodes