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Why Do We Need Sleep?

Friday, April 17, 2015

What do we know about one of our most basic needs: sleep? Not a lot, says circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster. We know we need to do it to stay alive, but much about it remains a mystery.

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How Does War Teach Soldiers About Love?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Journalist Sebastian Junger was embedded with soldiers during the war in Afghanistan. He says many veterans miss war because it fulfills a deep human need to belong to a trusted group.

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What Makes A Life Worth Living?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says we can achieve one of the most elusive needs โ€” self-actualization โ€” by finding a state of "flow" in our work or our hobbies.

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What Defines A Person's Sense Of Self?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Caroline Casey was 17 years old when she first learned she was visually impaired. Embracing her disability helped nourish her need for self-esteem.

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How Did Abraham Maslow Change Psychology?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Brandeis Psychology professor Margie Lachman works in the same office where Abraham Maslow developed his hierarchy of needs. She describes his lasting influence on psychology.

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What Does It Take To Feel Secure?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Computer security expert Bruce Schneier says there's a big difference between feeling secure and being secure. He explains why we worry about unlikely dangers while ignoring more probable risks.

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How Can Video Games Improve Our Real Lives?

Friday, March 27, 2015

When Jane McGonigal was bedridden after a concussion, she gave herself a prescription: play a game. She says games helped her get better, and for many of us, virtual games can improve our real lives.

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What Can Bonobos Teach Us About Play?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo explains how bonobos learn by constantly playing. She says play isn't frivolous; it appears to be a critical way to solve problems and avoid conflict.

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Who's That Guy Riding The Subway In His Underwear?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Charlie Todd choreographs bizarre, hilarious and unexpected public scenes. He explains how his group, Improv Everywhere, creates these moments of urban whimsy to bring people together.

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How Does Play Shape Our Development?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing and fantasy are more than just fun. He came to this conclusion after conducting some somber research into the stark childhoods of murderers.

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How Can Playing A Game Make You More Empathetic?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why is it so hard to feel empathy for strangers? Because we're stressed by them, says neuroscientist Jeff Mogil. His research suggests one way to reduce that stress: play Rock Band together.

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Can Math Help You Fall in Love?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Mathematician Hannah Fry says math can help you find love. Using mathematical models, she explains how to find an ideal mate and the secret to maintaining a healthy relationship.

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Should We Be Wary of Algorithms?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Our lives are, in part, governed by algorithms. Professor Kevin Slavin shows how these formulas can reshape finance, culture and physical environments, with potentially harmful consequences.

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Why Do We Solve For 'X'?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Polymath Terry Moore wondered why "X" is the universal unknown in algebra. He dove into the history of numbers to come up with an unexpected answer.

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Can Math Answer Absurd Questions?

Friday, March 06, 2015

When Randall Munroe volunteered to teach physics to high schoolers, his textbook approach to teaching the subject fell flat. Then he realized a way to get the kids excited about math -- Star Wars.

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What Are The Mathematics of Jazz?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Percussionist Clayton Cameron dissects the mathematics of improvisational jazz, demonstrating how numerical patterns make him a better musician.

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How Can Math Help You Imagine The Impossible?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Writer Randall Munroe doesn't love math, but has made a career out of solving equations. By answering outlandish hypotheticals, he uses numbers as a playground for the imagination.

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Can Math Make You A Better Musician?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Drummer Clayton Cameron tells a story about how his math skills helped him impress the godfather of soul, James Brown.

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Why Is 3 A Magic Number?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Percussionist Clayton Cameron continues his thoughts about the relationship between math and rhythm and why the number three "feels great."

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How Can A Stroke Change Your Brain?

Friday, February 20, 2015

When neuroanatomist Jill Bolte-Taylor felt her brain shut down during a stroke, she was more fascinated than panicked. Even though she spent eight years recovering, she's grateful for the stroke.

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