Hidden Brain

Fridays at 2:00 p.m.

Millions of people have heard Shankar Vedantam's engaging reports about social science research on NPR shows like Morning Edition and his podcast Hidden Brain. Shankar now brings his signature knowledge, wit and sense of humor to this new one-hour weekly program, airing on KCBX every Friday at 2:00. A blend of science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the imperceptible forces that influence our relationships. It's a program that helps curious people understand the world, current events, and themselves.

Podcasts

  • Monday, May 21, 2018 6:00pm
    All of us are time travelers. We go back in history to turning points in our lives, and imagine how things could have turned out differently. Psychologists refer to this as "counterfactual thinking." This week on Hidden Brain, we look at why some events prompt these "What if?" questions, while others do not.
  • Friday, May 18, 2018 3:46pm
    How many ads have you encountered today? On this week's radio replay, we discuss the insidiousness of advertising in American media. We begin with new reporting about the effects cereal commercials have on children. Later in the program, we revisit one of our favorite episodes of 2018, Buying Attention.
  • Monday, May 14, 2018 6:00pm
    Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To researchers, though, the babbling of babies is knowable, predictable, and best of all, teachable to us non-experts. This week, we'll get a primer on how to decipher babbling — the unique dialect of tiny humans.
  • Monday, May 7, 2018 6:58pm
    Olutosin Oduwole was an aspiring rapper and college student when he was arrested in 2007. He was charged with "attempting to make a terrorist threat." Prosecutors used his writings — which he maintains were rap lyrics — to build their case against him. The week, we revisit our June 2017 story about Oduwole, and explore how public perceptions of rap music may have played a role in his prosecution.
  • Monday, April 30, 2018 6:00pm
    The Greek poet Archilochus wrote that "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This week, we'll use the metaphor of the fox and the hedgehog as a way to understand the differences between tacticians and big-picture thinkers. We'll explore the story of a pioneering surgeon whose hedgehog tendencies led him to great triumphs, and a heartbreaking tragedy. This episode first aired in May 2017.