Dr. Phil Stieg's new podcast, This Is Your Brain With Dr. Phil Stieg, is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe to the podcast to get each weekly episode, and visit this page to see the complete list of available episodes. Be sure to rate the podcast to help other listeners find it, and visit the Contact page to send Dr. Stieg your comments, suggestions, and questions about it.

This Is Your Brain: Podcast Transcripts

Episode 38: Music's Powerful Impact on the Brain  

World-renowned opera soprano Renée Fleming has become a leading advocate for the study of how music affects the mind.  

More transcripts coming soon

Episode 37:  The Risks of Long-Term Space Travel 

The recent NASA study of twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly provides a new understanding of how life in space can alter cognition, heart health, and even gut bacteria.  

Episode 36: Brain-Healthy Eating 

Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer has easy, affordable, and delicious tips for making brain-healthy food choices.  

Episode 35: Teen Brains at Risk

Dr. Frances Jensen, neurologist and author of "The Teenage Brain," explains how vaping, binge drinking, and pot smoking are especially dangerous for adolescent brains. 

Episode 34: Hope for Depression's Toughest Cases

Psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, describes four effective treatments that restore the brain’s lost connections and repair the cellular changes that cause depression.  

Episode 33: Scientific Advances in Mind Reading

Dr. Marvin Chun, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Yale, explains how his lab is using fMRI and other new technologies to see what’s going on in your brain, even as you sleep. 

Episode 32: Why the Burnout Epidemic?

Dr. Richard Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains how we can better deal with everyday adversity, stress, and discomfort without succumbing to burnout. 

Episode 31: Living With Glioblastoma

New York Times journalist Rod Nordland speaks about coming to terms with the disease, what it’s like to live with his everyday challenges, and why he hasn’t shed a tear over it. 

Episode 30: What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's

Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, shares clinical trial results that show how a personalized prevention plan can lower the risk or progression of Alzheimer's. 

Episode 29: Violence and the Brain

Dr. Heather Berlin, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine, talks about the genetics of violence, the "mean girl" phenomenon, and why some psychopaths end up in jail while others land in the corner office. 

Episode 28: Slow Love

Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD, explains the nuances of being just friends, friends with benefits, or a casual hookup – and tells us how the trend toward longer courtships may change everything. 

Episode 27: Is it Normal Aging, or Alzheimer's?

Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, talks about the three stages of cognitive impairment, how to distinguish “senior moments” from symptoms of dementia, and whether multitasking puts our overloaded brains at risk. 

Episode 26: Pain and the Science of Suffering

Journalist Melanie Thernstrom, author of The Pain Chronicles, explains the difference between chronic and acute pain, how chronic pain rewires the brain, and the brain’s ability to modulate pain. 

Episode 25: Trial and Error in Treating Depression

Psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, explains the diagnostic challenges psychiatrists face, and the trial-and-error process to finding the right medication that frustrates both doctors and their patients. 

Episode 24: The Promise of Stem Cell Therapy

Neurosurgeon Robert Hariri, MD, PhD, talks about the promise of using placental stem cells to target cancer cells, control diseases like HIV, restore brain function, and extend life expectancy. 

Episode 23: The Music-Brain Connection 

“Neuro-pianist” and conductor Eitan Globerson explains the intricate connections between a musician’s instrument, hands, and brain and how the power of music can heal and improve brain performance and enrich our lives. 

Episode 22: Coma and Hidden Consciousness 

Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains the sobering discovery of hidden consciousness in coma patients and shares a painfully fascinating patient story. 

Episode 21: The Quest to Conquer Pain 

Journalist Melanie Thernstrom, author of The Pain Chronicles, talks about the different ways humans have tried to conquer pain over the centuries. 

Episode 20: Awake During Brain Surgery 

Dr. Rohan Ramakrishna and two patients join Dr. Stieg to talk about how awake craniotomies provide a critical real-time assessment into the inner workings of the brain. 

Episode 19: How Lust Built Our Brains 

Evolutionary anthropologist Helen Fisher explains why our complicated brains evolved in response to a very primal urge to mate. 

Episode 18: Why Can’t We Resist Temptation? 

Cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin explains how the prefrontal cortex develops – or doesn’t – and how cognitive behavioral therapy can help you harness the power of neuroplasticity. 

Episode 17: Life and Death Decisions 

Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, talks about what we can do to prepare for our final days – and who has the authority to make life-and-death decisions. 

Episode 16: Close Call with a Brain Bleed 

Mikal Scott talks about his alarming symptoms and fortunate meeting with neurosurgeon Dr. Jared Knopman, who performed the pioneering technique that’s now providing patients with a far better treatment option for subdural hematoma. 

Episode 15: What's Threatening Your Sleep? 

Sleep disruption is bad for brain health, wreaks havoc on mood, and even raises the risk of cancer. Dr. Ana Krieger, chief of sleep neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine, has the solutions we need.

Episode 14: When Snoring Is Dangerous for Your Brain 

Dr. Ana Krieger, chief of sleep neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains why snoring is a danger sign for sleep apnea – and why "getting by" on 6 hours of sleep is a risk you probably shouldn't take. 

Episode 13: Food Is Medicine 

Cardiologist Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, MD, explains the science of eating well, and how the right foods are life enhancing and will actually change your genetics. 

Episode 12: Eating Smart for Brain and Heart 

Cardiologist Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, MD, explains why eating less meat, less processed food, and more fiber is so good for your heart and brain. 

Episode 11: Sex and Scent: What Your Nose Knows 

Sexual attraction starts with a whiff of signals that gets your motor running. Kayt Sukel explains how the brain rules when it comes to sex and love. 

Episode 10: No More Shaking Hands! 

A tremor had plagued Alexandra Lebenthal since childhood. Today her hand is steady, thanks to Dr. Michael Kaplitt and a life-changing new procedure called MR-guided focused ultrasound. 

Episode 9: “Bobble Heads” and Concussions 

 Dr. Barry Kosofsky explains why children – especially girls – are at greater risk for concussion, and why kids under 14 should never play tackle football and certain other contact sports. 

Episode 8: Rebirth After a Brain Tumor 

Memories return – along with a surge of confusing emotions – after Demetri's surgery to remove a craniopharyngioma. Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield joins his patient and Dr. Stieg to talk about revelations after brain tumor surgery.

Episode 7: A Life Unravels 

When Demetri Kofinas was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor, he faced bizarre symptoms and difficult choices. With the help of his father and Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, Demetri took on the challenges.  

Episode 6: Climbing Out of Depression 

 Dr. Stieg talks to psychiatrist Richard Friedman, MD, about depression and PTSD: How do they differ from sadness, how the brain changes when someone is depressed and when they come out of it, and how therapy and medication work. 

Episode 5: Are We Wired for Anxiety? 

Dr. Stieg talks to psychiatrist Dr. Richard Friedman about the neuroscience of fear: How parents can transmit anxiety to their kids, and why a little anxiety (but not too much) is good for you. 

Episode 4: Your Brain in Love

Dr. Stieg talks to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher about the four hormonal systems that drive our relationship styles, and how they can predict whether love will last. 

Episode 3: Madly in Love

Dr. Helen Fisher explains what happens in the brain when we experience attraction, how that changes in long-term relationships, and why anti-depressants can make you fall out of love.

Episode 2: "An Eraser in My Brain" (Part 2)

 New York Times journalist Alissa Rubin talks with Dr. Stieg about the cognitive and emotional effects of her injuries, and the treatments that helped get her back to work and to her life.

Episode 1: "An Eraser in My Brain" (Part 1)

Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times journalist Alissa Rubin talks with Dr. Stieg about the helicopter crash that seriously injured her, and the long road to healing her body and her brain. 


Soprano Renée Fleming with Dr. Stieg, live at Juilliard. Photo copyright Juilliard

Soprano Renée Fleming with Dr. Stieg, live at Juilliard. Photo copyright Juilliard