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.
What happens in our brains when we’re confronted with decisions? And why do some people dread making decisions more than others? Dr. Gregory Berns, neuroscientist and Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, explains that there are different brain systems involved in the decisions we make. When faced with choices, we want to pursue pleasure and happiness as much as we want to avoid pain and negative outcomes. Decision making is also about projecting ourselves into the future and how much uncertainty we can handle.
Dogs and the humans who cherish them have a unique bond unlike any other. We wonder all too often, do our dogs love us as much as we love them? What are they really thinking? Are we projecting our own feelings onto these treasured family members in trying to understand them? Emory University neuroscientist Dr. Gregory Berns, has made some extraordinary findings.
Our thoughts about the future are directly influenced by past memories and our deepest emotions. Dr. Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Neural Science at NYU, gives us an intriguing look at the areas of the brain that create the uniquely human experience of consciousness and how our ability to mentally "time travel” allows us to form a personal awareness of our place In the world.
The pandemic has produced a dramatic new wave of loneliness for those coping with loss, grief, and social isolation. Although the feeling of loneliness is not a medical condition, it can easily transition into the clinical disorders of depression and anxiety. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains how the upheaval of prolonged loneliness can affect the brain and heart, and how loneliness can be more quickly remedied than one would think.
Blaring music, incessant traffic, those early-morning lawn mowers — you know they're bad for your sanity, but for your brain? Dr. Mathias Basner, an expert on the effects of noise on health, explains what goes on in your body when it's subjected to prolonged high-decibel exposure, including irreversible hearing loss, cognitive decline, even heart attacks. Fortunately, there are some practical ways to protect yourself — and to reduce your own "noise footprint."
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented loss — of loved ones, of social interaction, and of our entire way of life. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains why the anguish we feel is normal — and how specific coping strategies can help minimize the potential impact on brain health during periods of adversity.
The COVID crisis is causing many more people to call their doctors with headache complaints. When is it time to stop self diagnosing your headache and to see a headache specialist? Dr. Louise Klebanoff, a leading neurologist and headache expert, explains why the right diagnosis can make all the difference in conquering most headaches. Hear about lifestyle changes and a range of medical approaches from nutraceuticals to Botox, plus the promising new CGRP therapy for migraines.
How do elite athletes, some barely out of their teens, manage life in a fishbowl? Dr. Lani Lawrence, sports psychologist for the New York Giants, explains how the pros learn to cope with social media and news pressures and still find their way into “the zone” where they can excel.
From mild resting tremors to freezing, stiffness, and loss of motor control, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease progress relentlessly over time. In Part 1, Dr. Michael Kaplitt, Director of the Movement Disorders Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, along with his patient Elizabeth Larsen, explore how quality of life can erode over the years -- and when it's time for a life-changing surgical option. In Part 2, Elizabeth gives a deeply honest view of her Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to control her tremors.
The COVID-19 quarantine has changed everything about love and sex. Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher reveals how socially distant dating can nurture a relationship by slowing things down and encouraging more substantive conversation and deeper intimacy. Long-term couples have a different problem as they adjust to 24/7 togetherness and learn to carve out safe spaces. Plus... why it's essential to laugh, play, and stay connected with friends and family to enhance brain health.
In the war on COVID-19, doctors face an enemy like no other - mysterious, invisible, and medically confounding. Dr. Laura Kolbe, co-founder of the COVID+ Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Weill Cornell Medicine/New York-Presbyterian explains a new first-hour emergency room protocol. We learn how the palliative care team allays suffering, comforts the sick, and clarifies the final wishes of the most desperately ill and dying patients.
Human brains are not wired for the staggering amount and variety of daily information coming our way. Dr. Marvin Chun, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Yale University, explains how our brains evolved to do one thing at a time, why they react poorly to the demands of multi-tasking, and why distraction undermines our performance and our memory.
People with epilepsy have been stigmatized since the time of Hippocrates. Two epilepsy specialists, Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, a Weill Cornell Medicine pediatric neurosurgeon, and Dr. Heidi Bender, a neuropsychologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital, explain what happens in the brain to cause seizures. They give parents, teachers, kids, and their classmates a primer on understanding this common disorder and how we can best help if we see someone having a seizure.
World-renowned opera soprano Renée Fleming has become a leading advocate for the study of how music affects the mind.
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.
Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer has easy, affordable, and delicious tips for making brain-healthy food choices.
Dr. Frances Jensen, neurologist and author of "The Teenage Brain," explains how vaping, binge drinking, and pot smoking are especially dangerous for adolescent brains.
Psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, describes four effective treatments that restore the brain’s lost connections and repair the cellular changes that cause depression.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Journalist Melanie Thernstrom, author of The Pain Chronicles, talks about the different ways humans have tried to conquer pain over the centuries.
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.
Evolutionary anthropologist Helen Fisher explains why our complicated brains evolved in response to a very primal urge to mate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cardiologist Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, MD, explains the science of eating well, and how the right foods are life enhancing and will actually change your genetics.
Cardiologist Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, MD, explains why eating less meat, less processed food, and more fiber is so good for your heart and brain.
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.
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.
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.
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 and came to a decision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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