Being Human
Life Lessons from the Frontiers of Science

Being Human - Life Lessons from the Frontiers of Science
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12 episodes in this series

Episode 1 What's So Special about Being Human?
Humans are, from an evolutionary perspective, certainly the most unique species on Earth. Start the course by learning how to approach the subject of human behavior. You may be surprised…
Episode 2 Junk-Food Monkeys
What happens when nonhuman primates get to eat like Westernized humans? And what does it say about the costs: and surprising benefits: of our diets? Find out the answers in…
Episode 3 The Burden of Being Burden-Free
Investigate the latest anthropological and scientific understanding behind a pervasive part of our everyday lives: stress. You'll discover what makes psychological stress so damaging to health, where individual differences in…
Episode 4 Bugs in the Brain
Professor Sapolsky introduces you to parasites that exploit their hosts by altering their behavior. After looking at studies, including mites that make ants find food for them and worms that…
Episode 5 Poverty's Remains
Turn to an intriguing historical case of doctors who, failing to appreciate the impact of poverty on our bodies, invented an imaginary disease whose preventive methods killed thousands of people.…
Episode 6 Why Are Dreams Dreamlike?
Why does your brain generate sensory imagery while you sleep? Here, examine the neurology of sleeping and dreaming. Also, discover how the key to strange dreams lies in your frontal…
Episode 7 The Pleasures and Pains of "Maybe"
For a long time, scientists thought that the neurotransmitter dopamine was directly related to pleasure. But it turns out that dopamine is more about the anticipation of reward than the…
Episode 8 How the Other Half Heals
Learn about the relationship between health and socioeconomic status. Learn how poverty is terrible for your health in unexpected ways, why some diseases were more prevalent among the wealthy, and…
Episode 9 Why We Want the Bodies Back
Why do human bodies remain important after the life within them has gone? Is it a sign of affirmation, mourning, reverence? Or something else? Explore some of the world's diverse…
Episode 10 Anatomy of a Bad Mood
Learn what happens when you or others are in a bad mood by exploring some theories about emotion; explore the role of facial expressions in emotional feedback; and change the…
Episode 11 This Is Your Brain on Metaphors
Dr. Sapolsky explains how metaphors work on the brain to actually change your opinions, assessments, and even action; investigates how we register disgust and pain in key regions of the…
Episode 12 Sushi and Middle Age
Consider the brain science behind nostalgia. Why do we, as well as members of other species, tend to avoid novelty over time in favor of the familiar? Taking you through…

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Related videos

What's So Special about Being Human?
Episode 1 of Being Human
Humans are, from an evolutionary perspective, certainly the most unique species on Earth. Start the course by learning how to approach the subject of human behavior. You may be surprised to discover that there are plenty of ways in which we have the same behavioral aspects as other animals: and…
The Burden of Being Burden-Free
Episode 3 of Being Human
Investigate the latest anthropological and scientific understanding behind a pervasive part of our everyday lives: stress. You'll discover what makes psychological stress so damaging to health, where individual differences in stress come from, the nature of disorders including toxic hostility and clinical depression, and why it's impossible to be completely…
Junk-Food Monkeys
Episode 2 of Being Human
What happens when nonhuman primates get to eat like Westernized humans? And what does it say about the costs: and surprising benefits: of our diets? Find out the answers in this episode, which focuses on a fascinating study of East African baboons who abandoned their natural diet to gorge on…
Bugs in the Brain
Episode 4 of Being Human
Professor Sapolsky introduces you to parasites that exploit their hosts by altering their behavior. After looking at studies, including mites that make ants find food for them and worms that drive crickets to suicide, focus on how rabies and toxoplasmosis can literally change the wiring of the brain in mammals:…
Poverty's Remains
Episode 5 of Being Human
Turn to an intriguing historical case of doctors who, failing to appreciate the impact of poverty on our bodies, invented an imaginary disease whose preventive methods killed thousands of people. It's a peek into an odd corner of medical history that reveals startling lessons about the socioeconomics of medicine.
Why Are Dreams Dreamlike?
Episode 6 of Being Human
Why does your brain generate sensory imagery while you sleep? Here, examine the neurology of sleeping and dreaming. Also, discover how the key to strange dreams lies in your frontal cortex, which, when it goes completely offline, allows the rest of your brain to run wild.
The Pleasures and Pains of "Maybe"
Episode 7 of Being Human
For a long time, scientists thought that the neurotransmitter dopamine was directly related to pleasure. But it turns out that dopamine is more about the anticipation of reward than the reward itself. Here, plunge into the neuroscience behind why we're willing to deal with such long delays in gratification, and…
How the Other Half Heals
Episode 8 of Being Human
Learn about the relationship between health and socioeconomic status. Learn how poverty is terrible for your health in unexpected ways, why some diseases were more prevalent among the wealthy, and how shifting views of childcare in the 20th century showed that raising successful infants relies not just on food and…
Anatomy of a Bad Mood
Episode 10 of Being Human
Learn what happens when you or others are in a bad mood by exploring some theories about emotion; explore the role of facial expressions in emotional feedback; and change the way you think about tense arguments.
This Is Your Brain on Metaphors
Episode 11 of Being Human
Dr. Sapolsky explains how metaphors work on the brain to actually change your opinions, assessments, and even action; investigates how we register disgust and pain in key regions of the brain; and shows metaphors' intriguing hold on our hearts and minds at work in politics and international events.
Sushi and Middle Age
Episode 12 of Being Human
Consider the brain science behind nostalgia. Why do we, as well as members of other species, tend to avoid novelty over time in favor of the familiar? Taking you through some rather eccentric research of his own, Professor Sapolsky uncovers some startling facts about the psychology, neurobiology, and evolution of…
Redefining Reality - The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science Series
No subject is bigger than reality itself, and nothing is more challenging to understand, since what counts as reality is undergoing continual revision and has been for centuries. For example, the matter that comprises all stars, planets, and living things turns out to be just a fraction of what actually…