Multivitamins help prevent memory loss (start time: 8:02) In this week’s show, How On Earth host/producer Susan Moran interviews Dr. Adam Brickman, a neuropsychologist at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, about a large new study that shows how taking multivitamins can prevent memory loss in older adults. Memory decline is an inevitable, if cruel, component of aging. And there’s been much debate about what interventions can arrest the pace of memory loss. The new study, which Dr. Brickman co-authored, replicated results of a previous study that he led; both found that people age 60 and older who take multivitamin supplements daily can stave off normal age-related memory loss. (The study does not apply to people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.)
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
Your Brain on Music (start time: 6:18): Most people love music, whether it’s opera music, jazz, rock-n-roll, gospel, nursery rhymes or another genre. Whether you’re a trained professional or someone who just likes to sing in the shower or listen to your favorite playlists, you’ve likely felt the power of music in shaping your thoughts, feelings and behavior. But how?
Many scientists have been researching how music affects the human brain, and how music can help treat many neurological and other disorders. Today, host Susan Moran interviews Indre Viskontas, a cognitive neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology at the University of San Francisco. She’s also a classically trained opera singer and a director. Her 2019 book is How Music Can Make You Better. And Dr. Viskontas also directs communications for the Sound Health Network, an initiative that promotes research and public awareness of the impact of music on health and well-being. She also hosts a podcast called Inquiring Minds.
Host, Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Shannon Young Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Your Brain on Nature (start time: 5:49): You may think it’s a no-brainer: that nature is good for your mental and physical health. After all, a walk in the woods or even an urban park brightens your outlook on life, at least for a little while. Turns out, the notion that being outside in nature boosts our mood, and even our creativity, has historical roots at least as deep as Aristotle. A new book by journalist Florence Williams explores the history of our biophilia, and particularly emerging neuroscience that reveals just how our bodies and minds are affected by getting out in the natural world. The book is called The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative (Norton, 2017). The book stemmed from an article Williams wrote in National Geographic. A former Boulder resident, Williams will return to Boulder to give a talk about her book on Tuesday, February 28th, at the Boulder Book Store, at 7:30 p.m. She’ll also speak in Denver, on Wednesday, March 1st, at Tattered Cover Book Store, at 7:00 p.m.
Hosts: Maeve Conran, Susan Moran Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Maeve Conran Executive Producer: Joel Parker Additional contributions: Beth Bennett, Joel Parker, Shelley Schlender
Multitudes of Microbes (start time: 3:38): You may find it unsettling to learn that our human cells make up only half of our bodies. The other half is a bunch of microbes (in the neighborhood of 40 trillion), all living and reproducing in, and on, our bodies. What’s more, these invisible machines could have a powerful influence on your brain, and on your overall health. Ed Yong, a staff writer for The Atlantic, found it disconcerting at first to learn this when he researched his book called “I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life.” The book, published earlier this year, explores the mysterious partnerships between humans, and many other species, and the mighty microbes with which we have co-evolved. Today we air the full phone interview that How On Earth host Susan Moran recently had with Yong. We played short clips of the conversation during our fall pledge-drive show last Tuesday. Thanks to you listeners who pledged! And thanks to Yong’s publisher, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, for donating to KGNU several copies, which some generous members are now reading. This interview continues our series called “Our Microbes, Ourselves.”
Hosts: Kendra Krueger, Susan Moran Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Kendra Krueger Executive Producer: Beth Bennett