Your Brain on Words

One of my favorite podcasts is the consistently brilliant Brain Science Podcast hosted by Ginger Campbell. She interviews loads of fascinating brain-science researchers and writers, and somehow manages to keep a nice balance between complex science and plain-speak.

It’s a cool podcast if you’re curious about how our minds process the universe and why we do the things we do, but I think it’s especially interesting for science-fiction writers looking for story inspiration because the brain is pretty much the new frontier for scientific exploration. Also there are often episodes about communication, so the archive is a treasure chest for writers who want to know more about how choosing certain words can influence the audience and how to invoke certain emotions.

In a recent episode called How the Mind Makes Meaning, Ginger interviews Benjamin K. Bergen, author of  Louder Than Words: The New Science of How the Mind Makes Meaning. He came to neuroscience through linguistics, and his graduate professor was the fascinating George Lakoff, who I mentioned in my post about metaphors and the mind. This episode has some good stuff about how language affects the human brain, why grammar is so important, and how words can activate certain areas of our brain and either interfere with or enhance whatever else we are doing.

Enjoy, you lucky little beasts.

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