Science writer and reporter Erik Vance says today’s brain scientists are like astronomers of old: They’ve unsettled humanity’s sense of itself by redrawing our picture of the cosmos within our own heads. Vance has investigated the healing power of stories and the “theater of medicine” (white coats included). It turns out that the things that make us feel better are often more closely connected to what we believe and fear than to the efficacy of some treatments. In fact, most drugs that go to trial can’t beat what we’ve dismissively called the “placebo effect,” which is actually nothing less than an unleashing of the brain’s superpowers.
Erik Vance is a Pulitzer Center grantee and the author of “Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal.” His work has appeared in several publications, including the “New York Times,” “Harper’s Magazine,” “Scientific American,” and “National Geographic.“
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the
episode "Erik Vance — The Drugs Inside Your Head." Find more at onbeing.org.
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