Cover art for podcast This Is Your Brain With Dr. Phil Stieg

This Is Your Brain With Dr. Phil Stieg

81 EpisodesProduced by Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine CenterWebsite

Dr. Phil Stieg, Neurosurgeon-in-Chief of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and founder and Chairman of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, introduces his new podcast, which will explore different aspects of our most important and complex organ – the brain. In each epi… read more

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A Jolt of Happiness

November 19th, 2021


Is it possible to relieve depression or PTSD using electricity? Kelly Bijanki, PhD, runs a lab at Baylor College of Medicine, where her team is using …

Things Don't Have To Fall Apart

November 5th, 2021


Daniel Levitin says we can all age successfully if we take our choices more seriously now. The neuroscientist and author reveals the keys to reaching …

Do You Hear What I See?

October 22nd, 2021


Synesthesia is the mysterious mingling of the senses that creates the experience of "seeing" sounds or "hearing" colors. Neurologist Richard E. …

Your Brain On Trial

October 8th, 2021


Would a better understanding of the brain lead to better outcomes in court? Professor Francis X. Shen, neuroscientist and lawyer, has devoted his …

Making Sense of Music

September 24th, 2021


Sound may be the least understood of the five senses, with music the most mysterious of all. Neuroscientist Nina Kraus of Northwestern University takes us on a tour of how the brain processes music, and explains the …

Do-It-Yourself Neuroscience

September 10th, 2021


Worried about dementia, depression, or the zombie apocalypse? Greg Gage, PhD, has a solution for all of these – teach more kids about neuroscience, …

In Search of Creativity

August 27th, 2021


True creative genius may well be the last frontier in human evolution - the only trait that can’t be replaced with technology. Dr. Robert Bilder, who …

Menopause: The Change Is Gonna Come

August 13th, 2021


Menopause can wreak havoc on mood and body temperature as it signals the end of fertility, but some of the biggest changes it causes are in the …

Who Do You Trust?

July 30th, 2021


Is there a "trust spot" in the brain? How do we balance the human desire to trust against the fear of betrayal? Dr. Frank Krueger, a psychologist, …

How Gabby Giffords Found Her Voice

July 16th, 2021


After the shocking 2011 shooting that sent a would-be assassin’s bullet through her brain, former U.S. Rep. Giffords had to re-learn how to breathe, …

Brain Games

July 2nd, 2021


Does "brain training" work? Dr. Susanne Jaeggi and Dr. Aaron Seitz are experts who are developing and studying brain apps in a nationwide study of their effectiveness. Together they are exploring how cognitive skills …

Your Brain Is Not for Thinking

June 18th, 2021


...and 7 other lessons about the command center that runs all our body's systems. Lisa Feldman Barret, professor of psychology at Northeastern …

Into the Woods... to Heal

June 4th, 2021


The gentle sounds of the surf, or sweet birdsong in the trees, are more than just refreshing -- they have actual, proven power to heal the brain. Dr. David Strayer, professor of cognition and neural science at the …

Getting Into the Flow

May 21st, 2021


Can you train your brain to perform better, feel happier, focus more? Stephen Kotler says you can. The bestselling author of The Art of the Impossible

Talking With Dolphins

May 7th, 2021


Dolphins have large, complex brains that are a lot like the human model -- what if we could get inside their heads and communicate with them? Meet …

Covid on the Brain

April 23rd, 2021


What's causing the "Covid fog" and "long-haul Covid" that have been all over the news lately? Neuropsychologist Heidi Bender, PhD, and infectious …

Calm Yourself

April 9th, 2021


Pain and fear are inevitable, especially these days, but we can retrain our brains to reduce suffering. Dr. Sara Lazar, Assistant Professor in …

The Paradox of Dreams

March 26th, 2021


More than an evolutionary waste of energy, dreams are one of the last mysteries of human cognition. Dr. Raphael Vallat, a neuroscientist and sleep …

The 'Art' of Making Decisions

March 12th, 2021


A brain experiment on abstract vs representational art reveals the secrets of how we make decisions, and how we impulsive humans may finally learn to …

What's So Funny?

February 26th, 2021


Delve into a comedian's brain to discover what makes people laugh -- and when the comic is also a neuroscientist, it's no joke! Dr.  Ori Amir  studies what goes on in the brain as jokes are born, and he's also learned …

Are You Smarter Than a Teenage Neuroscientist?

February 12th, 2021


Welcome to the International Brain Bee, where the innovators of tomorrow — most of them still too young to drive — are spending their days memorizing brain parts, studying neurons, and even dissecting cadaver brains. …

The Change Is Gonna Come: Menopause and the Brain

January 29th, 2021


Menopause can wreak havoc on mood and body temperature as it signals the end of fertility, but some of the biggest changes it causes are in the …

How Gabby Giffords Found Her Voice

January 15th, 2021


After the shocking 2011 shooting that sent a would-be assassin’s bullet through her brain, former U.S. Rep. Giffords had to re-learn how to breathe, …

Genetics, Metabolism, and Alzheimer's Disease

December 28th, 2020


One in three cases of Alzheimer's disease may be preventable, but some cases are quite predictable. Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains how scientists …

When Children Have Seizures

December 11th, 2020


What happens in a child's brain to cause seizures, and why have children with epilepsy been so stigmatized? In this encore presentation, Dr. Stieg talks with pediatric neurosurgeon Caitlin Hoffman, MD, and …

Are We Wired for Anxiety?

November 27th, 2020


In this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes, Dr. Stieg talks to psychiatrist Richard Friedman about the neuroscience of fear: How …

The Gut-Brain Conversation

November 13th, 2020


Microbes in your intestine are talking to cells in your brain all the time – and what they say can affect everything from inflammatory diseases to …

Focus on ADHD

October 30th, 2020


Diagnosing and treating attention deficit disorder can be tricky – not every hyperactive kid has ADHD, and some very calm children are extremely …

Conscious and Trapped Inside

October 16th, 2020


From drug cocktails to deep brain stimulation, there is new hope for brain-injured patients with "locked-in syndrome”  in minimally conscious states. …

Dread Making Decisions?

October 2nd, 2020


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 …

Do Our Dogs Really Love Us?

September 18th, 2020


​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 …

Consciousness and Mental Time Travel

September 4th, 2020


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 …

Hope for the Lonely

August 21st, 2020


The pandemic has produced a dramatic new wave of loneliness for those coping with loss, grief, and social isolation.   Although the feeling of …

How Noise Affects Our Brains

August 7th, 2020


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 …

Dealing With Loss

July 24th, 2020


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 …

Suffering From Headaches?

July 10th, 2020


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 …

How Elite Athletes Handle Pressure

June 19th, 2020


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, …

Fighting Parkinson’s with DBS

June 5th, 2020


Parkinson’s Disease patient Elizabeth Larsen gives a deeply honest view of her Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to control her tremors. We learn …

Facing Parkinson’s Disease

May 22nd, 2020


From mild resting tremors to freezing, stiffness, and loss of motor control, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease progress relentlessly over time. Dr. …

Love in Captivity

May 8th, 2020


The COVID-19 quarantine has changed everything about love and sex. Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher reveals how socially distant dating can …

COVID’s Invisible Bullet

April 24th, 2020


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 …

Information Overload

April 3rd, 2020


Human brains are not wired for the staggering amount and variety of daily information coming our way. Dr. Marvin Chun, Professor of Psychology and …

Understanding and Destigmatizing Epilepsy

March 20th, 2020


People with epilepsy have been stigmatized since the time of Hippocrates. Two epilepsy specialists, Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, a Weill Cornell Medicine …

Music’s Powerful Impact on the Brain

March 6th, 2020


World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming is also a leading advocate for research and public education on the therapeutic power of music to heal the mind. …

The Risks of Long-Term Space Travel

February 21st, 2020


A three-year mission to Mars will have profound effects on bodies—and brains. The recent NASA study of twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly provides a new understanding of how life in space can alter cognition, heart …

Brain-Healthy Eating

February 7th, 2020


“Today Show” nutritionist Joy Bauer has easy, affordable, and delicious tips for making brain-healthy food choices. Boost your memory, strengthen …

Teen Brains at Risk

January 24th, 2020


Dr. Frances Jensen, Chair of the Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and author of "The Teenage Brain," …

Hope for Depression’s Toughest Cases

January 10th, 2020


Anti-depressants don’t work for everyone. Psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, describes four effective treatments that restore the brain’s lost …

Scientific Advances in Mind Reading

December 27th, 2019


Artificial intelligence is ushering in a new era of mind reading, with advanced brain scans revealing much of what we’re thinking about. Dr. Marvin …

Why the Burnout Epidemic?

December 13th, 2019


Frayed social bonds, toxic and demanding work environments, and even helicopter parenting are all contributing to an American epidemic of burnout. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of …

Living with Glioblastoma

November 15th, 2019


New York Times journalist Rod Nordland is confronting his glioblastoma diagnosis with positivity, not despair. In this inspiring episode, he speaks with Dr. Stieg about coming to terms with the disease, what it’s like …

What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's

November 1st, 2019


Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, shares the just-published results of his …

Violence and the Brain

October 18th, 2019


Mass shootings, bullying and retaliation, and other acts of violence -- why did the human brain evolve to be so aggressive? Dr. Heather Berlin, …

Slow Love

October 4th, 2019


How have sexual behaviors changed in our Millennial, #MeToo era? Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD, explains the nuances of being just …

Is It Normal Aging or Alzheimer’s?

September 27th, 2019


Some 46 million Americans already have the early brain changes that are the harbingers of a dementia that won’t reveal itself for decades. Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill …

Pain and the Science of Suffering

September 20th, 2019


Chronic pain is a national epidemic. 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 …

Trial and Error in Treating Depression

September 13th, 2019


From Abraham Lincoln’s untreatable melancholy to the serendipitous discovery of SSRIs, we have come a long way in understanding depression. …

The Promise of Stem Cell Therapy

September 6th, 2019


Stem cells hold the potential to change the landscape of medicine and bring patient care and well-being into a new era. Neurosurgeon Robert Hariri, …

The Music-Brain Connection

August 23rd, 2019


“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.

Coma and Hidden Consciousness

August 16th, 2019


Coma and vegetative states are confounding for loved ones of brain-injured patients. Dr. Joseph Fins, Chief of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains the sobering discovery of hidden consciousness in coma …

The Quest to Conquer Pain

August 9th, 2019


Throughout history, humans have experienced pain as punishment from the gods, a metaphysical struggle, or a simple biological process. Journalist …

Awake During Brain Surgery

August 2nd, 2019


Talking with your neurosurgeons during brain surgery may seem terrifying or like science fiction. But actually, as two patients share, it was a …

How Lust Built Our Brains

July 26th, 2019


The drive to reproduce – to move our DNA into tomorrow – may be behind our ability to do math, make music, and even play sports. Evolutionary …

Why Can’t We Resist Temptation?

July 19th, 2019


A faulty risk/reward area of your brain can get you into trouble, but it can also free you to think outside the box. Cognitive neuroscientist Heather …

Life and Death Decisions

July 12th, 2019


Ethics and emotions often clash at the bedside of terminally ill patients—especially those with brain injuries. Dr. Joseph Fins, Chief of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, talks with Dr. Stieg about what we can …

Close Call with a Brain Bleed

July 5th, 2019


A runner’s life-threatening brain bleed is repaired just in time thanks to a new minimally invasive procedure. Patient Mikal Scott talks about his alarming symptoms and fortunate meeting with neurosurgeon Dr. Jared …

What's Threatening Your Sleep?

June 28th, 2019


Cell phones, stress, and a hyper-scheduled life all put your sleep cycle in danger. Sleep disruption is bad for brain health, wreaks havoc on mood, …

When Snoring Is Dangerous for Your Brain

June 21st, 2019


Sleep disruptions have unexpected and serious impacts on the health of your brain. Dr. Ana Krieger, Chief of Sleep Neurology at Weill Cornell …

Food Is Medicine

June 14th, 2019


The best prescription for reducing inflammation, cholesterol, and weight is right on your plate. Cardiologist Hooman Yaghoobzadeh, MD, explains the …

Eating Smart for Brain and Heart

June 7th, 2019


The science behind the benefits of a plant-based fiber diet will motivate many of us to make important lifestyle changes. Cardiologist Hooman …

Sex and Scent: What Your Nose Knows

May 31st, 2019


Sexual attraction starts with a whiff of signals that gets your motor running. Your nose -- and brain – are behind your gender, sexual orientation, …

No More Shaking Hands!

May 24th, 2019


A tremor had plagued Alexandra Lebenthal since childhood. Today her hand is steady and she can finally hold a glass with ease, thanks to Dr. Michael …

“Bobble Heads” and Concussions

May 17th, 2019


Dr. Barry Kosofsky explains why children – especially girls – are at greater risk for concussion, and why kids under 14 should never play tackle …

Rebirth After a Brain Tumor

May 10th, 2019


Memories return – along with a surge of confusing emotions – after Demetri's surgery to remove a craniopharyngioma. Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield joins his patient and Dr. Stieg to talk about revelations after brain tumor …

A Life Unravels

May 3rd, 2019


When Demetri Kofinas was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor, he faced bizarre symptoms and difficult choices. With the help of his father and …

Climbing Out of Depression

April 26th, 2019


Dr. Stieg talks to psychiatrist Richard Friedman, MD, about depression and PTSD: How they are different from sadness, how the brain actually changes when someone is depressed and when they come out of it, and how …

Are We Wired for Anxiety?

April 19th, 2019


Dr. Stieg talks to psychiatrist Dr. Richard Friedman about the neuroscience of fear: How parents can transmit anxiety to their kids, how some babies seem hard-wired for anxiety, and why a little anxiety is good for you …

Your Brain in Love

April 12th, 2019


Dr. Stieg talks to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher about the four hormonal systems that drive our relationship styles, and how they can …

Madly in Love

April 5th, 2019


Dr. Helen Fisher, one of the world's foremost authorities on love, explains what happens in the brain when we experience romantic or sexual attraction, how that changes in long-term relationships, and why …

"An Eraser in My Brain" (2)

March 26th, 2019


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

"An Eraser in My Brain" (1)

March 26th, 2019


Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times journalist Alissa Rubin talks with Dr. Stieg about the helicopter crash that seriously injured her, and the …

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