NPR's newest pilot program, Invisibilia, launches a six-episode season which will air on APR beginning Sunday, January 18th through February 22nd, 2015.
Invisibilia is about the unseen forces that control human behavior -- things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, who helped create Radiolab and This American Life, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling and fascinating new psychological and brain science, in a way that ultimately makes you see your own life differently.
The one-hour program is a collaboration between the NPR Science Desk, led by Supervising Senior Editor Anne Gudenkauf, and NPR's Programming division. It continues NPR's tradition of re-imagining science programing in a way that is approachable and appealing to our listeners.
Invisibilia Episode Descriptions:
In our hour Fearless, we look at what would happen if you could disappear fear. A group of scientists believe that we no longer need fear — at least not the kind we live with — to navigate the modern world. We will examine that claim, and reveal the striking (and rare) case of a woman with no fear. The second half of the show explores how the rest of us might "turn off" fear.
In How to Become Batman, we examine the surprising effect that your expectations can have on the people around you. We’ll hear how people’s expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze. Plus, the story of a man who is blind and says expectations have helped him see. This journey is not without skeptics. We’ll hear from them, and from neuroscientists who explain the profound effect others’ expectations can have on your physiology.
The Power of Categories examines how categories define us — how, if given a chance, humans will jump into one category or another. We need them. We want them. We look at what categories provide for us, we hear the story of a person caught between gender categories in a way that will surprise you, and we visit the first retirement community in the country to be based around one ethnic group.
In Entanglement we hear from a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia who can physically feel what she sees others feeling. We also explore the ways in which all of us are connected — more literally than you might realize. The hour will start with surprising developments in physics and end with a conversation with comedian Maria Bamford and her mother. They discuss what it’s like to be entangled through impersonation.
In Our Computers, Ourselves we look at the ways technology is affecting us, and our main question is: Are computers changing our character? We hear from cyborgs, bullies, neuroscientists and police chiefs about whether our closeness with computers is changing us as a species.
In The Secret History of Thoughts, we ponder the question, “Are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, do they reveal who I really am?” The answer can have profound consequences for your life. We tell the story of a man gripped by violent thoughts, and explore how various psychologists make sense of his experience. We also introduce you to a man trapped inside his head for 13 years with thoughts as his only companion.