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Washington University neurosurgeons host Brain Coffee podcast to start conversations about the brain

Albert Kim (left) and Eric Leuthardt (right) explore how the brain influences emotions, behaviors and more in their new podcast, Brain Coffee.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio
Albert Kim (left) and Eric Leuthardt (right) explore how the brain influences emotions, behaviors and more in their new podcast, Brain Coffee.

The brain is crucial to everything we do – yet so little is known about it. The complexity of the human brain is of constant interest to Albert Kim and Eric Leuthardt, Washington University neurosurgeons at Barnes Jewish Hospital.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Kim and Leuthardt about how the brain influences emotions, behaviors and more. They address how those topics are explored in their new podcast, Brain Coffee.

Leuthardt said so little is known about the brain because of its complexity, but that one day, we will “absolutely” know.

“If you look at the number of neurons in the brain and you multiply that by the number of connections between those neurons … it really starts to outpace the number of stars in the universe,” Leuthardt said. “Getting your arms around that is hard.”

“It’s an information processing problem,” Kim agreed.

The latest breakthroughs in neuroscience have occurred in the past 10 years because the computational abilities of humans are expanding, Leuthardt explained. Both doctors work on brain computer interfaces (BCI), which include establishing a communication pathway between a wired brain and an external device. BCIs are used to research, map and repair human cognitive or sensory-motor functions.

Kim and Leuthardt talk about the differences between the young, middle-aged and older brain, what makes someone a sociopath and the effect of solitary confinement on the brain.

Listen below for the full discussion:

 

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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