Johann Hari: Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.

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Lisa Genova: What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s doesn’t have to be your brain’s destiny, says neuroscientist and author of “Still Alice,” Lisa Genova. She shares the latest science investigating the disease — and some promising research on what each of us can do to build an Alzheimer’s-resistant brain. Read More

Rebecca Brachman: Could A Drug Prevent PTSD?

The path to better medicine is paved with accidental yet revolutionary discoveries. In this well-told tale of how science happens, neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman shares news of a serendipitous breakthrough treatment that may prevent mental disorders like depression and PTSD from ever developing. Listen for an unexpected, and controversial, twist.

Rebecca Brachman is a pioneer in the field of preventative psychopharmacology, developing drugs to enhance stress resilience and prevent mental illness.

Current treatments for mood disorders only suppress symptoms without addressing the underlying disease, and there are no known cures. Read More

Sangu Delle: There’s No Shame In Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

When stress got to be too much for TED Fellow Sangu Delle, he had to confront his own deep prejudice: that men shouldn’t take care of their mental health. In a personal talk, Delle shares how he learned to handle anxiety in a society that’s uncomfortable with emotions. As he says:

Being honest about how we feel doesn’t make us weak — it makes us human.

Sangu Delle

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Antonio Damasio: How Our Brains Create Our Sense Of Self

Every morning we wake up and regain consciousness — that is a marvellous fact — but what exactly is it that we regain? Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio uses this simple question to give us a glimpse into how our brains create our sense of self. Read More

Want To Help People Who Have Autism… Try Empathy

Adam Harris takes us on a journey – the journey of a person with Autism where he depicts the experience, language and learning experiences of a person with Autism. He describes about how we are affected by Autism and what we can do about it to create change.

Adam established AsIAm because of his own experiences growing up with Aspergers Syndrome, a condition on the Autism Spectrum. Adam spent 3 years of his education in a school for people with Autism, before being integrated into mainstream education in 2nd class. By the time he was 16, Adam felt he should do something to help others affected by Autism and was particularly frustrated at the lack of public awareness and understanding of the condition, and the lack of a voice for those with the condition and their families. Read More

Kevin B. Jones: Why Curiosity Is The Key To Science And Medicine

Science is a learning process that involves experimentation, failure and revision — and the science of medicine is no exception. Cancer researcher Kevin B. Jones faces the deep unknowns about surgery and medical care with a simple answer: honesty. In a thoughtful talk about the nature of knowledge, Jones shows how science is at its best when scientists humbly admit what they do not yet understand. Read More

Jennifer Brea: What Happens When You Have A Disease Doctors Can’t Diagnose?

Five years ago, TED Fellow Jennifer Brea became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that severely impairs normal activities and on bad days makes even the rustling of bed sheets unbearable. In this poignant talk, Brea describes the obstacles she’s encountered in seeking treatment for her condition, whose root causes and physical effects we don’t fully understand, as well as her mission to document through film the lives of patients that medicine struggles to treat. Read More

John Serle: Our Shared Condition — Consciousness


American philosopher John Serle has made countless contributions to contemporary thinking about consciousness, language, artificial intelligence and rationality itself. In his early work, he focused on the nature of language and what we are conveying when we speak and how the intention behind what we intend to say can the meaning of words from context to context.

He is best known for his “Chinese Room” thought experiment, which challenges the notion of a truly intelligent artificial intelligence. In it, he imagines a room containing an individual, who speaks only English, working with a set of English instructions to write a series of Chinese characters in order to anonymous communicate with a Chinese speaker outside the room. Read More

Dorothy Roberts: The Problem With Race-Based Medicine

Social justice advocate and law scholar Dorothy Roberts has a precise and powerful message: Race-based medicine is bad medicine. Even today, many doctors still use race as a medical short-cut; they make important decisions about things like pain tolerance based on a patient’s skin color instead of medical observation and measurement. In this searing talk, Roberts lays out the lingering traces of race-based medicine — and invites us to be a part of ending it. “It is more urgent than ever to finally abandon this backward legacy,” she says, “and to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us.”. Read More