This episode is an interview with Sandra Blakeslee, co-author (with her son Matthew) of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps Help You Do (almost) Everything Better, which we discussed in episode 21.
I asked Blakeslee to tell me a little bit of her background as a science writer. She wrote for the New York Times for many years and was the co-author of both Jeff Hawkins groundbreaking book, On Intelligence, and VS Ramachandran's modern classic Phantoms in the Brain (1998), which was one of the first books to explore neuroplasticity.
In this interview, we explored the relationship between body maps and neuroplasticity, as well as questions from listeners about out of body experiences and other oddities once considered "paranormal." We talked about how body maps are relevant to understanding why some methods of alternative healing appear to be effective.
I asked her to tell me which scientist she met made the biggest impression. Here are a few of those she mentioned:
- Marco Iacoboni at UCLA.
- Atsushi Iriki-cyberspace.
- Olaf Blanke in Switzerland, who has discovered how the angular gyrus is involved in out-of-body experiences.
- Michael Merzenich-a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity who also helped design the first cochlear implant.
Blakeslee told me about some of the pioneering work that Merzenich is doing to apply his discoveries to help people, both those with disabilities and those who just want to combat aging. You can learn more about his work at http://www.positscience.com/.
If you would like to contact Sandra Blakeslee to give her feedback or ask her questions, she has a contact form on her books website at http://www.thebodyhasamindofitsown.com/. She is going to let me know when she gets the references posted on the site.
- Interview of Sandra Blakeslee (Episode 23).
- Discussion of her latest book (Episode 21).
- Brief Review of On Intelligence (Episode 2).