Episode Number: 965
Episode Guest: Robert Sapolsky
Original Airdate: May 25, 2017
Episode Sponsors: N/A
Guest Bio: Robert Sapolsky is a neuroendocrinologist and author. He is currently a professor of biology and professor of neurology and neurological sciences and, by courtesy, neurosurgery, at Stanford University. His latest book Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst is available now.
Topics Discussed: Rob says toxoplasmosis is in 50% of humans; Rob explains what toxoplasmosis is and how it works; rats, cats, and toxoplasmosis; how parasites manipulate their hosts; toxoplasmosis makes chimpanzees less afraid of big cats; Joe asks him about soccer players and toxoplasmosis; toxoplasmosis increases risk of schizophrenia; toxoplasmosis makes humans less inhibited and can change personality; high rates of people killed on motorcycles have toxoplasmosis; toxoplasmosis has less of an effect on women compared to men; a toxo infected rat is more appealing to female rodents; organ donors and toxoplasmosis; talk about other crazy parasites and what they do; oxytocin and how it affects humans and dogs; oxytocin and human relationships; talk about the parts of the brain and their functions; there are biological forces shaping what we do; toxoplasmosis and the frontal cortex; maturation of the frontal cortex doesn’t happen until people are in their 20s; why does the frontal cortex take so long to mature; lying and the frontal cortex; animals that delay reward like humans; delayed gratification; religion could be scaffolding for the development of the frontal cortex; Radiolab “New Babboon” episode; he has studied baboons for 33 years; what he’s learned from studying baboons; talk about baboons eating garbage from a tourist resort and getting tuberculosis; more talk about what he found studying baboons and their behavior; circumstances can change how a primate behaves; change can occur dramatically; free will is the biology we haven’t discovered yet; more talk about the frontal cortex and how we make decisions; things that can influence our behaviors; we are nicer when we are well-fed and not stressed out; what happens to someone when the frontal cortex is damaged; lobotomies; 100 years from now, people will think what we do today is barbaric; (1:00:00) we can now recognize that someone’s actions are biological, yet don’t know how/why they happen; using toxoplasmosis as an excuse/reason for committing a crime; India has used brain scans to convict murderers; the warrior gene and criminology.
My Thoughts: An hour of talk about toxoplasmosis, the brain, and baboons.
Podcast Video: Below is a video of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #965 available for streaming via YouTube.
Podcast Audio: Audio for this episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is available through iTunes, Stitcher, or you can download the MP3 directly to add it to the audio player of your choice.