Psychology & Behaviour

Delve into what drives us as humans, from communication & memory to thought & emotion

Why do certain songs stick?

Dr Victoria Williamson

Yes, earworms are annoying, but have you ever stopped to think what they reveal about our brains? They are the price we pay for an astounding relationship our minds and bodies share with music that lasts our entire lives.

Thu, 15 Dec 2022 6:00 pm UTC

What does music do to the brain?

Dr Diana Omigie

Cognitive neuroscience is pushing boundaries and is now able to pinpoint specific signatures of the brain, differentiating between nuanced emotions like how we experience awe and beauty - vastly complex feelings that, until now, have been out of reach.

Thu, 8 Dec 2022 6:00 pm UTC

How can we unlock our brain's creative potential?

Prof. Anna Abraham

How can I be more creative? This is the question Professor Anna Abraham is most often asked and in this fireside conversation, she will be sharing the answer to this question, grounded in her research on creativity and the brain.

Thu, 1 Dec 2022 6:30 pm UTC

What is the power of silence?

Dr Naomi Woo

Silence is one of the most important elements when writing music and silent compositions like John Cage’s 4’33” can transform our perspective of what music is and help us to develop a more nuanced understanding of the world.

On demand
Watch now
Could psychedelics unlock our creativity?

Dr. David Luke

Psychedelics might have unique qualities that can foster our inner creativity. But exactly what hidden mechanisms can these drugs unlock in our brains? and could we replicate these effects without taking these drugs?

On demand
Watch now
Are creatives born or made?

Prof. Dean Keith Simonton

What makes someone a creative genius? Dean Keith Simonton, the godfather of creativity, will share his decades of research on how our genes and our environment contribute to everyday creativity and the emergence of genius.

On demand
Watch now
What does psychosis feel like?

Prof. Femi Oyebode

In severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia the normal functioning of the mind is compromised. What does it feel like to experience delusions & hallucinations and how do they differ from ordinary beliefs & normal experiences?

On demand
Watch now
Can you always trust your mind?

Dr Keri Wong

We use our senses to understand the world. But for people with schizophrenia, psychosis means they can't trust their senses or their minds. Why is schizophrenia so misunderstood & stigmatised by society?

On demand
Watch now
Do we understand the depths of depression?

Dr Harry Costello

Depression is no modern phenomenon, however it remains poorly understood. Why is it so challenging to understand depression and how is science trying to unravel its causes?

On demand
Watch now
Does power really corrupt?

Dr. Brian Klaas

Power is intoxicating, or so we're told. But do we really understand why people in power often end up becoming more tyrannical than benevolent? And why do they cling onto power once they have it?

On demand
Watch now
Could anyone become perfectly bilingual?

Antonella Sorace

More than half the world speaks two or more languages fluently. And yet being bilingual is a label often reserved for native speakers who learn multiple languages as children. Can you both 'be' and 'become' bilingual?

On demand
Watch now
Why do countries dominate certain sports?

Prof. Paul Oyer

Freakonomics revealed that economics is everywhere. But what about the world of sport? Why are some countries better at certain sports than others? And what does economics have to do with it?

On demand
Watch now
How do languages evolve?

Professor Simon Kirby

Language sets humankind apart from other species. Even our closest primate relatives haven't developed the same ability to acquire & use language. Why are humans the only species with language and how did language evolve?

On demand
Watch now
How do conjoined twins challenge our view of identity?

Alice Dreger

Conjoined twins are among the rarest of human beings. Revered in some cultures and vilified in others. How should we think about individuality in conjoined twinning, & should the phenomenon often seen as a medical “problem” be solved?

On demand
Watch now
What can animals teach us about identity?

B. Natterson-Horowitz, MD

Some of mankind's most enduring questions are about who we are as individuals, how we can live successfully alongside others, & the tension between the two. What can we learn about identity from our furry, feathered and scaly friends?

On demand
Watch now
How is the digital age transforming our response to stress?

Dr. Alexandra Crosswell

Humans are information-seeking beings at heart. But while technology has given us unprecedented access to the data we crave, it has created a deluge of side effects. How are we adapting to information and stimulation overload?

On demand
Watch now
What happens to your body under stress?

Dr David Plans

Stress starts in the mind, but it can take an enormous toll on the body too. Left unchecked, it can even prove fatal. What is stress, from a scientific perspective, and how does it wreak havoc on our bodies when we're in a state of burnout?

On demand
Watch now
What happens in the brain when you meditate?

Prof. Steven Laureys

Meditation - training your attention and awareness to reach a calm and stable state - is an ancient practice found all over the world and used in the modern day to manage stress. What's going on in your brain when you achieve this level of focus?

On demand
Watch now
How does where you grow up impact who you become?

Dr. Dorsa Amir

We often hear about nature vs nurture, but did you know that science can pinpoint specific personality traits that can be traced to the environment we grew up in? How much of our adult personality has its roots in not who we were born, but where?

On demand
Watch now
How does love help us survive?

Dr. Anna Machin

Love can make us act against logic and reason. It can make us irrational. It can make us forget about our own best interests, or even risk our own safety. Why have we developed such a strong instinct to love, when in so many ways it would be easier not to?

On demand
Watch now
Does where you're from change how you dream?

Prof. Sidarta Ribeiro

The study of dreams is a fascinating journey through neuroscience, biochemistry, psychology, history and anthropology. How do dreams differ around the world, and what do they tell us about the world itself?

On demand
Watch now
Do you still have free will when your unconscious mind is in charge?

Dr. Uri Maoz

Have you ever arrived at your destination with no memory of the journey that got you there? Your unconscious mind has been at work. Does that mean we don't always have free will over our actions and decisions? And what does that tell us about the brain?

On demand
Watch now
Where do we go when we go to sleep?

Dr Lauren N. Whitehurst

We think of sleep as a period of relaxation and recuperation, but while we snooze, our brains remain incredibly busy, often with intriguing "side effects" like dreams and sleepwalking. What does the mind get up to when we're not paying attention?

On demand
Watch now
Are we living in an age of persecution?

Prof. Fathali M. Moghaddam

What's driving us when we act as a collective? And why does modern life mean more people feel persecuted than ever before?

On demand
Watch now
Is happiness a modern invention?

Prof. Darrin McMahon

Today, we tend to think about happiness as a right: a natural goal all humans strive towards. How could it be possible that this idea came into being just two hundred years ago?

On demand
Watch now
Why does comedy make us happy?

Prof. Angus Fletcher

Humans have created art to provoke laughter for millennia. Why does comedy work, and what does it reveal about the counterintuitive biology of the human brain?

On demand
Watch now
Are our hormones being hijacked by technology?

Dr. Anna Lembke, MD

Dopamine is our feel-good hormone: the one that encourages us to seek out pleasure. But the relentless pursuit of pleasure can lead to pain too. How can we find contentment in an age of instant gratification and overindulgence?

On demand
Watch now
Why are teenagers so influenced by their peers?

Dr. Wouter van den Bos

Peer pressure is a powerful influence on adolescent decision-making. What is it about the brains of teenagers that makes it so important to be liked, and to go along with the crowd?

On demand
Watch now
Do we eat with our ears?

Prof. Charles Spence

Besides taste, there are other senses at work when we eat. How much of an influence does the environment have over our food behaviour?

On demand
Watch now
Were the first thought experiments in Shakespeare's plays?

Prof. Fathali M. Moghaddam

Scientists have long used thought experiments to further their understanding of the world. But was Shakespeare the first person to do it?

On demand
Watch now
Why do humans have such a unique relationship with food?

Dr. John S Allen

Not even our closest primate relatives think about food in the way humans do. What does the food we eat tell us about our own evolutionary history?

On demand
Watch now
How do the stories we tell shape who we are?

Prof. Ann Phoenix

Conversation is a continuous act of curating, connecting and analysing the events in our lives. How do we decide how we want to be seen?

On demand
Watch now
How can psychedelics help us understand consciousness?

Dr. David Luke

How can someone on an acid trip see sounds or hear colours? And why do some people have this same experience all the time, drug-free?

On demand
Watch now
How do we handle mentally ill offenders?

Dr Sohom Das

It's not always clear what drives a criminal to act the way they do. How does the justice system deal with offenders whose behaviour is rooted in mental illness?

On demand
Watch now
Why does the mind create real symptoms in the absence of disease?

Dr. Suzanne O'Sullivan

The body can create a shocking array of symptoms, from paralysis to seizures, seemingly without any medical explanation. Is the brain responsible, and if so, why does it do it?

On demand
Watch now
Why is a computer not a good analogy for the brain?

Prof. Angus Fletcher

Artificial intelligence systems are built to mimic human intelligence. Do they have any chance of replicating all the abilities of a brain?

On demand
Watch now
What's the connection between stories and memory?

Dr. Michael A. Yassa

Stories make it easier to understand complex topics and make sense of our lives. But why does the brain work this way?

On demand
Watch now
When does pain management become the pain of addiction?

Dr Kelly E. Dunn

More than 70% of deaths linked to drug use worldwide are related to opioids. How did these drugs designed to treat pain end up crippling communities?

On demand
Watch now
Rethinking Serendipity: How is luck created?

Dr. Christian Busch

Research has proven that there's more to luck than simple chance. How can the right mindset turn uncertainty into serendipity?

On demand
Watch now

Online live interactive talks with experts

Come learn from the best in their fields, and ask them your questions

Find an upcoming live talk

High-quality recorded talks on-demand

Watch recordings of 100+ past talks at your own pace

Browse on-demand talks

The Garden is a community for the curious, a place where inquisitive minds can come together to learn from world experts, and each other, and join in conversations about topics that spark their curiosity.

Find out more

With our monthly membership we aim to give anyone, anywhere, access to the knowledge, ideas and people who have shaped — and continue to shape — our understanding of the world.

Start free trial