Medical Mysteries of Music

“This is Your Brain on Podcasts”

I listen at least three different podcasts every week. (I’d listen to more, but then I’d have to give up radio, audio books and all the music that comes through my office every week–not to mention all the music I want to hear for pleasure.) And I’m not alone. Podcast listening is exploding. But why? Could it have to do with the power of storytelling? The people at Freakonomics take a look.

Neuroscientists still have a great deal to learn about the human brain. One recent MRI study sheds some light, finding that a certain kind of storytelling stimulates enormous activity across broad swaths of the brain. The takeaway is obvious: you should be listening to even more podcasts.

Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post, as well as credits for the music in the episode.

Read on.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38542 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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