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Chasing Life

Did you know that some people can taste colors and others have a hard time recognizing faces? This season on Chasing Life, Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes listeners beyond the basics of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch to explore unique sensory experiences. Discover why psychedelics might change your worldview, how animals perceive differently than humans, and how biases in taste might impact the future of food production.

Join us each week to marvel at how the rich landscape of sensory perception shapes our understanding of the world.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta
The Mystery of the Teenage Brain Chasing Life
Remember how awkward and confused you felt as a teen? It's a time of so many big changes – growth spurts, body hair, and acne, just to name a few – but perhaps the most radical transformation is going on inside the adolescent brain. Dr. Sanjay Gupta dives into the neuroscience of the teen brain with psychologist Valerie Reyna to figure out how teens make decisions and weigh risks. Plus, tips for teens (and anyone who’s been a teen) on how we can support one another through this challenging stage of life. This episode was originally released on February 15, 2022.
Jan 31, 2023
Sanjay investigates “Havana Syndrome” Pt. 2 Chasing Life
Dr. Sanjay Gupta travels to Cuba to investigate one of the most complex and controversial brain mysteries in recent years known as "Havana Syndrome." First reported by two dozen U.S. officials in Havana, Cuba starting in 2016, these unexplained health incidents have since multiplied to include hundreds of reports of concussion-like injuries around the globe. Despite various government investigations, American officials have yet to make clear what is behind these injuries and whether a directed e...Show morenergy weapon may be to blame. Dr. Gupta sets out to explain the truth behind "Havana Syndrome," the extent of its impact on the brain, and the potential continuing threat facing government officials at home and abroad. This special report originally aired on CNN on September 25, 2022.
Jan 24, 2023
Sanjay investigates “Havana Syndrome” Pt. 1 Chasing Life
Dr. Sanjay Gupta travels to Cuba to investigate one of the most complex and controversial brain mysteries in recent years known as "Havana Syndrome." First reported by two dozen U.S. officials in Havana, Cuba starting in 2016, these unexplained health incidents have since multiplied to include hundreds of reports of concussion-like injuries around the globe. Despite various government investigations, American officials have yet to make clear what is behind these injuries and whether a directed e...Show morenergy weapon may be to blame. Dr. Gupta sets out to explain the truth behind "Havana Syndrome," the extent of its impact on the brain, and the potential continuing threat facing government officials at home and abroad. This special report originally aired on CNN on September 25, 2022.
Jan 17, 2023
What Promise Do Psychedelics Hold As Therapeutics? Chasing Life
When psychedelics were first studied more than 50 years ago, researchers noticed that they were useful in helping people explore a greater sense of self. Now, after a half-century hiatus, scientists are studying psychedelics like MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine as treatment for depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. So, what promise do they hold as therapeutics? Albert Garcia-Romeu, a researcher at John’s Hopkins University, joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta to talk about how psychedelics can alleviate mental suffering and what the path forward might look like. This episode originally aired on November 8, 2022.
Jan 10, 2023
When You Hear Colors and Taste Shapes Chasing Life
For the past couple of months, we’ve explored the senses and how each one affects our health and well-being. In our last episode of this season, we examine a trait known as synesthesia – in which the senses intertwine, like seeing colors when you hear music or tasting flavor when you feel texture. Neurologist and author, Dr. Richard Cytowic, joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta to explain what happens in the brain when the senses blend. We’ll also hear from musical artist, Christen Lien, about what it’s like to live and perform with synesthesia.
Dec 20, 2022
The Power of Sound Chasing Life
Close your eyes and just listen. Even if you aren’t actively thinking about the noises happening around you, your brain is constantly processing sound. That’s because, unlike your eyes, your ears never close. In fact, Northwestern neurobiology professor Nina Kraus, says listening is one of the hardest tasks we ask our brains to do. On today’s episode, Kraus explains how the sounds we’re surrounded by everyday – like a noisy leaf blower or the soothing sound of music – really matter and can impact our physical and mental health. Plus, she shares tips for building a healthy “sonic world.”
Dec 13, 2022
Smelling Your Way To Love Chasing Life
Do you ever walk past someone who smells absolutely alluring? Maybe you even do a double take? Scent is a major component of our attraction to those around us, but how much does it actually impact our romantic decisions? Pheromones have long been documented in the animal kingdom, but what about in humans? On this episode, professor Tristram Wyatt joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a deep dive into the world of pheromones, how they work and the search for the mysterious human sex pheromone.
Dec 6, 2022
The Science Behind a Good Night's Sleep Chasing Life
We all know sleep is vital, so why do many of us still find it so difficult to prioritize? CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks with sleep scientist Rebecca Robbins about why we sleep in the first place and how to ensure we get a good night’s rest. And neurologist Ying-Hui Fu explores the latest research surrounding sleep, including what regulates the amount of sleep we actually need and what role genetics might play. We also meet Cliff Luther, a man who only needs about four hours of sleep a night yet wakes just as well rested as the rest of us. What’s his secret? This episode originally aired in June 2021.
Nov 29, 2022
Food for Thought, Literally Chasing Life
Can you picture your favorite comfort food? Whether it’s a steaming bowl of your grandmother’s homemade soup or a chewy chocolate candy bar from your childhood, food evokes all sorts of emotions. But the way we experience food also depends on lots of different factors like smell, sound, texture, color and memory. On today’s episode, University of Kentucky Professor Dan Han, teaches us about a new and emerging field called neurogastronomy, and how this science could help us train our brains to gr...Show moreavitate toward healthier and more sustainable food. Also, we’ll head into the kitchen with a behind-the-scenes lesson on how to apply neurogastronomy to your Thanksgiving table with Atlanta chef Taria Camerino.
Nov 15, 2022
What Promise Do Psychedelics Hold As Therapeutics? Chasing Life
When psychedelics were first studied more than 50 years ago, researchers noticed that they were useful in helping people explore a greater sense of self. Now, after a half-century hiatus, scientists are studying psychedelics like MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine as treatment for depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. So, what promise do they hold as therapeutics? Albert Garcia-Romeu, a researcher at John’s Hopkins University, joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta to talk about how psychedelics can alleviate mental suffering and what the path forward might look like.
Nov 8, 2022
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