355: James Kingsland on the Neuroscience of Behind Our Reality


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By Eric Zimmer|Wondery. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

James Kingsland is a science and medical journalist with 25 years of experience working for publications such as New Scientist, Nature, and, most recently, The Guardian. On his own blog, Plastic Brain, he writes about neuroscience and Buddhist psychology.

In this episode, Eric and James Kingsland discuss his book, Am I Dreaming: The Science of Altered States from Psychedelics to Virtual Reality and Beyond.

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In This Interview, James Kingsland and I Discuss the Neuroscience Behind Our Reality, and…

  • His book, Am I Dreaming: The Science of Altered States from Psychedelics to Virtual Reality and Beyond
  • What the best neuroscience tells us about how the brain works
  • That we don’t see the world directly, objectively as it is
  • Our experiential reality as a combination of what we expect to see and the feedback from what our senses are telling us is there
  • Prediction Error Coding
  • How the brain mainly pays attention when you surprise it
  • That the Buddha discovered that we see a conditioned view of the world
  • The types of things that go wrong in the brain
  • Viewing mental illness and addiction through the prediction functionality of the brain
  • How altered states can help when things go wrong in the brain
  • Expanded the flexibility of the brain
  • What happens in the brain during sleep and dreaming
  • His experience with hypnosis
  • Active Inference

James Kingsland Links:



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453 episodes