Discussions on the future of brain science and technology.

About the show

CogNation is a podcast by Rolf Nelson and Joe Hardy, two cognitive psychologists interested in the future of brain science and technology. We explore relevant topics in the areas of cognitive science, technology, AI, and philosophy. Although we dabble with dystopian implications of new technologies (such as the impending robopocalypse), we are led by our curiosity and try to keep it light and fun.

email: [email protected]

CogNation on social media


  • Episode 44: Daniel Sternberg: The State of Artificial Intelligence

    February 15th, 2023  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 22 mins
    ai, artificial intelligence, brains, chatgpt, cognition, consciousness, dall-e-2, machine learning, neural networks

    We talk to Dr. Daniel Sternberg, head of data at Notion Labs, about how to understand new developments in artificial intelligence like DALL-E-2 and chatgpt.

  • Episode 43: Stephanie Preston: Our Attachment to Stuff

    December 19th, 2022  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 3 secs
    behavior, brain, cognition, consumerism, emotion, evolution, hoarding

    Stephanie Preston returns to the show to talk about her latest research. Why do we hoard stuff? And how can we get people to care about the consequences of all that stuff on the environment?

  • Episode 42: The Science of Sleep with Dr. Aric Prather

    November 28th, 2022  |  Season 3  |  1 hr 13 mins
    aric prather, brain, cbt-i, cognition, cognitive behavioral therapy, neuroscience, sleep, sleep prescription, stress

    Joe and Rolf talk to Dr. Aric Prather, a clinical psychiatrist at UCSF and author of the new book "The Sleep Prescription: Seven Days to Unlocking Your Best Rest" about why sleep is important, the relationship of stress to sleep, and how to tune your body and environment to get a great night's sleep.

  • Episode 41: The Marshmallow Test

    September 21st, 2022  |  Season 3  |  49 mins 29 secs
    brain, cognition, cognitive tests, marshmallow test, mischel, self-control

    Is self-control at age 4 a predictor of lifelong success? Rolf & Joe look at new studies that replicate and extend Mischel's marshmallow experiments, discussing why some kids can wait longer for a bigger treat and what the test itself means.

  • Episode 40: Embodied Cognition

    July 23rd, 2022  |  Season 3  |  56 mins 51 secs
    brain, cognition, embodied cognition, learning, neuroscience, pedagogy, philosophy, teaching

    We talk with Dr. Sheila Macrine and Dr. Jennifer Fugate about their new edited volume "Movement Matters: How Embodied Cognition Informs Teaching and Learning", just published with MIT Press.

  • Episode 39: Matthew Gingo: Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them

    February 13th, 2022  |  Season 3  |  50 mins 5 secs
    adolescents, children, cognition, deception, lying, parents, psychology, theory of mind

    Developmental psychologist Matthew Gingo joins to discuss his research on morality and deception. Why and under what circumstances do parents and their children lie to one another?