Jon Hamilton Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather.
Jennifer Qian for NPR

Listen to the Invisibilia episode

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533834764/534098045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When the neurons that release the neurotransmitter dopamine die, people develop Parkinson's disease. Roger J. Bick &/Brian J. Poindexter / UT-Houston/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Roger J. Bick &/Brian J. Poindexter / UT-Houston/Science Source

Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again For Parkinson's

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532792500/532816987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Eight different real faces were shown to a monkey. The images were then reconstructed using analyzing electrical activity from 205 neurons recorded while the monkey was viewing the faces. Courtesy of Doris Tsao/Cell Press hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Doris Tsao/Cell Press

Cracking The Code That Lets The Brain ID Any Face, Fast

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530925382/531099097" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sometime between grade school and grad school, the brain's information highways get remapped in a way that dramatically boosts self-control. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

As Brains Mature, More Robust Information Networks Boost Self-Control

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/529828305/530257570" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cabinet-card portrait of brain-injury survivor Phineas Gage (1823–1860), shown holding the tamping iron that injured him. Wikimedia hide caption

toggle caption
Wikimedia

Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528966102/529364560" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An orangutan mother and her 11-month old infant in Borneo. Orangutans breast-feed offspring off and on for up to eight years. Tim Laman/Science Advances hide caption

toggle caption
Tim Laman/Science Advances

Orangutan Moms Are The Primate Champs Of Breast-Feeding

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528776636/528900099" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A saliva test allowed scientists to accurately predict how long concussion symptoms would last in children. technotr/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
technotr/Getty Images

Spit Test May Reveal The Severity Of A Child's Concussion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/526782407/526833521" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists placed two clusters of cultured forebrain cells side by side (each cluster the size of a head of a pin). Within days, the "minibrains" had fused and particular neurons (in green) migrated from the left side to the right side, as subsets of cells do in a real brain. Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

'Minibrains' In A Dish Shed A Little Light On Autism And Epilepsy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525705550/525833282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Small pulses of electricity to the brain have an effect on memory, new research shows. Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images

Electrical Stimulation To Boost Memory: Maybe It's All In The Timing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/524374825/524936105" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Lisa Zador/Getty Images

A 'Hot Zone' In The Brain May Reveal When, And Even What, We Dream

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523262108/523311532" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Coalition forces fire a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle during a training exercise in Afghanistan's Helmand province in 2013. Spc. Justin Young/U.S. Department of Defense/DVIDS hide caption

toggle caption
Spc. Justin Young/U.S. Department of Defense/DVIDS

Do U.S. Troops Risk Brain Injury When They Fire Heavy Weapons?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/522613294/522705318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bill Kochevar received an implanted brain-recording and muscle-stimulating system that allowed him to move limbs he hadn't been able to move in eight years. Cleveland FES Center hide caption

toggle caption
Cleveland FES Center

Paralyzed Man Uses Thoughts To Control His Own Arm And Hand

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/521665654/521884375" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
chuwy/Getty Images

Ketamine For Severe Depression: 'How Do You Not Offer This Drug To People?'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/520169959/520862770" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A colored magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain of a 76-year-old patient with dementia shows the brain has atrophied and the dark brown fluid-filled spaces have become enlarged. Zephyr/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Zephyr/Science Source

Cancer Drug That Might Slow Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Headed For Bigger Tests

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/520170960/520301658" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rocky spent his first few years raised by people, and is particularly attuned to human speech and behavior, researchers say. But his remarkable ability to learn and match human pitch and common sounds of speech surprised them. Mark Kaser/Courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Kaser/Courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo

Orangutan's Vocal Feats Hint At Deeper Roots of Human Speech

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/518170608/520087947" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript