Latest Episode of RPI Podcast Focuses on the Human Brain

Latest Episode of RPI Podcast Focuses on the Human Brain

By Reeve Hamilton

October 28, 2020

The workings of the human brain — from decision-making and dealing with stress to analyzing and improving certain cognitive functions — are the focus of a new episode of Why Not Change the World? The RPI Podcast.

Two researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with very different backgrounds and perspectives offer their unique insights into the brain.

“Understanding how the brain behaves is something that is fundamental to us as humans,” Suvranu De, head of the Rensselaer Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, says during the episode. He discusses his work to assess and improve the performance of surgeons in training by imaging and stimulating their brains.

Alicia Walf, neuroscientist and senior lecturer in the Rensselaer Department of Cognitive Science, also talks about her work to understand how brains handle stress and decision-making processes. “We really need to understand that interaction between brain health in general as well as the body’s health,” she says.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, or TuneIn.


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Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit