Brain Health,

#108: Hormesis

December 25, 2015

For 2015’s year-end finale and Christmas-debuting episode, we talk about hormesis – the idea that in very small doses, “bad” things can be good.  This counterintuitive and controversial idea has been borne out by evidence in areas from immunology to chemical toxicity to — well, almost everywhere researchers have looked.


Joining Jesse is world-renowned expert, researcher, and advocate of hormesis Dr. Edward Calabrese from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Learn about the history of hormesis, its surprisingly wide applicability and its slow-but-steady progress towards mainstream acceptance in this episode.

In the Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick, if you’re sick of Christmas tunes (and who isn’t, by this time of year?) but still want something “feel-good” in your earbuds… Science has come to the rescue.  Researchers have been painstakingly determining the mathematical recipe for a feel-good song.  And we’ve got results.

PS:  Hello Audience – this is the Postscript speaking. I appreciate all your support in 2015 and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you smarties again in 2016! 🙂

Show Notes
  • 00:00:38

    Jesse welcomes you to the Christmas episode.

  • 00:02:07

    This Week In Neuroscience: Smarter people live longer.

  • 00:04:54

    A follow-up on our recent episode on Synesthesia and a podcast link from the President of the American Synesthesia Association.

  • 00:06:05

    The audience interaction section.

  • 00:07:20

    Jesse introduces Dr. Edward Calabrese.

  • 00:09:07

    What is Hormesis?

  • 00:10:52

    Multiplicative factors in Hormetic response and ceiling limit.

  • 00:14:12

    Implications for clinical trials.

  • 00:16:03

    Mechanism of action.

  • 00:18:17

    Historical background of dose response.

  • 00:22:56

    Threshold dose response vs Linear dose response

  • 00:25:01

    Model validation.

  • 00:28:30

    Applications in cognition - Preconditioning.

  • 00:31:19

    Current state of affairs with Hormesis.

  • 00:33:17

    Jesse's holiday reading recommendation.

  • 00:34:04

    Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: Are you feeling good yet?

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