Radiant Minds: The World of Oliver Sacks

Hosted by: Indre Viskontas

Radiant Minds: The World of Oliver Sacks is an Audible Original Podcast series which tells the story of the human brain one person at a time. Drawing inspiration from the work of Dr. Sacks, the nine-part series includes rare and some never before published archival tape of Oliver speaking—his audio diaries and his thoughts on various conditions.

Each episode of the series centers on a condition that sparked his interest. Listeners will hear from some of the people he wrote about, and many other friends and colleagues who knew him intimately.

The series host, Indre Viskontas (pictured below), a neuroscientist and soprano, developed a unique relationship that started back when she wrote to him as a seventeen-year-old.

In later episodes, listeners will hear from Tony Cicoria—the man struck by lightning from Musicophilia, and from Witty Ticcy Ray, whom Oliver wrote about in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. We’ll explore the brain’s wondrous ways of adapting to new challenges; and the lives of people whose brains are unique.

We’ll speak with neurologists and neuroscientists about memory, creativity, and recovering from trauma. And we will hear from an array of Oliver’s friends and colleagues in the arts: from Josh Groban and Renée Fleming to Bill T. Jones and Ed Catmull; from astronauts to music therapists.

“Radiant Minds is the realization of a dream of mine; it’s a posthumous collaboration with a mentor and friend who was a huge influence on my career as a neuroscientist. Working on this podcast, I felt I could once again explore the mysteries of the human brain with one of the most beloved humanists of our time. Because of our access to rare and never before heard audio from the Sacks archive, as well as so many people he knew intimately, this Audible Original reminds me of the energy, curiosity and sense of wonder Oliver brought to every encounter.” — Dr. Indre Viskontas

Radiant Minds: A Badass Neurologist

Who was Oliver Sacks, and why are we still talking about him? Featured guests: Orrin Devinsky, Steve Silberman, Jonathan Lynn (film director), Connie Tomaino, Josh Groban.

Radiant Minds: At What Cost

What if Sleeping Beauty had taken four decades to awaken, and her prince had become an old man? Featured guests: Orrin Devinsky, Andrew Lees (UCL), and Ruth di Roma (whose mother was an Awakenings patient.)

Radiant Minds: Brainstorm

A surgeon is struck by lightning and becomes obsessed with one all-consuming passion. Featured guests: Tony Cicoria, Orrin Devinsky, Evangelia Chrysikou (Drexel.)

Radiant Minds: Music as Medicine

Singers Renee Fleming and Josh Groban help us explore how music can restore brain function. Featured guests: Debbie (music therapy patient), Sarah Thompson (music therapist), Connie Tomaino (music therapist.)

Radiant Minds: Blue Elephants

Losing vision – visually or mentally – can lead to surprising results. Featured guests: Dominic ffytche (Imperial College), Amit Patel, Christopher Bailey, Ed Catmull (founder of Pixar.)

Radiant Minds: Acrobats of Gravity

How do we keep track of our own limbs? Dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones and astronaut Marsha Ivins explore. Featured guests: Ian Waterman, Jonathan Cole MD.

Radiant Minds: The Only Way Out is Through

The weird specificity of traumatic memory and how one woman found her way out. *Contains sensitive content* Featured guests: Lori Tipton, Jennifer Mitchell (UCSF), Billy Hayes.

Go to Top