Podcast Goodness: Alien Hands and Thinking Caps

Charles Bryant

This week on Stuff You Should Know, Josh and I had the pleasure of talking about a couple of real oddities. Alien Hand Syndrome is a very rare disorder in which a person's hand takes on a life of its own, without the knowledge of the owner. The offending hand performs purposeful actions like tearing paper or unbuttoning a shirt. It's so rare that there are more fictional cases in movies and on TV as there are real cases. Think "Evil Dead" and "Dr. Strangelove." It's very interesting stuff that science can't fully explain and we had a lot of fun with it.

Tuesday's show was about the so-called "thinking cap." This is a device that attaches to your head and sends magnetic pulses directly to the brain and has resulted in some fascinating findings. We also got into the brain in general and touched on savants -- one of the more intriguing conditions around, if you ask me.

Check out the shows and discuss below, SYSK Nation. Do you have an alien hand? Could you use a thinking cap? Inquiring minds want to know!

Your homework for today: What's a "thinking cap" -- and could it make me a genius? How Alien Hand Syndrome Works How Brain Mapping Works