Listen to Shankar Vedantam on NPR


Most of us would agree that there’s an obvious connection between the things we believe and the way we behave. But what if our actions are driven not by our conscious beliefs but by hidden motivations we’re not even aware of?

The “hidden brain” is Shankar Vedantam’s shorthand for a host of cognitive processes that happen outside our conscious awareness but that have a decisive effect on how we behave: It decides whom we fall in love with, whether we should convict someone of murder, and which way to run when someone yells “Fire!” The hidden brain can also be deliberately manipulated to convince people to vote against their own interests, or to even become suicide terrorists. But the most disturbing thing is that it does all this without our knowing ...

Hidden Brain official website | Hidden Brain Facebook Page

Explore Shankar's Vedantam's Other Work ...

Washington Post Column 2007-2009: Dept of Human Behavior & Radio Interviews
Archive: Selected Journalism

Culture and Mind: Psychiatry's Missing Diagnosis: A three part series on mental health & culture

Eden and Evolution “It would be as if human beings invented God, rather than the other way around” See No Bias Washington Post Sunday magazine cover story about a test for prejudice. (PDF) The Death of Charnae Wise “No epitaph describes her days. For a life so short, so brutal and unloved, what would it say?”

When Violence Masquerades as Virtue: A Brief History of Terrorism

Comedy Central's Colbert Report analyzes Vedantam's story on racial bias and politics


The Ghosts of Kashmir, 2005

Read the Chapter, "Fear In The Valley"

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