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How stress affects your brain - Madhumita Murgia


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Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

To learn about some of the most seminal experiments that show how stress changes your brain, read this interesting story in Psychology Today.

This interactive explains how mom rats impact the adult personalities of their pups, based on how much they lick them. You get to be a rat mom yourself, to see how you've changed your pup's genes! Keep reading and find out how anxious behavior in an animal can be an advantage and if epigenetic patterns are permanent!

Watch this TED Talk about how we are thinking about stress all wrong: believing stress is bad for you may actually be worse than the stress itself! Did any of this change your view about stress?

This cool Radiolab podcast explores the science of stress, including coping strategies seen all around the animal kingdom. Then visit NPR and take a look at this post: Ape Dread, Dog Worry: Animals And Anxiety

The Headspace meditation app was founded by a former Buddhist monk called Andy Puddicombe. Try it for a dose of Buddhist Zen in your hectic daily life. Then watch his TED Talk here!

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Madhumita Murgia
  • Director Andrew Zimbelman
  • Producer Andrea Sertz Jew
  • Composer Joshua Smoak
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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