Podcast: Can Music Make You Hungry?

by Ryan Schleeter

July 26, 2016

Check out episode 23 of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptional — satisfying your curiosity doesn’t have to be one of them.


Photo by Sascha Kohlmann / Flickr. Creative Commons.

If you’re a fan of Completely Optional Knowledge, you’ll recognize our question asker this week.

Breakmaster Cylinder is the mastermind behind the music for our show (and numerous other podcasts out there). Now, Breakmaster is a very private person. In fact, we’ve worked with them for more than a year to make this show and all we really know is that this is someone … somewhere … who makes amazing music. And that’s it.

So when this reclusive figure (voiced in this episode by 99% Invisible’s Avery Trufelman, the Clark Kent to Breakmaster’s Superman) made a rare public appearance to ask about music’s effect on the brain on the show, we knew we had to find a good answer.

We called Jessica Grahn, who runs the Music and Neuroscience Lab at Western University in Ontario, Canada. She’s an expert on the place where music, beats, and cognitive neuroscience intersect. And recently, she’s been interested in exactly this type of question: how can music change the way people think or behave?

After hearing from Jessica about triggers certain chemical reactions in the brain and the way that can impact our mood, host Andrew Norton and Breakmaster decided to conduct their own experiment: can this episode make you crave a turkey sandwich?

Listen and find out:

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Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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