Exercise and the Brain (S2E20) by Mandy Wintink

In this episode, we dive into the world of health and wellness and how exercise affects the brain. We explore concepts such as CBR (cerebral blood flow) and BDNF (brain derived neurotropic factor) to see how these are affected by exercise. We also talk about how exercise can affect different demographics and what significance it holds for illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. We also share some of personal experiences with exercise and how it affects us and our studies.

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Intelligence Project Announcement (S2E19) by Mandy Wintink

I’m going to invite people into the process of my next project related to human intelligence and the need to rethink the way we see intelligence. In this first episode about it, I talk about Multiple Intelligence according to Howard Gardner and also about VIA Character Strengths. At the end, I invite people to take my in-progress screening survey on multiple intelligence and the VIA survey. The link for those are both listed below.

Take the VIA survey first so you can tell me what your top 5 character strengths are in my survey.


My First Draft of a Multiple Intelligence Survey:


My goal with all of this is to use a combination of questionnaire, interview by a trained coach, and if possible, field assessments. I will be looking for volunteers for the initial pilot testing. If you want to be considered, please do both the VIA survey followed by my survey and you may be contacted for follow-up. 

Please note, this survey is not about identifying people as intelligent or not but rather about the hope of identifying individual’s dominant intelligence and strength. 

Conversations with 3 Neuroscience Students: Introduction (S2E18) by Mandy Wintink

After a few years of students from the second-year neuroscience class I teach at the University of Guelph-Humber asking for how they can learn more neuroscience, I decided to take some of them on as part of their placement requirements. Here we will be exploring various topics in neuroscience. This is our first formal audio meeting where we hear from them, what they are interested in and give us some idea of how to proceed for the next couple of months working together.

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When new symptoms pop up with Sarah (S2E17) by Mandy Wintink

In this episode, originally sent as a voice memo to Mandy and Mike, Sarah recounts the immediate aftermath of being kept up overnight by side effects of one of her treatments. This was back in September 2018, before recording the first podcast we published with Sarah on Mandyland. But she wants to share this note as it captures feelings of vulnerability, frustration, confusion, and exasperation that arise in dealing with cancer treatment. It's happened a few times now that a new symptom pops up and spurs a chain of medical appointments, scans, and tests. Figuring out what is going both in her own experience in her body, and from the perspective of multiple doctors, has proven to be one of the most challenging types of cancer experience. At present, Sarah's happy to report the small probably benign lesion for which this episode is named has not grown or caused any significant problems since it showed up, and her brain remains entirely healthy and tumor-free. 

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Feeling our inner sense with Mike (S2E15) by Mandy Wintink

Mike and I got into a conversation about The Interoceptive Mind, a way of feeling our inner body provoked partially by a book that I picked up at the Society for Neuroscience back in November. According to the authors Interoception is “the body-to-brain axis of signals originating from the internal body and visceral organs (such as gastrointestinal, respiratory, hormonal, and circulatory systems).”

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Sorry it's been awhile... here's what I've been up to. (S2E14) by Mandy Wintink

Clearly, I have more important things to do with my time than creating episodes. Here’s a little snapshot into that. Note, this was recorded by Mike at the end of our date night, on Dec 1st. I only found out about it yesterday (Dec 9th). Apparently he sent it to me but I didn’t even see it or listen to it.

Enjoy. ;P

Thinking like a scientist with Jon (S2E12) by Mandy Wintink

I reconnected with one of my favorite students from Ryerson. He was that super engaged student who asked good critical-thinking questions and really took things to another level. So when he contacted me to say he developed a game on scientific thinking, I was super excited to meet up and learn more about his game. And what he showed met my expectations. Jon is reflective, intelligent, a deep critical thinker, and a social justice advocate. All of these elements came out clearly in our conversation about his game “Think Like A Scientist!”. In an age where information is both a commodity and exploited, learning how to think like a scientist is even that much more important! It was a fun conversation where I decided to mostly keep my scientist hat on. I did challenge him a little bit on his bias against natural and the conflict of interest in science. We broached the topic but didn’t go to deep, because it was simply beyond the scope of this audio. ;)

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The slowness of cancer with Sarah (S2E9) by Mandy Wintink

In this monologue, Sarah recounts her feelings over the past 3 years of dealing with cancer both how it looked from the outside and how it felt from the inside. At the beginning, she wondered "how am I going to come out the other side?” It felt like she was walking through a doorway in Alice in Wonderland and then suddenly stumbled upon the strange universe. She realized that the way that you look at the world shifts. And a big theme for her, is that cancer is slow. 

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What is the internet? And Blockchain... with Mike (S2E7) by Mandy Wintink

Ok so Mike learned a whole bunch about the blockchain a while ago when we bought some bitcoin and ethereum and all that fun cryptocurrency stuff. I didn’t. But then I started listening to the Zig Zag podcast and wanted to learn more about it. So… on our next date we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole of trying to figure it out. It got fun for me when we realized that I was part of the internet era before the world wide web and he was not. Mike’s 5.5 years younger than I am, which equates to 6 grade school years. So that’s a pretty big difference during the internet era. Anyway… it turns out our understanding of the internet and the world wide web was different. So we figure that one out and continue on talking about blockchain and ethereum, which we both think are important to watch and understand because they might end up being the next new “internet”.  This conversation is really funny to me… partially because I think in 5 years we’ll look back and laugh at this. Kind of like having a conversation about a phone WAY back when it started and asking questions like “so where do the voice live?” “Who delivers the voice?”. Even listening back 2 months later while writing these notes, I see that I know so much more now! Anyway… here is a conversation we should probably be embarrassed to share. Please don’t quote us on the details… like what gopher is! 

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Talking with Sarah about her Cancer (S2E6) by Mandy Wintink

Sarah and I have been talking for a long time about her cancer but this conversation was planned as a way of starting her series of episodes for Mandyland. We had a bunch of ideas planned but realized early that it was hard to figure out where to start. So we started with why she has been hesitant to share this, despite her desire to. That got us talking about her career and the impact cancer has had on her career. From there we talk about where she is now and a brief introduction to her cancer. We end with how valuable it is to talk about stuff.

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The Biological and Neurological Basis of Mental Health (S2E4) by Mandy Wintink

It was a privilege for me to have this conversation with Paul about depression and mental health. We veer into a few different directions because, like I said, he is so curious, and just being around him and his curiosity gets me all fired up to talk about this. There are some basic conversations out there about mental health and then there are conversations that are more holistic and nuanced. This, I think, is more of a nuanced conversation about anxiety and depression. 

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After 3 Years... I'm Done Breastfeeding! (S2E3) by Mandy Wintink

This is a big one for me. I’ve been breastfeeding for 3 years and 2 months and I think…. I think… we’re done. Breastfeeding has been amazing and so hard in many ways, as it typically the case for many women. Sometimes it’s the act of doing it that’s hard… sometimes it’s the emotions around it. For me, it came naturally from a very physical sense but it’s been an emotional rollercoaster from then on. I’ve felt trapped and like my body is being used and on the otherhand I have loved it and been blown away by the awe of it all. Like I said, an emotional roller coaster. But… I think that’s all done now… wow.

Mike has cancer (S2E2) by Mandy Wintink

So we’re starting off with a doozy… me and Mike talk about his recent diagnosis of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Yup, that’s what’s been happening over the summer. It started with a few scans for an unrelated reason and a tumour in his left kidney was detected incidentally. Surgery is planned and there is a good prognosis for it being curable. Here we discuss our feelings about it… sort of.