Alix Spiegel

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are about to go deep - deep into your brain.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

NPR's Invisibilia is back. It's a podcast that explores the invisible forces that shape our lives. And their first episode this season is about pain.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Welcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Goats and Soda are joining in for the podcast's look at how a reality show in Somalia tried to do far more than crown a winning singer. The ultimate goal: to change human behavior.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

NPR's Invisibilia started a new season this summer examining the forces that shape who we are and who we will become. Today, Invisibilia co-host Alix Spiegel introduces us to a young man whose vision of his future self started at a dance party.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now a story from the new season of our program Invisibilia. It's about a woman who participated in an experiment. It gave her a whole new frame of reference, and that let her see the world in a completely different way. Here's NPR's Alix Spiegel.

One Friday night, 30 men and 30 women gathered at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. Their goal was love, or maybe sex, or maybe some combination of the two. They were there for speed dating.

The women sat at separate numbered tables while the men moved down the line, and for two solid hours they did a rotation, making small talk with people they did not know, one after another, in three-minute increments.

This story is in no way an endorsement of suicide. It's a description of one woman's choice and what came of it.

Five years ago, after doctors told her that she had Alzheimer's disease that would eventually steal her ability to read, write and recognize people, Sandy Bem decided to kill herself.

Sandy was 65 years old, an unsentimental woman and strong willed. For her, a life without books and the ability to recognize the people she loved wasn't a life she wanted.

Patricia East is a developmental psychologist who began her career working at an OB-GYN clinic in California. Thursday mornings at the clinic were reserved for pregnant teens, and when East arrived the waiting room would be packed with them, chair after chair of pregnant adolescents.

It was in this waiting room, East explains, that she discovered her life's work — an accidental discovery that emerged from the small talk that staff at the clinic had with their young clients as they walked them back for checkups.

Pages