Robert Sapolsky: The Physiology of Stress


On my drive home for the holidays, I was listening to an audio lecture to pass the time (a podcast that I got, via iTunes). I first heard aboutMacArthur Fellow Robert Sapolsky on BoingBoing, and made it a point to get the .mp3 files; after finally listening to them, I can’t recommend this enough.

These talks are part of a Stanford lecture series, I think. Pretty fascinating stuff, and he’s a great (and funny) speaker to boot. Like all good teachers, he’s able to take complex concepts and distill them. His theories are all remarkably intuitive, and incredibly interesting. Very entertaining, very eye-opening, and definitely something to listen to if you’ve got a big commute or upcoming drive home for the holidays.

I know that I’m personally prone to get easily stressed, and listening to Sapolsky has made me re-think both why I get stressed, and how I might go about dealing with it better.

The two lectures I listened to are: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers and Stress and Coping: What Baboons Can Teach Us. Seriously, he’s got some really great observations and he is really quite entertaining.


I think the links on the BoingBoing article are outdated. Thankfully, I did some digging around and there’s a whole Stanford area on iTunes. Simply click the link and it’ll launch iTunes and take you to the appropriate area. You’ll find Sapolsky’s lectures (along with a ton of other stuff) availble, free to download.

Can’t recommend it enough. Take a listen.

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