iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 08/01/2011

Play now 55 mins


55 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 08 January 2011

Have you ever wondered what happens to your neural pathways when a beautiful sunset makes you catch your breath? Or when you marvel at a portrait by a grand master?

Insights from one of the world’s leading pioneers in the new field of NeuroAesthetics. Professor Semir Zeki explains why he is convinced that art and aesthetic appreciation is a key function of the brain.

How do Semir’s ideas apply to other creative fields? Former US poet Laureate Charles Simic, takes us through the tortuous and creative process of trying to translate poetry.

And sound consultant, Julian Treasure, will be opening our ears to the noises that envelop us but which we’ve unlearnt how to hear.

llustration by Emily Kasriel. Grasping the unobtainable as we create, translate and listen to noise.


4 items
  • Semir Zeki

    Semir Zeki

    Pioneering neurobiologist Semir Zeki makes the case for collaboration between artists and neuroscientists in the search to unlock the intricacies of the brain.

  • Charles Simic

    Charles Simic

    The sheer cliff face of translating poetry. Pulitzer prize winning poet and translator Charles Simic explains what compels him to keep trying to surmount the impossible.

  • Julian Treasure

    Julian Treasure

    Sound Consultant Julian Treasure argues for a more inventive approach to designing the sounds around us.



    In our 60 Second Idea, sound consultant Julian Treasure says there should be a code of conduct for public use of mobile devices, including on the spot fines. If people break the law they should have their mobiles taken away for up to six months. This would include, talking loudly on the mobile phone and having music overspilling from headphones.


    Medical dramas, disease and therapy next week with three very different doctors… Vietnamese-Canadian doctor turned novelist Vincent Lam - Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American doctor who has pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation to heal and Hans Rosling a Swedish medical statistician who will dispell the myth of the West versus the rest.



  1. Image for Forum - A World of Ideas

    Forum - A World of Ideas

    The world's most remarkable minds tackle a big idea. Podcast weekly on Saturdays.

  2. Image for Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World

    Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World

    An imaginative, quirky solution to a challenge of our age. Podcast weekly on Saturdays.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss