Most of us believe that we are an independent, coherent self–an individual inside our head who thinks, watches, wonders, dreams, and makes plans for the future. This sense of our self may seem incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that it is not what it seems – it is all an illusion. In The Self Illusion, Professor Bruce M Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other.

Professor Bruce M Hood is the Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre in the Experimental Psychology Department at the University of Bristol. He has been a research fellow at Cambridge University and University College London, a visiting scientist at MIT and a faculty professor at Harvard. He is the author of a number of books, including SuperSense, a popular science book on the origins of supernatural beliefs that has been published in twelve countries (as previously featured on the Token Skeptic #11, with a transcript at the CSICOP Curiouser and Curiouser site).

Professor Hood continues to conduct research in diverse fields of human psychology specialising in the cognitive development of children. You can see his fantastic series of 2011 Christmas lectures at The Royal Institution site and follow his blog – he’ll be appearing at the Las Vegas Amazing Meeting later this year!

This show is available on Zune, mp3 via Libsyn or iTunes. Visit – and I’d love to get your feedback at

Theme songs are “P&P” by Derek K Miller of and “Leap Second” by Milton Mermikides, of Please considering supporting the show via visiting

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