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Interacting Minds Podcast

Interacting Minds is an interdisciplinary research podcast hosted by Arnault-Quentin Vermillet and Savhannah Schulz.

In each episode, the two are joined by fellow interdisciplinary researchers to explore and discuss the work they have been doing and share a glimpse of the journey that brought them there.

On this site, you can find a full list of episodes including Show Notes with links and helpful resources. 


The podcast is edited and produced by Kirsi Tilk, Arnault-Quentin Vermillet and Savhannah Schulz
Music by Simon Karg. Artwork by Savhannah Schulz. 

Supported by the Interacting Minds Centre Seed Funding Grant. 

Questions, ideas and thoughts?

Please contact Savhannah Schulz.

Considering starting your own podcast? Learn more about what this may entail by exploring the Interacting Minds Podcast Manual

Season 1: Research on Play and Playfulness (Hosted by Kim Holflod and Savhannah Schulz)

Collaboration, Autism and Play (Ella Paldam)

Collaboration researcher Ella Paldam (Interacting Minds Centre) joins us for this episode to talk about the question that drives her as a researcher: How do humans understand and communicate with each other across different worldviews? 

We revisit her academic starting points doing research with the Chumash, a Native American people in California, and then move towards her current work as part of the CollaboLearn project developing play-based social learning curricula for - and in collaboration with - children on the spectrum and their learning community.

Surprise, Fear, Cognition, and Play (Marc Malmdorf Andersen)

Play Researcher Marc Malmdorf Andersen (Interacting Minds Centre & Recreational Fear Lab) has stopped by to talk about his cognitive theory of play, recreational fear, dark play, and why sweet spots of surprise could be at the core of making sense of why humans of all ages play. 

We also get to talk about some of Marc’s past and future research endeavours: Studying senses of agency in Ouija Board sessions, asking participants to detect beings in a virtual reality forest, and using a range of empirical methods to study people voluntarily seeking out frightening experiences in a haunted house.  

Live Action Role Play, Imagination and Autism (Ingela Visuri)

Interdisciplinary scholar Ingela Visuri (Dalarna University & Interacting Minds Centre) has come over from Sweden to talk about her new research project that explores to what extent educational live action role playing (eduLARP) contributes to social and theoretical learning in autistic youths.

We revisit the epiphany that started her research career while a religion studies teacher at a Secondary School in Sweden and follow her path as a curious mixed-methods scholar to the present day.

Tinkering, Play and the Adjacent Possible (Amos Blanton)

Constructivist Designer, Educator and Researcher Amos Blanton (Interacting Minds Centre & Dokk1, Aarhus Public Library) joins us this episode to talk about tinkering, play, and the adjacent possibilities that come with it.

We talk about past endeavours - running the Scratch online community, designing learning through play experiences in LEGO House, founding the LEGO Idea Studio, and co-developing the vision for the Scintillae Research Atelier - and then move to Amos current research on Collective Creativity and how solar art machines offer wonderful opportunities to invite collaborative creativity, shared decision making and cultural transmission.

Season 2: Research in Interaction (Hosted by Arnault-Quentin Vermillet and Savhannah Schulz)

Research * Political Decision Making (Rebekah Baglini & Michael Bang Petersen)

Exploring how democracies cope with uncertainty

What is the role of interdisciplinary and social science research in navigating a global pandemic? Computational Linguist Rebekah Baglini & Political Psychologist Michael Bang Petersen (Interacting Minds Centre) have stopped by this week to talk about the HOPE project — the largest Danish social science research project on the COVID epidemic. 

We unpack HOPE’s interdisciplinary efforts to engage in data-gathering and rapid on-going analyses since the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and explore how HOPE has navigated finding meaningful ways to interact and share their analyses  with national authorities, media outlets, and the general public.

Research * Clinical Practice (Mette Terp Høybye)

Exploring the Borderlands of Living

Mette Terp Høybye (Interacting Minds Centre & Silkeborg Regional Hospital) takes us along to the boundaries of consciousness and shares with us insights from her interdisciplinary research group Borderlands of Living that has spent the last 3 years empirically studying the high-stake relationship and uncertainties between clinical practice and research practice in the prognostic assessment of unresponsive patients with serious brain injuries.

Examining these intersections of reasoning between clinic and research, we reflect together on how insights from this work can inform and affect our understanding of responsiveness, consciousness and personhood.

Research * Wearable Technologies (Christine Parsons)

Understanding physiology and behaviour beyond the laboratory

Wearable technologies have become increasingly prevalent in our daily lives. From tracking running times to monitoring stress, pulse and breathing — little in our life is left untracked. But what can all this data tell us? Could we gain new knowledge about human physiology and behaviour by drawing on information gained through wearable technologies in an ethical and responsible way? 

Psychologist Christine Parsons (Director of the Interacting Minds Centre) has joined us this week to discuss wearable technologies, their impact on people, and their use in her research to understand topics such as sleep, mental health, and mindfulness.

Research * Clinical Practice (Lise Marie Andersen & Alberte Seeberg)

Explainable AI at the Borderlands of Living

Clinicians tending to unresponsive patients with serious brain injuries face critical end-of-life decisions. They must decide to continue or withdraw life-sustaining treatment based on the best available knowledge and resources. Looking into the future, can researchers aid this decision making process by designing supportive computational tools? And if yes, what considerations should they keep in mind?

Lise Marie Andersen (Interacting Minds Centre & Region Midtjylland) & Alberte Seeberg (Center for Music in the Brain) have stopped by this week to help us dig deeper into the research of the Borderlands of Living project. We get to talk about the intricacies of explainable AI in prognostic assessments for patients with Disorders of Consciousness and the role of accuracy, transparency,  and uncertainty in designing a meaningful prognostic assessment tool to aid clinicians in their decision making. 

Research * Clinical Practice

Understanding personhood Consciousness at the Borderlands of Living

Lise Marie Andersen & Bess Boelsbjerg

Consciousness, despite millenia of heated debate, remains one of the most puzzling phenomena to humankind. Theories are vast and continue to evolve with new technologies and fields of study. Yet, what happens when we move away from the theoretical discourse and enter a clinical setting where our conception of consciousness has critical implications to the lives and survival of patients at the borderlands of living. 

Lise Marie Andersen (Interacting Minds Centre & Region Midtjylland) & Bess Boelsbjerg (Interacting Minds Centre, Heart openings) have joined us this week to dig deeper into the research of the Borderlands of Living project. We explore their interdisciplinary research with clinicians trying to understand how to best treat patients with Disorders of Consciousness. How do we enact and assess consciousness when patients are not able to communicate with us? How are personhood and consciousness related to each other in this liminal space? And what uncertainties can new technologies bring?

Research * Dreams (Melanie Rosen)

Are dreams just cognitive trash? Or do they fulfil a specific role in human evolution? How does dream time work? And what has Harrison Ford to do with dumb dream brain and eel related dice rolling games? 

Philosopher and former Interacting Minds colleague Melanie Rosen (Trent University) has spoiled us with a visit from Canada to take us along on a journey into the depths of dream research. We get to talk about the continuity theory of dreams, explore the potential explanations for why humans might dream in the first place, and unpack the relationship between dreams and virtual reality.

Research * Online Hostility (Lasse Lindekilde & Simon Karg)

Understanding pro-social bystander actions and their consequences

Political hostility is on the rise. The increasing polarisation in the political landscape stands hand in hand with political disengagement and apathy of third parties, and presents a challenge to our democratic institutions. 

This growing hostility couldn't be more palpable than on the web. Scrolling on your favourite social media platform, you probably run into some hate speech from time to time. How do you typically react in these situations? While research within political science has focused on the hostility and explored how politically hostile behaviour develops, much less attention is given to bystanders and the potential of pro-social bystander reactions to mitigate the negative impact of online political hostility.

So this week, we have invited Lasse Lindekilde (Political Science at Aarhus University) & Simon Karg (Political Science at Aarhus University & Interacting Minds Centre) from the STANDBY project to discuss how their research focuses on reactions of bystanders when exposed to online political hostility. Through an array of mixed methods, this project aims at studying the behaviour of bystanders on various social media platforms. How do we react when we encounter online hostility targeted at others? What makes an UPstander and what motivates them? What role plays the platform's incentives in managing hate speech? 

Research * Art (Andreas Roepstorff, Olafur Eliasson)

Experimenting, Experiencing, and Reflecting

On a fundamental level, perspective-taking and storytelling are the main undertakings of both artists and scientists. They take an object, study it - sometimes deconstruct it - to reveal a new aspect of it. Yet, they evolve in clearly distinct social niches. So what happens when scientists and artists are brought together to crack the same object? Can their perspectives be complementary? Or does something new emerge?

Arnault visited artist Olafur Eliasson (Olafur Eliasson Studio) and anthropologist Andreas Roepstorff (Interacting Minds Centre) to discuss what brought their organizations together in EER: Experimenting, Experiencing, Reflecting - an ever-shifting project that blurs the line between art and science.

Research * Life: A conversation with Chris & Uta Frith

Scientists are busy. Always with the next deadline in sight. Looking back at a century of technological progress and theoretical debate is quite a daunting task. Yet, taking some distance is always a good idea to ground your work.

During their visit to the IMC, Arnault had the opportunity to organise a recording session with two lifelong researchers: Chris and Uta Frith. As we discuss the past 60 years of theoretical, technological and cultural changes they experienced in research. Their stories will take us through the beginnings of the IMC, the early days of neuroscience, and the evolution of research in the field of social cognition.