Episode 6: The Brain and Grief

This month’s episode is about the way the brain processes loss, and why we experience the emotion of grief. We’ll be thinking about the evolutionary relevance of grief, how the brain modulates it’s own experience of grief and what happens in the brain when what is considered “normal grief”. Music has the power to heal, and on this episode, we will be exploring how one organization has used music to help countless youth.




Dr. Mary-Frances O’Connor

Dr O’Connor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology University of Arizona, and studies the neurobiological, immune and autonomic parameters that vary between individual grief responses.


Dr. O’Connor’s scientific interest is in emotions, in understanding them at the experiential level and the physiological level. Her work has primarily focused on a bereaved population, because of the wide-ranging emotional responses to this specific event.  In particular, she studies the neurobiological, immune and autonomic parameters that vary between individual grief responses.  Specifically, her techniques have included functional and structural neuroimaging, immune and endocrine analysis of saliva and blood, and psychophysiological assessment of heart rate variability.  She is continually interested in novel ways to evoke emotion, especially grief, using personalized stimuli, reaction time paradigms, written emotional disclosure and virtual worlds.


Dr. Peter Freed

Dr. Peter Freed is a psychiatrist in New York, New York. He received his medical degree from University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and has been in practice between 11-20 years.


Special links

Science of Grief


Track Listings

Jojo Abot – To Li

Roni Size & Reprazent – Brown Paper Bag

Gang Starr - Code Of The Street

Paul Simon – Mother and Child Reunion

Idris Muhammad – Could Heaven Ever Be Like This

Shintaro Sakamoto – Love If Possible

94 East (ft. Prince) – Just Another Sucker

Solange – Almeda

Wande Coal – So Mi So

Wunmi – Greedy Body

Sérgio Mendes – Magalenha

Melé – Sunshowers

Ikebe Shakedown – Assassin

Ebo Taylor - Saana




Yewande Pearse