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Human Science

Redesign My Brain | Season 2 | Episode 3

58m 21s

Todd will need to manage fear to achieve this incredible challenge. He has never walked a tightrope and it's a big ask to complete a skywalk with limited training. But he is in expert hands and starts tightrope training with the help of world-famous Skywalker Nik Wallenda and a troupe of Australian acrobats. Neuroscientists have discovered that our brains can overcome hard-wired fears, such as fear of heights, through ‘Emersion therapy’ - repeated exposure to scary situations. So Todd puts himself on the line to develop this resistance. To learn to face fear, Todd abseils face first down the side of a 21-floor building. But Todd needs to learn to avoid panic during his skywalk. So he travels to Boston University, where Prof. Todd Fachione immerses him in the virtual reality world of World Viz to expose him to heights in a safe environment. Next, Todd will need to hone his decision-making skills under stressful situations and learn to regulate his ‘optimism bias’, which clouds his judgment. Thankfully, Dr Tali Sharot, A leading expert on the science behind decision-making is on hand to help! Todd discovers that there is a scientific basis behind Mindfulness when he travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to meet Prof. Fadel Zeidane, a leading researcher of mindfulness. Inspired, Todd heads to Boston’s Harvard Medical School for mindfulness meditation training. With the help of Dr David Vago, a Harvard neuroscientist, and an experienced Zen Buddhist Monk, Todd learns a new meditation technique. But has Todd learnt to manage his fear enough to step off a Sydney skyscraper? In a world TV first, with minimal wire-walking training, Todd attempts to walk a 3-cm cable, 21-stories up. Todd puts his life on the line in the name of science to prove that brain training works and that fear can be overcome. In one of the most unforgettable scenes every filmed in a science series, what happens will take your breath away and could change your life.