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"Unique": Dr. David Linden On The Roots Of Individuality

Basic Books/Hachette Book Group

Now, a conversation about what makes us, us.  Or more specifically, what makes me, me and you, you.  With all that we share in common -- heads and shoulder, knees and toes, for example  -- what are the reasons that we are all unique individuals? 

Dr. David Linden is a neuroscientist and professor at Johns Hopkins University who started thinking about this when he signed up on an on-line dating website.

Dr. Linden is the author of several fascinating books.  The Accidental Mind explored how our brains evolved over time to make us capable of things like romantic love and belief in God.  

Credit Photo by Natalie Linden
Dr. David Linden is a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University.

In a book called The Compass of Pleasure, he argued that we are hard-wired to seek pleasure in a variety of forms.  And in a book called Touch, he explored how the ways in which we experience touch are all tied, in one way or another, to our emotions. 

Those books are all about what makes us the same.  His new book is about what makes us different.  It’s called Unique: The New Science of Human Individuality.

David Linden joins us on Zoom.


As he has done most every Monday on Midday since December 2016, Tom took a few minutes during today's program to read the names of people reported by Baltimore City police to have lost their lives to violence during the past week.  Beginning today, we'll also be posting those names each week on a special page on the WYPR Website called Names of Baltimore's Fallen, which you can view here.


Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.