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Life plans can be shaken in an instant. How to make the most of these big transitions

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Shock Value.

As a teenager, Maya Shankar planned to be a concert violinist. When an injury put her sense of self into question, Shankar began a lifelong mission to learn how the brain processes life's disruptions.

About Maya Shankar

Maya Shankar is a cognitive scientist and host of the Gimlet podcast, A Slight Change of Plans. Her show blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to explore who we are and who we become in the face of change.

Prior to podcasting, Shankar applied her knowledge of cognitive science to the design of public policies and programs. She was a senior advisor to the Obama administration, where she served as founder and chair of the White House Behavioral Science Team, and later at the United Nations. Shankar has been profiled by The New Yorker and has been featured in The New York Times and Scientific American. She has a postdoctoral fellowship in cognitive neuroscience from Stanford, a PhD from Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and a BA from Yale. Shankar is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music's pre-college division and a former private violin student of Itzhak Perlman. As a teenager, she performed on NPR's From The Top. She performed a solo in 1999, and she performed as part of a quartet in 2002. Clips from these performances are included in this segment.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Harsha Nahata and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Harsha Nahata
Harsha Nahata (she/her) is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She is drawn to storytelling as a way to explore ideas about identity and question dominant narratives.
Sanaz Meshkinpour

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