The Season 6 finale looks at what the future may hold for science and technology, as well as technological hurdles engineers and computer scientists must overcome to make their visions reality. Included: thought-controlled video games; robotic exoskeletons; and a virtual reality that seamlessly integrates into real life via three-dimensional holograms. Also: computer scientist Adrien Treuille on video games that can help cure diseases.
The thinking abilities of animals are examined, including whether dogs really feel guilty when they flash the "guilty look" at their human companions. To that end, David Pogue meets and competes with a variety of animals, upending conventional wisdom about their smarts. Yale scientist Laurie Santos, who's studying a community of rhesus macaques that shares similarities with human society, is also profiled.
The neuroscience of taste, which involves all of the senses and memory, is examined. Included: why some foods, like chocolate-chip cookies, are deemed delectable while others, such as cookies made with worms, are not; how the taste buds can be fooled.
Whether it's possible for anyone to become a genius or if such smarts are purely a result of one's DNA. Also: a man who became an extraordinary musician following a head injury; a man who can match any past or future date to its day of the week; a "memory athlete" who remembers strings of hundreds of random numbers. Also: Host David Pogue undergoes a high-resolution brain scan to see how his brain compares to Albert Einstein's.
Crime science and technology are examined. Included: detecting clues that are held by a corpse; discerning a suspect's fabrications by looking inside his or her brain; and tracking the development of a psychopath's mind. Also: the ease with which criminals can hijack almost anything, including laptops, pacemakers and cars.
In the Season 6 premiere, David Pogue examines the evolutionary roots of those traits that separate humans from other species. He also investigates what may have happened to the Neanderthals and undergoes a test to see if he has any Neanderthal DNA. Also: the story of Ethiopian paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged, who discovered the fossil bones of Selam, a 3.3 million-year-old human ancestor who is often called "Lucy's baby."