THE ARKHAM SESSIONS, by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the observation and clinical analysis of the characters in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES.

It's our first real look at the mysterious Ra's al Ghul, "The Demon's Head!" First introduced, along with his daughter, Talia, in "Off Balance," this quintessential member of Batman's Rogues really gets to shine in "The Demon's Quest, Part 1."  When Robin and Talia are kidnapped on the same day, Ra's recruits Batman to help him rescue them. But is everything ever as it seems in Gotham City? Their journey takes them from Gotham to Calcutta to Malaysia to the Himalayas and, finally, to the infamous Lazarus Pit! But why? Find out in this week's episode of The Arkham Sessions!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_60_The_Demons_Quest_Part_1.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 12:32pm PST
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Due to a catastrophic explosion at WayneTech Industries, Bruce Wayne is injured and suffers corneal flash burns. The bad news: He's temporarily blind! Against Dr.'s orders, he suits up as Batman and goes after The Penguin so he can stop him from causing anymore mayhem with a stolen military-grade helicopter, aptly nicknamed "Raven."  Aided by an occular device (that seems to be implanted in his brain?!), Batman regains his vision and pursues The Penguin and his henchmen to the site of a dangerous steel factory. But the visual aid runs out of batteries, rendering Batman completely blind while facing one of his most dangerous enemies. Miraculously, he discovers how to compensate for his lack of sight by engaging his other senses, and Daredevi--er, Batman, finds a way to serve his mission without one of his most integral senses!

In this episode of the Arkham Sessions, we discuss Batman's inflexible personality, his insistence on working "impaired," and his ability to work with the new deficit of blindness.  We explain potential circumstances in which one could "see without seeing," such as the condition called "blindsight" and the fascinating phenomenon called "neuroplasticity" -- how the brain can adapt and change based on experiences. For instance, if one sense is deprived of input, other senses (hearing, taste, touch) are augmented, and actually take up more "brain space" than initially reserved for those senses! Finally, we revisit the Milgram Obedience Study, a famously groundbreaking study that revealed the dangers of authority and conformity.

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_59_Blind_as_a_Bat.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 4:29pm PST
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Commissioner Gordon has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes from mob boss Rupert Thorne and Batman's on the case. But so is Gordon's daughter, Barbara, who's showing herself to be quite the accomplished crime fighter herself...as Batgirl! This week, The Arkham Sessions breaks down her acceptance into the Bat Family, how her origin is different than that of Batman and Robin's and whether being a murderer means you're mentally ill!

Direct download: The_Arkham_Sessions_Episode_58_Shadow_of_the_Bat.mp3
Category:Pop Culture Psychology -- posted at: 3:00pm PST
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