513: Help Your Brain Learn, with Lisa Feldman Barrett


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Lisa Feldman Barrett: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain Lisa Feldman Barrett is among the top one percent most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. She is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior at Harvard University. In addition to her bestselling book How Emotions Are Made*, she has published over 240 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. She has also given a popular TED talk with nearly 6 million views and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in neuroscience and an NIH Director's Pioneer Award. In this conversation, Lisa and I discuss the lessons from her newest book, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain*. We explore some of the common misperceptions about brain biology and examine how much energy use and conservation affects us. Then, we uncover how we can help ourselves — and others — learn better. Key Points The primary purpose of your brain is to keep you alive. As a result, your brain predicts almost everything you do. Unlike how we perceive, sensing actually comes second for the brain. It’s wired to prepare for action first. Learning is an expensive use of energy. Leaders can cultivate environments for learning by providing stable environments that don’t burn unnecessary energy. Changing behavior in the heat of the moment isn’t likely, but we can change how our brain will predict outside of the moment. You are always cultivating your past, since today’s present becomes the past. That’s how you change the way your brain predicts in the future. Resources Mentioned Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain* by Lisa Feldman Barrett Lisa Feldman Barrret’s website Interview Notes Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required). Related Episodes Essentials of Adult Development, with Mindy Danna (episode 273) Help People Learn Through Powerful Teaching, with Pooja Agarwal (episode 421) Four Steps to Get Training Results, with Jim Kirkpatrick (episode 446) Discover More Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.

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