Curious Minds: Innovation in Life and Work
About This Show
Learn from inspiring innovators who are rethinking life and work in a changing world. Each week, Gayle Allen discovers how these entrepreneurs, writers, scientists and inventors, achieve their most fascinating and inspiring breakthroughs. Have fun taking a peek into their Curious Minds!
Most Recent Episode
CM 076: Lisa Feldman Barrett on Rethinking Our Emotions
When we get angry or excited, our emotions can seem automatic. But are they?
For decades, scientists have described these feelings as hardwired, beyond our control, and associated with certain parts of the brain. But recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and psychology are upending this classical view, with revolutionary implications for how we understand ourselves and the world.
In her book, How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, Lisa Feldman Barrett, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, helps us rethink what it means to be human, with repercussions for parenting, our legal system, and even our health. Lisa received an NIH Directors Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on emotion in the brain and has been studying human emotion for over 20 years.
In this interview, we talk about:
The fact that our emotions are not hardwired but are made by our brains as we need them
Old, inaccurate ways of thinking about emotions and the brain, like emotions as associated with specific parts of the brain
How variety is the norm when it comes to expressing and feeling emotions
How having emotional granularity helps us feel, express, and understand our own and others emotions more deeply
The fact that our brains are not reacting but rather are predicting and constantly guessing what will happen next based on past experiences
How the predictions our brains make, based on past experience, yield the thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and beliefs we hold and feel
How the brain of a baby is awaiting instructions for how to wire itself by capturing experiences it can draw on in the future
How baby brains look very different from adult brains because they have not yet had the experiences an adult has had
How our present and future selves are conjured from our past
The fact that our emotions are not u