October 6, 2017 – How Emotions Are Made

My guest on this program is Lisa Feldman Barrett, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in psychiatry and radiology. She received a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on emotion in the brain. She is the author most recently of How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, in which she disputes the prevailing view that emotion and reason are at odds. She argues that emotion is not hardwired, but is constructed by our brains and our bodies as we go along. In addition, emotions are not cross-culturally universal-e.g. fear does not live in the amygdala-and there are no body patterns or changes, or patterns of brain activity that specifically and solely identify any one emotion. Her work in this area has been termed a revolution on par with the discovery of relativity in physics, and natural selection in biology. The book reveals the latest research and intriguing practical applications of the new science of emotion, mind, and brain.

May 12, 2017 – Mind & Human Nature

My guest on this program is Daniel Everett, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He is the author of many books, including Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes; Language: The Cultural Tool; and Linguistic Fieldwork: A Student Guide. His life and work is also the subject of a documentary film, The Grammar of Happiness. His most recent book is Dark Matter of the Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious, in which he argues that human nature as normally conceived does not exist. Flying in the face of major trends in evolutionary psychology and related fields, he offers a provocative and compelling argument that the only thing humans are hardwired for is freedom: freedom from evolutionary instinct and freedom to adapt to a variety of environmental and cultural contexts.

Dan’s next book:
How Language Began: The Story of Humanity’s Greatest Invention (To be released November 7, 2017)

Dan Everett’s definition of culture:
“Culture is the abstract network shaping and connecting social roles, hierarchically structured knowledge domains, and ranked values. Culture is dynamic, shifting, reinterpreted moment by moment. Culture is found only in the bodies (the brain is part of the body) and behaviors of its members. Culture permeates the individual, the community, behaviors, and thinking” (66).

August 21, 2015 – Madness in Civilization

This program features a conversation with Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego Andrew Scull. He is the author most recently of Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine. Today, mental disturbance is most commonly viewed through a medical lens, but societies have also sought to make sense Continue reading

April 24, 2015: Mind & Media

My guest on this program is UCLA Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Children’s Digital Media Center, Patricia Greenfield. Her central theoretical and research interest is in the relationship between culture and human development and she sees media as a key component of modern culture. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of an Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cultural and Contextual Factors in Child Development from the Society for Research in Child Development. We’ll be talking about her classic book, Mind and Media: The Effects of Television, Video Games, and Computers.

January 30, 2015 – Mind Change

This program has been re-scheduled for May 22, 2015.

The guest on this program is Susan Greenfield, neuroscientist, broadcaster, and bestselling author. Her most recent book is Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains. She is also a senior research fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a member of Continue reading

December 19, 2014 – Spirituality Without Religion

This program features a conversation with Sam Harris, author of numerous best-selling books, cofounder and CEO of Project Reason, and author most recently of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Dr. Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA. He is often associated with the Continue reading

September 26, 2014 – Consciousness and the Social Brain

This program features a conversation with Michael Graziano, Professor of Neuroscience at Princeton University. Author of several non-fiction books, his most recent is Consciousness and the Social Brain, in which he presents a theory for how the brain produces consciousness. He has also written novels, children’s books, and music.

Previous books:
God Soul Mind Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Reflections on the Spirit World
The Divine Farce
The Love Song of Monkey

March 28, 2014 – Teenage Psychology

On this program I have a conversation with Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., internationally acclaimed author, award-winning educator, and child psychiatrist. We’ll be talking primarily about his recent book, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. He is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he also serves as a co-investigator at the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. He is also the Executive Director Continue reading