Lisa Feldman Barrett || Surprising Truths about the Human Brain

November 25, 2021

In this episode, I talk to renowned neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett about emotions and the brain. She reveals what the true function of the brain is⎯and it’s not for thinking. We also discuss the impact of past experiences on our cognition and what we can do to overcome our own detrimental patterns. Further into our discussion, Dr. Lisa challenges the traditionally held view that emotions are universal. In her own theory of constructed emotion, she argues that variability in emotional expression exists due to socialization and language differences. We also touch on the topics of hallucinogens, culture, education, relationships, and authoritarianism.

Dr. 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. She also holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior.

Her books include Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain and How Emotions are Made. She has published over 240 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals. Dr. Barrett has been called “the most important affective scientist of our time”.

Website: lisafeldmanbarrett.com
Twitter: @LFeldmanBarrett


  • Lisa’s interest in clinical psychology
  • A biological approach to emotions
  • Why do we have a neocortex?
  • The default mode network
  • The brain is not for thinking
  • The rise of authoritarianism during chaos
  • Psychological entropy
  • Predictions are based from past experiences
  • The mind-brain problem
  • Relationships are reflexive
  • Emotional expression isn’t universal
  • Why you shouldn’t trust psychology textbooks
  • Reaching out to Paul Ekman
  • The theory of constructed emotion
  • The role of socialization and language in emotions
  • The never-ending domain-general vs domain-specific debate in cognitive science




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