Understanding the brain – Lisa Feldman Barrett

Today’s episode is for anyone who is curious about how human’s tick. Work ultimately is a practice of the brain and how our brain processes and reacts to things is a fascination to me.

I have a friend who is studying neuroscience and a couple of years ago at someone’s wedding I was chatting to him and said ‘who should I be reading?’ and he said the best voice in the field was a psychologist called Lisa Feldman Barrett. Sure enough I looked her up and her book How Emotions Are Made was dazzling and brilliant. it covers themes of understanding emotions.

One of the things that Lisa believes is that we don’ t arrive programmed with emotions, we learn them along the way. The more emotions we’re taught to understand the more we can feel. In her book she says people who read fiction books and learn to appreciate nuance of emotion end up feeling a wider range of emotions. She has a new book out. How Emotions Are Made is several hundred pages and her new book 7.5 Lessons About the Brain is much shorter and is very accessible. So if you’re looking for a simple explainer about the brain it is a brilliant summary (I have disclose I way preferred the first book).

Along the way you’re going to discover that no your dog isn’t capable of feeling guilt, we talk about the test (that was in a previous episode) called the Reading The Mind in the Eyes test.