Brain Observations - Where neuroscience meets the human experience
About Brain Observations - Where neuroscience meets the human experience
We spend a large part of our time in the workplace and our colleagues make up an important part of our social connections. Still, how intentional are we as individuals or organisations as a whole about nurturing our presence in the workplace? Kina Liungman is a professional coach and leadership developer with both a deep understanding and an unending interest in personal development and growth. She is an inspiring speaker and a compassionate coach, with the ability to see past the noise to how human interactions are affecting the workplace. How are high-performing teams created? What is psychological safety in organisations? What are core competencies for an efficient leadership? And how does simply allowing yourself and others to be human create change?
The new year is here and with it comes new year's resolutions for many people. But even though our intentions are good and our motivation seems flawless to begin with, a few months down the road most plans have been laid to rest. Behavioral change is hard. But knowing a little bit about what the science says about it gives us the opportunity to adapt to difficulties and prepare beforehand. In this episode we learn more about goal setting and what can help us move forward in achieving those goals. What are some hacks for success? How many goals should you work on simultaneously? And how long does it take to create and automate a new behavior?
Being human is not being an island. We live, laugh and work in group most of the time. But being part of a group affects how we perceive things, how we react and how we feel. In a group you need to understand more than just yourself, you need to understand the dynamics of several people interacting. So when you're interacting towards a common goal, like in the workplace......what.... about the human experience do we need to understand to succeed? What can come from shifting your perspective? What is the impact of seeing change as a habit instead of an end goal. And what can we learn if we just become a bit more....curious? Shani Persson has extensive experience of working with teams and supporting companies in creating positive human experiences at work. She has a deep interest in human development, creating culture, thriving in the workplace and just plain happy living. She is by nature a kind spirit, a driven person and an avid thinker. Her reflections are sometimes all over the place, often deep and insightful and always interesting. So come along and join our discussion.
The world is changing, it always has, that's nothing new. But now this change comes with the merging of two worlds, the one we think we know so well, and a virtual one. There are many new things to grasp about this evolving online presence, Web3, The Metaverse, NFTs, blockchains..... and somewhere in the mix of it all we find ourselves and each other. Will our increasingly virtual presence change how we experience life? And how will it affect how we interact with each other and with the world?
We all have fears and most of us has some type of phobia. But where do fears come from? And how are we affected by each other? Since fear is vital for our survival it has an important part in our brains responses. We learn what things to fear and avoid from both experience and our environment. In this episode we learn more about the amygdala, an important area of the brain with a role in the processing of fear and social emotions.
Axel is the PR consultant turned meditation coach and to get there he had to make his own journey within. Through ups and downs of daily life he learned that there can be peace in just accepting things as they are and that life lived in the present moment has a richer texture to it. In this very first episode of the series “The Human Experience” we talk about just that, being human, life’s struggles and joys. And meditation. Why do we struggle with ourselves and with accepting reality as is? What can present moment awareness teach us? And how can we reach it?
Why are we so affected by the emotions of people around us? Why do people seem to express different levels of empathy? And what are mirror neurons? In this episode we find the answers to these and many more questions about the social brain. Prof. Keysers was part of the team in Italy that found mirror neurons, a discovery that has changed our understanding of human nature. Here we take a journey through the empathic brain and learn why we have the ability to not only see what others are doing or experiencing but to feel it in ourselves.
In this episode we dive into daily life and how skills developed through training the mind can help us find more balance. We talk about emotional reactivity, internalised beliefs, the importance of context and emotion regulation. Prof Goldin shares his insights as well as many useful tools on how to approach and shift recurring thought patterns. Also, see if you can spot the occasional bird song outside the window.
Most of us would agree that the body and the mind are connected but many of us are not necessarily aware of this connection in the moment. The ability to attend to the internal experience of your body is called interoception and this is the research focus of todays guest Dr Cynthia Price. In her work, helping people reconnect with their bodies and teaching them sustained awareness of chosen regions, she has seen big changes take place. In this episode we learn how developing the ability to go into your internal experience and rest in your body can give rise to both insight and relief.
We are increasingly acknowledging how psychological well-being is more than the absence of distress. There are other aspects such as optimism, gratitude and purpose which greatly impact how we experience life. In this episode we learn more about the current research on this subject and how you can actually increase your psychological well-being even if your distress level remains the same. We also talk about the connections between psychological well-being, physical health and longevity. Professor Trudel-Fitzgerald has extensive experience in this field and is working on solutions to implement this knowledge into the public health debate and further on into people's lives.
As social beings the way we interact with others is hugely important to us. Professor Crocker has developed a unique expertise in social psychology and through her research, now spanning over decades, she has contributed with important insight into the costs and benefits of being more focused on ourselves or including others in our intentions. In this episode we learn about the psychology of giving and receiving and how both can have either a positive or negative impact depending on how it is approached. We also learn that there is more to self-esteem than just aiming to have lots of it. The way we pursue self-esteem has actually shown to be the most important part for our health and happiness.
Research on longevity and how to live a healthier life longer is increasingly gaining momentum. In this episode we sit down with Quinn Conklin, one of the people moving research on this topic forward and we learn about telomeres, a form of internal clock for cellular ageing. Here she tells us what they have found when looking at meditation retreat participants to see how meditation might affect our longevity. Join us to learn more about this fascinating aspect of human life and ageing as we seek answers to whether it might be possible to turn back the clock.
In this episode, philosophy and neuroscience meet to complement each other. Professor Levy drew inspiration and knowledge from his experience in both fields as he created a framework called neural holism. This episode is filled with interesting and thought provoking material so sit down, relax and get ready for a neuroscientific explanation of the concept of free will.
In this episode we learn about a vitally important aspect of our health, but one that doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves. The topic is social connection and I sit down with Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad who is one of the worlds most renowned experts on the subject. Here she explains how social connection can be defined and measured and what the research says about its impact on our health and wellbeing. We also learn how you can evaluate and reflect on your own level of connection and we go on to discuss different ways to use this knowledge to grow and nurture your own social life.
In this episode we learn about self-regulation, willpower and goal pursuit. Michael Inzlicht is a professor of psychology with a specific interest in understanding the underlying mechanisms of self-control. Here he talks about different models to describe the self-regulatory process and we discuss which components makes for a more successful pursuit of goals. Through this episode you can learn ways to reflect on and develop your own process of creating, working on and achieving goals in your life.
Dr. Cortland Dahl and his team have done extensive research on what science says about psychological well-being and compiled this data into a framework with four distinct dimensions. Here we will learn about awareness, connection, insight and purpose. We will look at how these components affect our health and happiness and more importantly we will learn what we can do ourselves to increase the quality of our life experience.
In this episode we learn the difference between empathy and compassion, how empathy can sometimes lead to distress and how strengthening compassion functions as the antidote. Professor Klimecki has extensive knowledge on the subject and here she shares her research findings on how social emotions can be changed and cultivated in the mind through intentional effort. We also discuss how cultivating these mental states can benefit us both as individuals and as a society.
In this episode we talk about stress and how you can combat the negative effects of longterm stress through meditation. Dr. Michaela Pascoe has extensive knowledge on the subject due to many years of scientific research on the stress response and she has a specific interest in how lifestyle interventions such as physical activity and meditation can counteract the harmful effects of chronic stress.
This is the podcast where we dive deep into the latest research on brain health, meditation and psychological well-being. My name is Maria Sundell, I am a clinical neurologist working in cognitive medicine and with this podcast I hope to demystify personal development and the cultivation of a healthy mind by looking at the scientific evidence behind it. I am really excited to start this journey into the mysteries of the brain and hope you are enthusiastic to join me.
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