Lisa Feldman Barrett: You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them
Lisa Feldman Barrett - Neuroscientist, psychologist, author
Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with positions in psychiatry and radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Full bio
from where several bombs exploded
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Chechnya,
and sentenced to death.
and the death penalty,
on whether or not the defendant
there's no doubt about that.
to all the people who suffered.
and cannot detect remorse
are not what we think they are.
expressed and recognized.
the nature of emotion
has important consequences for all of us.
for the past 25 years,
by measuring electrical signals
to make facial expressions.
the human body in emotion.
hundreds of physiology studies
brain imaging study on emotion
in the past 20 years.
are overwhelmingly consistent.
like your emotions are hardwired
is prewired with emotion circuits,
circuits, but you're not.
have emotion circuits in our brain.
contains emotion circuits.
constructs in the moment
are working together,
over those guesses
or, you know, kind of crazy,
if I hadn't seen the evidence for myself,
that I wouldn't believe it either.
are not built into your brain at birth.
is working like crazy.
trying to make meaning out of this
other than black and white blobs.
through a lifetime of experience,
at the same time,
in my past experience?"
in the blink of an eye.
to find a good match
called "experiential blindness,"
of your blindness.
Are you ready to be cured?
through your past experience,
from the photograph.
acquired moments ago
these blobs right now.
the image of a snake
the way your brain works.
of every experience that you have.
of every action that you take.
to understand the words that I'm speaking
Lisa Feldman Barrett: Mouth. Exactly.
of the world in a quick and efficient way.
are deeply rooted in predictions.
we just look at someone's face,
that's there in their facial expressions
words on a page.
your brain is predicting.
based on similar situations
making meaning of blobs,
or the raise of an eyebrow.
who is a remorseless killer,
prescribes for someone
to detect in other people
from what's inside your own head.
which shall remain nameless ...
to build emotion-detection systems,
asking the wrong question,
emotions in the face and the body,
have no intrinsic emotional meaning.
has to connect them to the context,
that a smile might mean sadness
the demise of your enemy.
gone out on a limb,
a little further and tell you
your own emotion
making predictions, guesses,
prewired to make some feelings,
from the physiology of your body.
like calmness and agitation,
are not emotions.
every waking moment of your life.
of what's going on inside your body,
to know what to do next.
give you that detail?
the sensations in your body
around you in the world
to walk into a bakery,
that you will encounter
chocolate chip cookies.
our stomachs to churn a little bit,
have just come out of the oven,
have constructed hunger,
to munch down those cookies
I'm totally serious.
a churning stomach
while you're waiting for test results,
same churning stomach,
to happen to you
of mythical emotion circuits
some ancient part of your brain.
just snap your fingers
that you would change your clothes,
that your brain uses to make emotion,
your emotional life.
how to predict differently tomorrow,
being the architect of your experience.
before a test, right?
crippling anxiety before a test.
a hammering heartbeat,
to actually take the test.
but they actually might fail college.
is not necessarily anxiety.
is preparing to do battle
on a stage where you're being filmed.
that when students learn
of energized determination
to predict differently in the future
flying in formation.
to pass their courses,
on their future earning potential.
intelligence in action.
this emotional intelligence yourself
this experience. I know I have.
all the crap that you have to do at work
dig yourself out of ever,
are you going to make for dinner?
to find an explanation
that you experience as wretchedness,
what caused those sensations
that anything is wrong with your life.
into just mere physical discomfort?
a couple of Jedi mind tricks
of serious condition.
over your emotions than you might imagine,
on emotional suffering
your experiences differently.
we can get really good at it,
a really empowering and inspiring message,
by decades of research
that it does come with some fine print,
also means more responsibility.
of mythical emotion circuits
inside your brain somewhere
for your emotions,
and the experiences that you make today
predictions for tomorrow.
who can change it.
to resist the scientific evidence
for our own emotions
is you don't have to choke on that idea.
a glass of water if you need to,
to a healthier body,
and potent emotional life.
About the speaker:Lisa Feldman Barrett - Neuroscientist, psychologist, author
Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, with positions in psychiatry and radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Why you should listen
Twenty-five years ago, Lisa Feldman Barrett ran a series of psychology experiments whose conclusions seemed to defy common sense. It turned out common sense was wrong, and has been for 2,000 years. The result is a radical, new theory of how the brain creates emotions and a novel view of human nature.
Dr. Barrett is now a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory (IASLab) at Northeastern University, with research appointments in the departments of psychiatry and radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers in top scientific journals on emotion, psychology, and neuroscience. She educates the public about science with her articles for the New York Times and other media outlets. Her research teams span the globe, studying people in the West, the East and remote parts of Africa.
Lisa Feldman Barrett | Speaker | TED.com