Thursday, February 20, 2014

Luiz Pessoa - "The Cognitive-Emotional Brain" (Brain Science Podcast 106)

Here is another excellent episode of Dr. Ginger Campbell's Brain Science Podcast. In this episode she speaks with Luiz Pessoa, author of The Cognitive-Emotional Brain: From Interactions to Integration.

"The Cognitive-Emotional Brain" (BSP 106)

February 17, 2014
Brain Science Podcast
Hosted by Dr. Ginger Campbell

Luiz Pessoa of the University of Maryland

In The Cognitive-Emotional Brain: From Interactions to Integration neuroscientist Luiz Pessoa argues that emotion and cognition are deeply intertwined throughout many levels of the brain. In a recent interview (BSP 106) Pessoa and I focused on recent discoveries about the amygdala and Thalamus that challenge traditional assumptions about what these structures do. The amygdala processes more than fear (and other negative stimuli) and the Thalamus is more than a mere relay station.

This a fairly technical discussion but Pessoa did a good job of making the material accessible to all listeners. The reason I think these concepts matter is that not only do they challenge overly simplistic notions of how the brain works, but they also challenge our tendency to see emotion and cognition as separate and often opposing processes.

How to get this episode:

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The most recent 25 episodes of the Brain Science Podcast are still FREE. See the individual show notes for links the audio files.

References and Additional Reading

The Cognitive-Emotional Brain: From Interactions to Integration by Luiz Pessoa
Pessoa L, Adolphs R. (2010) "Emotion processing and the amygdala: from a 'low road' to 'many roads' of evaluating biological significance.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(11):773-83. doi: 10.1038/nrn2920.
Networks of the Brain by Olaf Sporns
In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind by Eric R. Kandel (BSP 3)
Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines---and How It Will Change Our Lives by Miguel Nicolelis (BSP 79)
Visit Dr. Pessoa's lab at to learn more.

Related Episodes

BSP 11: Emotion
BSP 32: a brief introduction to Neuroanatomy
BSP 65 and BSP 91 are interviews with Jaak Panksepp about the subcortical origins of emotion
I spoke with Olaf Sporns about the Human Connectome and the use of Network Theory in BSP 74 and BSP 103.
BSP 90: a discussion of Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio.


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