270: Darya Pino Rose | Bringing Broader Perspective To Good Health Through Real Food And True Habits

Welcome guest Dr. Darya Pino Rose to episode 270 of the show~. She has a neuroscience Ph. D. from UC San Francisco, wrote the book Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting, and has posted much content in relation to food and health on her website Summer Tomato.

In 2019, Dr. Rose gave a TEDx Talk in Salem, Oregon about the concept of becoming healthy without focusing on the dieting aspect. Changing the focus of how you respond to something is a more nuanced detail than the steps along the way, and I would always agree to look more at the root of an item than the after-effects. Dr. Rose has seen the issue with the mindset involved with short-term dieting, and the focus on countering the negative, versus reaching towards the great benefits of local produce of greens and vibrant colors. We spoke about this topic, habits, aging, broad perspective, her children, and more.

Show notes:

  • bringing a logical viewpoint to any decision-making in life, whether for health maintenance or weight loss
  • how the content we put out there can be messages to our past self
  • some of the simpler things people can do in relation to eating food and keeping health in good order
  • the way that food can taste delicious and still work in your favor
  • the farm-to-table movement that had picked up in the Bay Area, and exposition to a different way of taking food in
  • how habits are very different based on whether they are internally or externally motivated
  • the connection between habits, willpower, and motivation
  • how what is presented to us early on in life has such a large impact, and is internalized until we later look back at the time with questioning
  • anti-aging research on par with Dr. David Sinclair’s work
  • varying one’s focus, from macronutrients to micronutrients, and thinking bigger picture instead of seeking out one specific nutrient
  • looking at the origination of your foods, such that they are not heavily adulterated or removed of nutrient density
  • Darya’s two toddlers (cute~), the early times, and how personality and traits develop or show themselves early on
  • some thoughts on potential future content, and a message for all people about finding and going towards your own values

It was great to have Dr. Rose on the show. She and her husband Kevin Rose are raising their two young children in Oregon. You can check out her website Summer Tomato, pick up her book Foodist on Amazon, or watch her TEDx Talk on becoming healthy without dieting. Long live intellectual discussion~.

262: Matthew Cobb | The Past And Future Of Neuroscience In “The Idea Of The Brain”

Welcome Professor Matthew Cobb of the University of Manchester, author of The Idea of the Brain: The Past and Future of Neuroscience, to episode 262 of the show. His latest book is about the history of neuroscience, and its recent roots, and how that develops the idea of the brain, while our current understanding of the brain is still very limited. Inspirations come from other researchers, as well as Danish scientist Nicolas Steno of the 17th century.

Professor Cobb is is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester, and got his Ph.D. in Psychology and Genetics from the University of Sheffield in England. He had a postdoctoral position at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Others books of his include The Egg & Sperm Race and Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code. He has studied animal behavior, human psychology, science history, and more.

Show notes:

  • how Professor Cobb got into the study of the mind, neuroscience, and fly larvae growth and processes
  • the way that Nicolas Steno informed the way Professor Cobb looks at the mind
  • the reductionist view, and how it does not allow for picking up on information regarding detailed nuance
  • his upcoming book on smell, and how that relates to the virus of our current pandemic, with its attachment to smell receptors
  • how one structure of the brain is not alone in processing information, separate from other regions of the brain
  • Eve Marder, and her study on the small number of neurons in the lobster’s stomach, with associated models of these neurons
  • research in the field done in Manchester and the UK region
  • fly maggots and their neurons, as well as the priorities that their narrow neural system requires
  • how maggots have biological clocks in the same light as humans and other animals
  • replacement of neurons and memories in small animals
  • being skeptical of science that has come before, versus going with the research that has been read (question inspired by Professor Cobb’s recent interview with past interviewee Michael Shermer)
  • a message for all

It was good to have Professor Cobb on the show. You can check out The Idea of the Brain on Amazon, his upcoming book Smell with Oxford University Press, follow on Twitter @MatthewCobb, or look at his academic biography.

241: Brian Sweis | Decision-Making Brain Processes, Neuromodulation, And Disorder-Based Research

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The year of 2019 is shortly coming to a close, and we start to bring it home with episode 241, featuring guest Dr. Brian Sweis of the University of Minnesota. He was listed as one of the recipients of the Forbes 30-under-30 description in the category of Science for 2019, and his focus is neuroscience.

He completed the PhD part of his MD/PhD program in 2018, and continues through his MD at this time. His research exists “…at the intersection of affective, behavioral, and cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychiatry and neurology, particularly focused on neuromodulation interventions.” The work he does “… aims to understand how the brain processes information during decision-making and how lasting changes in the synaptic mechanisms of plasticity, particularly in the context of addiction and other psychiatric disorders, give rise to maladaptive behaviors.”

Show notes:

  • how Dr. Sweis got to where he is in the MD/PhD neuroscience program at the University of Minnesota
  • why is it relevant that one study the intersection of multiple fields like affective, cognitive, and behavioral science, along with neurology and neuroeconomics
  • what some of Dr. Sweis’ work on neuromodulation efforts looks like in terms of description and example
  • how there are biomarkers that are more or less reliable than others to inform researchers of an attribute in place
  • why decisions are multi-faceted, and can arise from distinct circuit-specific neural computations
  • the difference between decisions made from an emotional standpoint, versus from a logical basis, and how each can be beneficial in different scenarios
  • the kinds of animal and human trials that are done to research how the brain is impacted, and what kinds Dr. Sweis performs
  • what it means to look at decision-making in a neuroeconomic way, assessing comparative values to choices
  • how disorders can alter how stored information is processed
  • some of the scientists and advisors along the way that have guided or informed Dr. Sweis, along with the reasons why

I can see why Dr. Sweis was selected for the Forbes designation, and enjoyed discussing with him while he currently is in a study program. He has long-term goals for research, teaching, and medical work, which is a full-throttle set of items. Some of his research application qualities remind me of Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman from episode 201, who discussed his research on dopamine. Dr. Sweis also mentioned my interview with Dr. Robert Sapolsky in this episode, and I have always liked Dr. Sapolsky’s book Behave.

You can check out Dr. Sweis’ material on his University of Minnesota page, follow him on Twitter, or look at some of his publications.