Author and science writer Annie Murphy Paul joins on episode 305 of the show to discuss her latest book The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. Her book is about tapping into the intelligence that exists outside of the brain, and using the environment and world around us to propel our thinking.
This is a category that has always been important to me because activities and understanding that propels thinking into more creative realms is essential in the making of great material. If we don’t use all tools at our disposal, we are limiting the amount of material we can put out there, which will then inspire other material.
“Annie Murphy Paul is an acclaimed science writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, and The Best American Science Writing, among many other publications. She is the author of Origins, The Cult of Personality, and now The Extended Mind.”
The connection between the brain, body, and mind is the connection between the subunits of our living world. Professor Alan Jasanoff, director of the Center for Neurobiological Engineering at MIT, explored this topic in his book The Biological Mind.
Professor Jasanoff obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard College. After completing his Masters in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK, he returned to Harvard University to commit to his PhD studies in Biophysics. Jasanoff joined the faculty of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT in 2004.
In my episode with Professor Jasanoff, we discussed:
his career and the steps that led him to where he is
the philosophy of neuroscience, and the reductionist mindset
the use of fMRI for brain imaging and understanding of the pathways
some of the analogs between a brain and a computer
how the external world is linked to the internal
ways that imaging has changed in the field in recent years
how parts of the brain are activated by emotions, but are not the only regions involved in such activity
the way that emotions light up sensations throughout the body
how the processes performed by the brain are connected to stimuli
scientists keeping track of the current research in their industry