Webinars

The New Science of Emotion

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Overview

As AI is expanding to take over many analytical and thinking tasks, interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills are even more important.

The old way of looking at emotion and the brain divided the brain into three distinct parts: The reptilian brain, the oldest part of the brain, was involved in instinctual behaviours. The limbic system, a newer part of the brain that included the amygdala and hippocampus, was responsible for motivation and emotion. And the cortex, the newest part of the brain and unique to higher mammals, was responsible for language and rational thinking.

The amygdala was thought to be the seat of negative emotions such as anger and fear. Once it was triggered, it was thought that you had no control over your reactions and that you had to ride it out. This was called “the amygdala hijack.” But the triune theory of the brain is no longer supported by scientists.

We also believed that there were six universal emotions: anger, fear, surprise, happiness, sadness, and disgust. Each emotion had a unique and universal facial expression, making it fairly easy to read people’s emotions.

Thirty years of research by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett has shown us that we construct our emotions on the spot from the incoming stimuli, we’re not at the mercy of our amygdala, and emotions are not universal.

In this webinar, we’ll go over the most current research on emotion and how it changes what we know about emotion and emotional intelligence.

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Your Host – Dr. Irena O’Brien

Irena is a cognitive neuroscientist and has been studying psychology and neuroscience for over 25 years. Her first career was as a chartered accountant but it had lost meaning for her and she went back to university. In her first semester back at Concordia University, she took her first neurobiology course and thought her mind had been let out of a box. That started her love affair with neuroscience and the brain.

She went on to obtain a PhD at the Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) where she did brain imaging and electrophysiological studies followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Language, Mind and Brain at McGill University.

She founded The Neuroscience School in 2017 offering a Certificate Programme in Applied Neuroscience and now teaches coaches and helping professionals the basics of neuroscience and how students can apply the practical, evidence-based tools and strategies they learn with their clients.

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