Busting the myths of the brain with neuroscientist Chantel Prat | ReThinking with Adam Grant
In this episode of ‘Re:Thinking with Adam Grant’, neuroscientist Chantel Prat dispels common myths about the brain, emphasizing the importance of verbal skills in coding and the complexities of the human brain.
She also shares insights from her debut book ‘The Neuroscience of You’.
Brain Balance and Redundancy
A balanced brain, where tasks are randomly assigned, can lead to beneficial redundancy.
If a brain area has multiple roles, it won’t become narrowly tuned to any one task, providing a backup system when things get challenging.
Biohacking: A Cautionary Tale
Prat warns against ‘biohacking’, or trying to circumvent perceived brain limitations.
People often lack understanding of why brains function the way they do, and attempts to expand attention or focus could lead to unforeseen consequences.
Hemisphere Dominance and Individual Strengths
Even if one hemisphere is stronger or faster, if the two hemispheres are not communicating strongly or interfering with each other, there’s an opportunity for different hemispheres to take on different tasks.
This can lead to unique strengths and weaknesses in individuals.
Deconstructing Left-Brain, Right-Brain Dominance Myth
The misconceptions around being a ‘left-brained analytical thinker’ or a ‘right-brained creative thinker’ are debunked.
This understanding comes from research on patients who have had the connections between their hemispheres severed, revealing a lot of independent computation in our brains.
Dopamine and Serotonin Balance
The balance between dopamine and serotonin in our brains can influence our motivation and mood.
Understanding this balance can aid in treating individuals with mood disorders or motivation issues.
Neuroscience for Effective Communication
Understanding neuroscience can help us comprehend why people behave differently for the same reasons.
This understanding can improve our communication with others whose brains function differently from ours.
Different doesn’t have to be corresponding to better and worse. There are these design features of brains where a certain brain that’s wired in a certain way will be good at something but it might have an information processing cost in another circumstance. – Chantel Prat
Trust in Understanding Others
Trust is crucial in understanding people who function differently.
We should approach our relationships as ‘longitudinal experiments’, continuously learning and adapting to understand how different brains work and communicate.
Diverse Perspectives in Decision-Making
Diverse perspectives are crucial at the decision-making table.
A group of people with different brain functions can lead to more effective problem-solving, as each person brings a unique perspective and approach.
The Role of the Corpus Callosum
The corpus callosum, a bundle of neurons connecting our two hemispheres, allows us to perceive the world as an integrated whole despite the independent computation in our brains.
This understanding comes from research on Corpus Callosotomy patients, also known as split-brain patients.