Heather Berlin, Neuroscientist to the Stars
On March 29, Dr. Heather Berlin, a neuroscientist to the stars, joined us on stage at the Pearl Stable to discuss The Neuroscience of the Unconscious Mind. Heather received her doctorate in experimental psychology/neuropsychology from the University of Oxford, Magdalen College and her Master of Public Health from Harvard University. Currently she researches brain-behavior relationships, the neural basis of consciousness, dynamic unconscious processes and creativity as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. With the goal of more targeted treatment, she conducts research to explore impulsivity, compulsivity, and emotion. She does this using neuroimaging and psychopharmacological testing techniques of brain lesion and personality disorder patients. She has conducted research at hospitals in both the US and the UK.
When she isn’t busy running neuroimaging studies on patients,Heather co-hosts a monthly series called Science Goes to the Movies. This show takes a look at the science in contemporary motion pictures. Guests on the show are from different scientific disciplines and they tackle if the information is close to the truth in movies, such as Interstellar, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and more. They explore how the scientists are portrayed in these movies as well and what the screenwriters were intending, as well as fundamental questions like “Is science leading dramatic imagination, or does imagination create new science?”
Dr. Berlin also finds time to participate in LucidNYC and TedxYouth@KC, was interviewed by Carl Zimmer for an episode on the Big Think, and sitting down with Deepak Chopra. Recently she and her husband, Baba Brinkman, did an podcast on the Neuroscience of Improv. She explained the mechanisms that go on in the brain during a freestyle improv, like rapping, and Baba rapped about it. She also sat down with Chelsea Handler for her hit show on Netflix for a look at what goes on in the brain when you subject it to different drugs.
We enjoyed welcoming Dr. Berlin back to the great state and people of Texas!