Monday, December 21, 2020

Change Your Brain; Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman

I just listened to this podcast. Wow, it was really good. It is Rich Roll's Channel on Youtube. I have been subscribed to Rich's podcast for several years now. I discovered Rich when he spoke at the Cleveland Vegfest in what 2016, maybe 2017. He was one of the keynote speakers, and his wife Julie Piatt co-taught the yoga class the kicked the vegfest of with my teacher, Marni Task. Mostly because via the Esselstyn's I knew he was a vegan ultra marathoner, but when I heard his story at Vegfest it was his story of recovery from addiction that really hit home with me (I'm a recovering alcoholic of 25 years) and the connection to a whole food, plant-based diet.

The podcast is long, coming in at a little over 2 hours. As I write this I am listening to it for the second time. There are nuggets dropped throughout the whole podcast and in the description of youtube they have a great breakdown of the topics it covers and the timeslot in the video. I'm sharing that below, just to show the breadth of the conversation:

0:00 - Introduction
1:26 - Andrew’s Background
15:29 - How Andrew Turned His Life Around
23:47 - How Andrew Combines Neuroscience with His Past
26:43 - The Human Brain: Internal State & External State
35:06 - Neural Plasticity - Steering the Nervous System
42:25 - State of Flow - The Dopamine System
59:07 - Process of Internal Rewards
1:05:55 - Studying Fear, Courage, and Resilience
1:16:03 - How to Deal with Problems of Motivation and Focus
1:24:41 - Panoramic Vision vs Focal Vision
1:30:45 - Methods of Focus and Deep Rest
1:34:50 - Optic Flow and EMDR
1:38:50 - Andrew’s Work in Addiction
1:47:06 - A Bio-Marker for Addicts to Avoid Relapse
1:49:36 - Neuroscience Perspective on Political Polarization
1:59:15 - The Importance of Internal Control
2:04:57 -Is There Hope for Us?

It would be inappropriate for me to try and recap the content of this podcast because of the wide ranging topics, the depth of each, and the shear number of nuggets he drops. For example, at around the 1:58 mark or so, the section on Political Polarization, he pretty much says be the change you want to see in the world, the famous quote/meme attributed to Ghandi. He talks about neural plasticity, our survival instinct systems (dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, norepinephrine,etc), importance of sleep, yoga nidra(!!) and hypnosis, how vision impacts mindset, etc. There is a lot to unpack here.

I hope to be able to take what he says here and compare/contrast with what yoga suggests, yogas citta vritti nirodhah, or stilling of the mind. At a gut level while it seems that they disagree, I am guessing in the end that is not true. Hopefully I'll find some time to do that study.

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