You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Past the ripe age of 25, we are fully cooked; calcified in our ways. So dispense with the idea of learning a new language, skill, or thought pattern—it’s just not happening.
But what if that idea is simply false?
What if I told you that you actually have the power to change your brain and reprogram your perception, irrespective of age?
This is the life’s work of today’s guest, Andrew Huberman, Ph.D.
A neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, Andrew specializes in neuroplasticity–the brain’s ability to reorganize and repair itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. He is the recipient of the McKnight Foundation Neuroscience Scholar Award, a Biomedical Scholar Award from the Pew Charitable Trusts and in 2017 Andrew received the ARVO Cogan Award for making major contributions to the fields of vision science and efforts to regenerate the visual system and cure blindness. In addition, his work in the Huberman Lab at Stanford has been featured on the pages of Science, Discover, Scientific American, Time, and the New York Times, not to mention countless peer-reviewed journals.
”Our feelings, thoughts and memories are all very complicated but behaviors are very concrete. They are the "control panel" for the rest of it.Dr Andrew Huberman
First and foremost, this is a conversation about what it really takes to shift our thought patterns.
A master class on all things neuroplasticity, Dr. Huberman walks us through the brain’s inherent ability to modify itself based on experience and how we can advantageously leverage this process–through focus, mindfulness and restorative sleep–to not only learn new skills but also improve all essential aspects of well-being.
We cover his research in self-motivation, and how we can hijack our dopamine systems and optimize stress to move forward in difficult situations.
We discuss the inner workings of our nervous systems and how we can use our physical bodies—our diaphragms and visual systems—to access and optimize certain states of mind.
And we also explore Dr. Huberman’s personal transformation. How he transcended family dysfunction and his days as a punk rock skater truant. And the most unlikely path he blazed to becoming the celebrated scientist he is today.
But more than anything, this is a conversation about how to better self-regulate ourselves as animals.
We are experiencing a cultural devolution in which society has become biochemically addicted to entrenched, all-or-nothing thinking and myopic perceptions of life. Simply put, emotions cloud our judgment. This discourse is a vital effort to better understand the powerful role cognitive bias and hormones like dopamine and adrenaline play in affirming our world views—and shutting us down to the opinions and experiences of others.
Andrew teaches us that to shift the way that you function, changing your behavior is the first step.
I just see it as the science backing my favorite mantra — mood follows action.
Behavior first. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions follow.
– ANDREW HUBERMAN
The Appetizer: People seemed to enjoy my previous brief check-in segments with Mishka Shubaly and Nadia Bolz-Weber so I thought I’d do it again. Today’s main course warm-up comes courtesy of my friend Utkarsh Ambudkar, the linguistically dexterous musician, actor and rapper longtime listeners will recall from RRP #373. The occasion is the release of We Are Freestyle Love Supreme—a must see documentary that chronicles a tribe of über-talented artists–including UTK and one Lin-Manuel Miranda–from humble beginnings to Broadway superstardom. I love this film. Check it immediately on Hulu (and no, this is not a sponsored thing).
Final Note: If you’re enjoying my bi-weekly ‘ask me anything’ themed-episodes and have a question you’d like answered on air you can drop it on our Facebook Group page or leave us a voicemail. Our brand-spanking-new ‘Roll On’ phone line is live at 424-235-4626. Hit us up!
I am super impressed by Andrew, his story and the crucial work he is doing. And grateful for the practical tools graciously shared today.
May this exchange serve to expand your perception, capabilities, and worldview.
Peace + Plants,
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- Connect with Andrew: Twitter | Instagram | Website
- Connect with Utkarsh: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | IMDb
- Hulu: We Are Freestyle Love Supreme
- Utkarsh Music: SoundCloud | Spotify
- Scientific Publications: Huberman Lab Research
- NIH: Dr. Andrew Huberman on Virtual Reality Research
- Stanford Medicine: Scientists find fear, courage switches in brain
- Stanford Medicine: The fearful eye: Using virtual reality to hack fright
- Science Magazine: Regenerating optic pathways from the eye to the brain
- SEEKER: This Neurobiologist Swims With Great White Sharks to Study Fear
- Discover Magazine: See How They See: Researchers restore vision in mice for the first time
- Scientific American: Regrown Brain Cells Give Blind Mice a New View
- Time Magazine: In a Scientific First, Blind Mice Regain Eyesight
- The New York Times: Want a Better Workout? Just Breathe
- Book: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life* by Jon Kabat-Zinn
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