Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning
Brain Fact Friday on ”How to Read the Emotions of Others in Our Schools, Sports and Classroom Environments”

Brain Fact Friday on ”How to Read the Emotions of Others in Our Schools, Sports and Classroom Environments”

September 16, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for Brain Fact Friday and EPISODE #164 that ties back into our interview released this week, episode #163 with Dr. Dan Hill on “Facial Coding: How to Read the Emotions in Others” since there was so much he explained in that interview that I think is important for all of us to think about, and dig deeper with, whether we are using these ideas in our schools, sports environments or workplaces.

For those who are new here, I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of you listening, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately. My vision for this podcast is to bring the experts to you, share their books, resources and ideas to help you to implement their proven strategies and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t hear from someone who has found this information to be important and useful in their life. Thank you for the feedback. We can all use motivation at times.

If you take a quick look through our episodes that began in June 2019, you will notice this podcast draws many high-level guests who have spearheaded the understanding of how our brains works, tied to social and emotional learning (in our schools or sports environments) or emotional intelligence (as it’s called in our workplaces) to help us to all improve our results.  This has always been the goal of the podcast that was originally going to be a course for an educational publisher, until a turn of events caused me to decide to release my best work with the hopes it would help those who are looking to implement the most current brain research into their work. This is just the beginning of the vision I have but can clearly see that this is a topic that holds an international interest, so I will continue to create content to help us to all understand and implement this research in the new field of educational neuroscience.

In Today’s Brain Fact Friday, You Will Learn:

✔︎ The Top Emotions Dr. Hill Looks for when using his Facial Coding System to Read Others.

✔︎ How to Apply Facial Coding in Your Classroom, Workplace or Sports Teams.

✔︎ What We Should All Know, Understand and Look for With Other People’s Emotions.

 

Which Leads us to This Week’s Brain Fact Friday:

After editing and re-listening to Dr. Dan Hill, from episode #163, I had 2 major takeaways.

 

THE PIVOT: The first takeaway I had was that Dr. Hill pioneered a successful career using facial coding, when he had to pivot his career focus in his early years. Many of us listening would recognize and understand this pivot, as we have done it in our own careers ourselves. Back in my early days as a teacher (I was trained by the Raptor’s Coach as a Level 1 Technical Coach) and the pivot is something you never forget. If you remember it on a basketball court, it’s a hard turn, where you stop and shift directions quickly and suddenly, turning your back to your original direction. This is exactly what Dr. Hill had to with his career and reminded me of mine. I had to learn how the brain works in 2014 when an educator sat me down and gave me the most valuable feedback I have ever received, and I know that the pandemic caused many of my friends and colleagues to also make some sort of shift with their work. Have you ever had to make a pivot?

Last week I heard from someone I am working on bringing on the podcast who works in the field of professional sports, with a well-known sports team that I hear about daily, since it’s my husband’s favorite team and this person also made a noticeable pivot in their career towards leadership when he recognized that lifelong learning was his ticket for future success, bringing him to this podcast to see what else he could learn. We connected on LinkedIn, and when we spoke on the phone, immediately connected. I was honored that he was listening, and he was honored that I had asked him if he would be a guest on the show to share how he made his pivot towards lifelong learning and the impact that had on his life. Stay tuned, as I’m hoping we can make this interview happen quickly.

 

USING FACIAL CODING: Dan Hill’s episode also taught me a lot about how we can all use an understanding of facial coding or reading the emotions in others in our life that originated from the work of Dr. Paul Ekman,[i] an American psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of California who was ranked 59th out of 100 most cited psychologists of the 20th century, whose work was behind the popular TV Series Lie to Me.[ii]

Dan_Hill_186xs2.png

IMAGE SOURCE: https://www.paulekman.com/amp/

If you have not listened to episode #163, go back and listen to it before you go on with this one.

This week’s Brain Fact Friday, I want to share the tips that Dr. Hill noted were helpful when reading the emotions of someone he is looking to recruit for a sports team, or to think about how this could be used in the classroom to identify a student who might be lost or what emotions would make someone a valuable team player in the workplace. If we can learn to recognize the emotions in others, the result will be that we can also recognize emotions in ourselves, which was the idea behind the work of the Founder of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Marc Brackett and his book, Permission to Feel[iii] who was one of our early interviews.

For this week’s Brain Fact Friday---

Did you know that it’s possible to increase your emotional awareness to help you to be more successful in life, happier in your marriage, be an expert at handling your kids, a better manager at work, a more effective coach in sports, a better hiring manager, close more sales, or negotiate a better deal for yourself just by understanding how to read someone else’s facial expressions? You can learn more from Dr. Dan Hill on this topic through his books and website[iv],  but for this week’s Brain Fact Friday, I will summarize what Dr. Hill looks for whether he is picking a player for a pro sports team or looking for a student who is lost in the classroom, or someone feeling isolated and alone in the corporate environment.

Tips for Using Facial Coding in Sports, the Classroom and Modern Workplaces:

When Dr. Hill was asked to help the Milwaukee Bucks to recruit players that would be a good fit for their team, he mentioned there were some key emotions he was looking for.

1. Happiness: This emotion was easy to spot with a Duchenne Smile[v], which is an expression that signals true enjoyment. This type is smile is contagious and lights up a room. You can’t miss that twinkle in someone’s eye. Dr. Hill looks for this sign when recruiting players because it correlates to someone who is coachable, solutions oriented, embraces others, is embraced by them, could connect to others, and build a sense of community.

BE AWARE OF: A fake smile that lingers too long, or comes and goes too quickly, or an asymmetrical smile that some people would say shows insincerity but could also signify this person has complicated thoughts going on.

2. Anger: Hill looks for someone to have a degree of anger. Not crazy anger, but enough that suggests they are driven and could be in control of their own destiny, making progress towards their goals. Michael Jordan shows anger which Dr. Hill says shows his focus and determination.

BE AWARE OF: Those who are unable to calm themselves down when their blood starts to boil. Anger can be a good thing, especially when its expressed, but be careful not to hold anger inwards as this can impact our health.[vi] Learn stress relieving strategies like deep breathing and meditation to calm the amygdala and bring balance back to the prefrontal cortex, or our decision-making part of our brain.

3. Contempt: Hill says there is a fine line with this emotion that can often point towards confidence/swagger, but it can also suggest that you think you are above others, which wouldn’t make you the best teammate, or someone who would take the advice of a coach.

BE AWARE OF: This emotion is according to John Gottman[vii], is the #1 predictor why a marriage will fail. That smirk means I don’t respect or trust you. In a sports environment, you can see it in Jay Cutler’s image that could show his confidence (first picture) but added to dislike, can also show that mediocrity is beneath him.

Jay_Cutler_Chicago_Bears91mp0.png

4. Disgust: Correlates well with someone who has a drive to succeed, like in Jay Cutler’s example above, that mediocrity is below them or disgusts them and he wants to get to that next level.

BE AWARE OF: That a player like this might not make the best teammate, but they do make excellent CEOS with that drive for success.

5. Sadness: Worries Dr. Hill and he sees an inverse correlation with sadness in sports because it slows you down mentally and physically. This emotion he says is a liability.

BE AWARE OF: The fact that this emotion is a sign that you have lost connection, and whether on a sports team, in a classroom or workplace, needs intervention.

6. Confusion Mixed with Fear: Hill warns this emotional mix is cause for concern in the classroom as this student is lost and would need immediate intervention.

7. Inability to Feel Empathy: When working on murder trials, this emotion was something he noticed. For someone who can read faces, usually you can pick up micro expressions, but these were notably missing with a murderer.

BE AWARE OF: With the lack of empathy, he noted that these types of people had inappropriate smiles or the wrong emotion for the situation (laughing at the wrong time). You will feel something is not quite right, and won’t want to be in this person’s presence.

Dr. Hill reminds us that using Facial Coding, or even Theory of Mind to read the emotions in someone else might be able to point us towards what someone is feeling, but we can’t know why they are feeling this way, without asking them. When you notice a blend of emotions, like confusion mixed with fear in your student, or pride that can show a mix of emotions like happiness (that I succeeded) with anger (but look at the work it took to get here) you can get in the ballpark of the emotions someone feels, but a conversation goes a long way to going deeper into learning more, and uncovering what might be going on with that person.

To close out this week’s brain fact Friday, I think it’s important to note that we aren’t always looking for the positive emotions when looking to move towards our goals and make progress. Recognizing the negative feelings of being lost or unsure of your direction can cause for significant change like Dr. Hill noted when his friend turned him towards the direction of Facial Coding, or the Pro Sports Connection I spoke about who turned towards leadership, or when I had to quickly add an understanding of the brain to my work. This leads us to fear that Dr. Hill mentioned could be a strong motivator as long as it doesn’t lead you to freeze up in the process.

When you start looking closer at the emotions of others, it will give you more insight as you learn that “actions or facial coding, speaks louder than words” and this practice will get you closer to what someone is thinking and feeling, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation to know with 100% certainty.

Have an incredible weekend! See you next week!

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

REFERENCES:

[i] https://www.paulekman.com/amp/

[ii] The Truth Behind Lie to Me https://www.paulekman.com/blog/truth-behind-lie/amp/

[iii] The Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast with Marc Bracket on his book “Permission to Feel” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/founding-director-of-the-yale-center-of-emotional-intelligence-on-his-new-book-permission-to-feel/

[iv] https://emotionswizard.com/about-the-emotions/

[v] https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-Duchenne-smile-left-versus-the-social-smile-right-Social-smiles-use-only-the_fig4_337322714

[vi] How the Brain Works with Anger Published on YouTube October 9, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1fSzTiOzdA

[vii] https://www.gottman.com/about/research/couples

Dan Hill, Ph.D. ”The Faces Guy” on ”How to Read the Emotions in Others” for Schools, Sports and the Workplace

Dan Hill, Ph.D. ”The Faces Guy” on ”How to Read the Emotions in Others” for Schools, Sports and the Workplace

September 15, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #163 with Dr. Dan Hill, Ph.D. an internationally recognized expert on the role of emotions in politics, business, sports and pop culture, who has spoken to audiences in over 25 countries. There are two currencies in life, he says, “There’s dollars and emotions.” For over 20 years now, Dan has specialized in the latter – often in terms of business applications, and often by analyzing facial expressions because he asserts “the most valuable 25 square inches of visual territory on earth runs from the eyebrows to the mouth.” There, people best reveal and communicate the affective responses that so often drive their behavior, whether in the marketplace, the workplace, their personal lives, or in realms like politics, and sports.

Watch the interview on YouTube here.https://youtu.be/fT_SNrZM6rA

Learn more about Dr. Dan Hill https://www.sensorylogic.com/ 

See past Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast Episodes https://www.achieveit360.com/episodes/  

Back story 0-6:10

Interview with Dan Hill 6:10-1:10:25

In Today's Episode, you will learn:

✔︎ How to use facial coding to improve your results in your personal and professional life.

✔︎ Examples of how Dr. Hill used this skill in professional sports and in the classroom.

✔︎ The origins of facial coding beginning with Leonardo da Vinci, Darwin, Duchenne and Dr. Ekman.

✔︎ How Dr. Hill discovered this tool and how he has used it to build a successful career.

✔︎ Theory of Mind and Facial Coding--what emotion he stays away from.

✔︎ Our future leaders--What emotions will make them successful.

If you want to be more successful in life, happier in your marriage, be an expert at handling your kids, a better manager at work, a more effective coach in sports, a better hiring manager, close more sales, or negotiate a better deal for yourself, an understanding of how to read someone else’s facial expressions is imperative.

To capture and quantify emotions, Dan pioneered the use of facial coding (the analysis of facial expressions) in market research starting in 1998 and his company, Sensory Logic, Inc[i]., has done work for over half of the world’s top 100 consumer oriented, B2C companies. Dan has received seven U.S. patents related to facial coding and is also a certified Facial Action Coding System (FACS) practitioner[ii], which is a popular course, offered by someone I have studied in depth, Paul Ekman[iii] who’s a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. Dr. Ekman was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine[iv] in 2009, has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad and has compiled over 50 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you and believes we can all improve our ability to do this, with training[v] and Dan Hill has this training.

facial_expressionsbbl2e.png

IMAGE SOURCE: The New York Times November 18, 2014 https://nyti.ms/3nCE7co  

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies that we can use to improve our own productivity in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments. My vision is to bring the experts to you, share their books, resources, and ideas to help you to implement their proven strategies, whether you are a teacher working in the classroom or online, a student, or parent working in the corporate space.

Our guest for this week’s podcast, Dan Hill, whose latest books consist of Famous Faces Decoded: A Guidebook for Reading Others;[vi] Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style[vii]; and First Blush: People’s Intuitive Reactions to Famous Art[viii] will help us to take a deep dive into understanding why we need to be able to read the emotions in others. His earlier, business books include: About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising[ix]; and Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success, which features a foreword by Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons. He has a NEW book that was just released on AMAZON yesterday, Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo[x] that is a humorous take on how the workplace really operates and the fact that there’s a little truth in every joke. Dan Hill is also the host of the EQ Spotlight Podcast[xi] where he has discussions with thought leaders about the importance of emotions in politics, culture and life.

​In 2014, Dan received front-page coverage in The New York Times for his work with professional and NCAA Division 1 sports teams. Other media coverage has ranged from TV appearances on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CNN, C-Span, ESPN, Fox, “The Today Show,” PBS, and so many others that I will link in the show notes.

The Tennis Channel, to print and digital coverage in Allure, China Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Fast Company, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times,  Politico, Time, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. Dan was educated at St. Olaf College, Oxford University, Brown University, and Rutgers University. Along with his wife, Karen Bernthal, he nowadays splits his time between St. Paul, Minnesota and Palm Desert, California.

I am very grateful for the fact that this podcast allows me to learn from some of the top leaders in the world on improving productivity and results. Sometimes, while preparing for interviews, I step back and just notice how lucky I am to be able to speak directly with these world leaders, that I have the chance to learn from them, and share their knowledge with you. As I am researching, and meeting new people, you had better believe I’m also applying what I’m learning to my own life. This way, it’s like we are learning together. I will never take this learning opportunity for granted. I met Dan Hill, through Twitter, where he reached out to me, sharing his work and as I read his BIO I knew immediately that had to have him on the podcast to share his work with facing coding to help us to all understand how to read the emotions of others in our schools, sports environments and workplaces. This is a valuable skill that Dr. Paul Ekman believes we can all develop to help us to deal with what’s important in our life, without having to take the time to “think” about it. With practice, we should all be able to use this skill to just “know” the best way to proceed.  

Let’s meet Dan Hill and learn more about facial coding—what is it, and how can we use it in our own lives!

Welcome Dan Hill, thank you for joining me on the podcast today.

I have many questions for you but have to say that when we first met on Twitter, I recognized immediately that we needed to speak and it was a mix between the fact that I have been studying Dr. Eckman’s work on understanding emotions, and the fact that you have been applying this for the past 20 years, successfully in many different sectors. I’m beyond excited to learn more from you on this topic.

INTRO QUESTION: In your BIO, it mentions your front-page coverage in the New York Times for your work with professional and NCAA Division 1 sports teams and I had to look it up. I found the article “What Expressions Can Say About a Player”[xii] (Dec. 25, 2014) and Team’s Turn to a Face Reader Looking for That Winning Smile (Dec. 25, 2014)[xiii] and wonder how did you use this skill to analyze sports players to profile a successful vs problem or non-coachable player? I know there are entire courses on this subject, but what should we all know about this skill, and how we can use it to improve how we interact, teach or coach others?

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IMAGE SOURCE: The New York Times December 25, 2014 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/26/sports/NBA-faces-data.html  

  1. I first heard about this idea of facing coding or reading emotions through facial expressions through Dr. Ekman’s work, and then through Dr. John Medina where he mentioned Theory of Mind in our interview. What are the origins of facial coding (Da Vinci, Darwin, Duchenne, Ekman)
  2. How did you discover this tool? Would you say you have a particular aptitude for facial coding? How hard is it for people to learn this skill? I know that intuition must play a role here, but how accurate is this process?
  3. I first mentioned Theory of Mind (where we can analyze and infer other people’s behaviors) on this podcast on episode #46[xiv]. Is facial coding like Theory of Mind?
  4. For educators in the classroom, can you suggest a couple of tips for helping them to understand their students better? (as you’ve taught college and also given many speeches)?
  5. What final thoughts do you think would be important for us all to take away with using facial coding in our schools, sports and workplaces?

History.png

Thank you very much Dan for your time, research, and strategies for us to all use and implement to become better at recognizing emotions in others, as well as ourselves. I know that American psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman would agree with you that this is a skill that we should all understand so that we can deal with what’s important in our life, quickly, with confidence, with this new understanding. For people who want to learn more about you, is the best place your website? What is your new book that you have coming out this week?

Thank you Dan!!

FOLLOW DR. DAN HILL

https://emotionswizard.com/

https://twitter.com/EmotionsWizard

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-hill-emotionswizard/

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

RESOURCES:

Famous Faces Decoded Book Synopsis https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2271229932979186

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wiggins

Bucks, Young and Rebuilding, Look to Jabari Parker to Lead the Way Back Nov. 18, 2014 by Ben Strauss  https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/sports/basketball/bucks-young-and-rebuilding-look-to-jabari-parker-to-lead-the-way-back.html?.?mc=aud_dev&ad-keywords=auddevgate&gclid=Cj0KCQjwkIGKBhCxARIsAINMioIUDGbdwkIAhb0IkjA2e2h35wD1swCkBjWjZlUScglN6Hmt3iipwiMaAln_EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Dr. Paul Ekman’s FACS Training

https://www.paulekman.com/facial-action-coding-system/

Paul Ekman Image Reference https://www.pinterest.com/pin/455074737331481340/ and Research https://www.ekmaninternational.com/a-brief-history-into-paul-ekmans-early-research/

Early Origins of Facial Coding

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelangelo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchenne_de_Boulogne

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin

https://www.paulekman.com/about/paul-ekman/

 

Mona Lisa’s Smile is Not Genuine June 3, 2019 by St. George’s University of London https://neurosciencenews.com/mona-lisa-smile-14150/

The Science of Genuine Smiles December 6th, 2017 by Alina Lukashevsky https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-science-behind-smiles_b_9448650

The Duchenne Smile https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-Duchenne-smile-left-versus-the-social-smile-right-Social-smiles-use-only-the_fig4_337322714

https://www.gottman.com/about/research/couples/

REFERENCES:

[i] https://www.sensorylogic.com/

[ii] https://www.paulekman.com/facial-action-coding-system/

[iii] https://www.paulekman.com/amp/

[iv] http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,1894410,00.html

[v] Paul Ekman: useful Things to Know About Emotions Published on YouTube Feb. 23, 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdUZQmZfMzY

[vi]Famous Faces Decoded by Dan Hill  https://www.sensorylogic.com/famous-faces

[vii] Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style by Dan Hill June 18, 2019 https://www.amazon.com/Two-Cheers-Democracy-Emotions-Leadership/dp/0999741624

[viii] First Blush: People’s Intuitive Reactions to Famous Art by Dan Hill October 1, 2019 https://www.amazon.com/First-Blush-Peoples-Intuitive-Reactions/dp/0999741632/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=first+blush&qid=1631455388&s=books&sr=1-1

[ix] About Face: The Secrets of Emotionally Effective Advertising by Dan Hill October 1, 2010 https://www.amazon.com/About-Face-Emotionally-Effective-Advertising/dp/0749457570/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=about+face+dan+hill&qid=1631455553&s=books&sr=1-3

[x] Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo by Dan Hill and Howard Moskowitz September 2021 https://www.amazon.com/Blah-Snarky-Guide-Office-Lingo-ebook/dp/B09BWPQGGJ

[xi] Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dan-hills-eq-spotlight/id1519669707

[xii] The New York Times “What Expressions Can Say About a Player” December 25, 2014 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/26/sports/NBA-faces-data.html

[xiii] Teams Turn to a Face Reader, Looking for That Winning Smile by Kevin Randall Dec. 25, 2014 https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/26/sports/nba-bucks-looking-for-an-edge-hire-expert-in-face-time.html

[xiv] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #46 “As Close to Mind Reading as Brain Science Gets: Developing and Using Theory of Mind in Your Daily Life” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/as-close-to-mind-reading-as-brain-science-gets-developing-and-using-theory-of-mind-in-your-daily-life/

Medical Director of Addictive Medicine at Stanford University, Dr. Anna Lembke on  ”Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence”

Medical Director of Addictive Medicine at Stanford University, Dr. Anna Lembke on ”Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence”

September 9, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #162 with Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Director of Addiction Medicine at Stanford University, Dr. Anna Lembke.[i]

Visit the episode website here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pu82wZRZwo

Watch the interview with visuals on YouTube here.

Backstory and Introduction 0-13:00 minutes

Interview with Dr. Lembke 13:00-49:45

Follow Dr. Lembke https://profiles.stanford.edu/anna-lembke

To See Past Episodes of The Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast https://www.achieveit360.com/episodes/

In Today's Episode, you will learn:
✔︎ About the addictive nature of social media, as well as why people become addicted to certain behaviors and substances.

✔︎About her 30 Day Dopamine Fast: An 8 step process that she suggests to help us to reset our brains if we have had a surplus of dopamine in our brain due to over-indulgence that helps many people "kick their bad habits" to the curb. 

✔︎ What is happening in the brain when we experience withdrawals when we try to stop a habit or behavior and how to overcome this uncomfortable feeling for increased happiness, mental health and awareness.

✔︎What exactly is the pleasure/pain balance and why we should all be able to recognize when we are getting too much of a good thing.

✔︎How to return to whatever it is that you enjoyed in moderation.

You may have seen her in the Netflix Documentary The Social Dilemma [ii] where she discusses the addictive nature of social media, explaining that it taps into “our basic biological imperative to connect with other people—that directly affects the release of dopamine and the reward pathway” (32:35 The Social Dilemma) and she warns us that “there’s no doubt that a vehicle like social media which optimizes this connection between people is going to have the potential for addiction.” Dr. Lembke is more concerned with our children and her children (who appear in the documentary with her) and on today’s podcast, she will arm us with the knowledge that she shares with her own children daily.  Her book Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked and Why It’s So Hard to Stop[iii] (2016) is a good overview of what addiction is, and the dangers of prescription drugs. Her NEW book Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence[iv] that was just released last month, explores the exciting new scientific discoveries that explain why the relentless pursuit of pleasure leads to pain…and what to do about it.

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies that we can use to improve our own productivity in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments. My vision is to bring the experts to you, share their books, resources, and ideas to help you to implement their proven strategies, whether you are a teacher working in the classroom or online, a student, or parent working in the corporate space.

This week’s interview with Dr. Anna Lembke on her NEW book Dopamine Nation is based on true stories of her patients falling prey to addiction and finding their way out again with stories that many of us might find to be shocking, but she explains that “they are just extreme versions of what we are all capable of.” (Dopamine Nation)

When reading this book, or listening to this interview, I encourage you to think about your own life, your behaviors and what you might be running from since we are all running from something and like we have mentioned many times before on the podcast, awareness is the key to making any behavior change that can have a lasting impact on our productivity and results. My hope is that we can all take an honest look and find places where we might be leaking energy, to close those gaps, and redirect that energy towards our goals.

We covered the topic of addiction at the start of this year with Aneesh Chaudhry (EPISODE 102)[v] on “Mental Health, Well-Being and Meditation: Overcoming Addiction Using Your Brain” and I first mentioned Dr. Lembke on episode #157[vi] “Overcoming Digital Addiction Using Neuroscience” after a discussion with our friends about technology use led me to Dr. Lembke. This episode was a popular one, with over 700 downloads in the first few days of release. Then when I posted that I was working on this episode, over Labor Day weekend, I had many messages from friends and colleagues who shared with me that they were very interested in this topic. I think this is something that we should all be aware of, since most of us also have not ever had any training on the topic of addiction, yet we all know someone who struggles in some way. We can also learn so much about ourselves with this information. Understanding how chemical, behavioral, and even digital addictions are formed/broken can help us all to navigate our lives, with a deeper level of awareness that can close up those gaps where we waste energy, to improve our productivity.

Medical Disclaimer: Just a reminder—I would consider myself a researcher, sharing preventative and supplemental ideas and strategies related to the most current research on the brain, health and wellness education. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your health and remember that you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you learn through this podcast. Keep in mind, Dr. Lembke recommends her 30 day dopamine fast for people with less severe addictions and anyone who is struggling with a serious drug or alcohol addiction should seek further treatment from their medical provider.

Back to the episode…

Dr. Lembke’s book, Dopamine Nation shows us what happens when we get too much of a good thing, but we can use this understanding to counteract the effects of this neurotransmitter in our brain, bringing us back to balance, and productivity. 

PART I The Pursuit of Pleasure 

In part 1 of the book, called The Pursuit of Pleasure, Dr. Lembke gives some examples of “how we are constantly trying to distract ourselves from the present moment to be entertained” and “that we’re all running from pain—we’ll do almost anything to distract ourselves from ourselves” and that “we’ve lost the ability to tolerate even minor forms of discomfort.”  When I thought about this part of the book, I couldn’t agree more thinking of all the times I grab my phone to distract myself from something, anything difficult that comes my way, instead of staying in the present moment. Chapter three goes deeper into the  science of brain chemistry, discussing two key features of the effects of dopamine: the brain's tendency to seek homeostasis, and the development of tolerance

PART 2 Self Binding: Dr Lembke describes some encounters with her patients, and how to keep addictive behaviors under control. She covers Dopamine Fasting with an ACRONYM to help us learn how to use her 30-day Dopamine Fast to reset our brains. Dr. Lembke will explain her 30-day Dopamine Fasting Plan for people with less severe addictions, where she often sees people return to their “drug of choice” in a controlled way.  

30 Day Dopamine Fast 

Data: what are  you using, how much, how often?

Objectives: what does it do for you?

Problems: or downsides does it cause? 

Abstinence: stop using it for a month and see what happens

Mindfulness: be prepared to feel worse before you feel better 

Insight: abstaining from our drug of choice gives us incredible insight that we cannot see without stopping. What did you learn?

Next Steps: moving forward without the drug/behavior even when you miss it. Can you do that?

Experiment: Go back out into the world, experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.  

If there is something that you want to change in your life, try going without it for 30 days, and see what happens. Only you will know if this will work for you or not. Dr. Lembke noted that “even when moderation is achievable, many of her patients report it’s too exhausting to continue, and they ultimately opt for abstinence in the long haul” (Dopamine Nation).

PART 3 The Pursuit of Pain: Dr. Lembke explores the opposite side of the equation: seeking out things that are painful, in order for the brain to tend to increase feelings of pleasure immediately afterward in an attempt to regain homeostasis. Explains the “pain” side of addiction and the importance of finding balance, radical honesty and self-awareness because “people who lean too hard and too long on the pain side of the balance can also end up in a persistent dopamine deficit state.” (Dopamine Nation)

After releasing EPISODE 157 that explained Dr. Lembke’s work and her 30 day dopamine fast, I almost wanted to move on past this topic, as I say often, there are entire podcasts dedicated to addiction[vii], and they do a much better job than I ever could. But there is another reason I would rather skip it, and that’s because it’s a difficult topic. It’s much easier to move on past it than talk about something I’m still trying to learn and understand myself, because we weren’t taught this topic in school for us to know how it to handle it when it shows up in our life.

I remember the extent of my education on this topic was in 9th grade, when our PE teacher said, “don’t drink alcohol to cover up your problems.” I remember she appeared to be uncomfortable with the topic, but it’s an important one. If you ask anyone, we all know someone who suffers with a chemical addiction (alcohol or drugs) and since this topic was never a part of our schooling, it’s easy to criticize what we don’t understand, let alone recognize it in our own behaviors.

When I first encountered someone with an addiction, around 20 years ago, I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just have one or two drinks and call it a night. Why did they have to keep going? What’s going on in the addicted brain?  This was years before we could type our questions into Google and get hundreds of articles to help us (like Dr. Lembke’s work, or even Dr. Amen’s work on the addicted brain), so I would go to our local library and find books that explained addiction to gain some understanding. I wish Dr. Lembke’s first book was there, as it wasn’t easy to navigate this topic. Not being the type to sweep anything under a rug, I found some ideas and solutions for this person to enter into a local rehab program[viii] to get further help, but this opened up a can of worms with a problem that was never discussed and made me really popular in that family, but this understanding gave me a new level of awareness that would help someone else years later.

This awareness helped my husband with one of his best friends from high school who called one day to confide in him that he had a heroin addiction, and was entering a faith-based rehabilitation program, but wanted one of his friends to know what was really going on with him. His initial reaction would have been to say “what the heck is wrong with you? Heroin addiction? Are you an idiot? How did this happen?” but because of all that time I spent researching at the library, I explained to him how addictions happen, often beginning innocently (using pain killers after a surgery) or in his friend’s case, using uppers to help him through his busy days). This explanation helped him to talk with his friend with more understanding and his friend did well in recovery, helping many others for a few years, until one day, it beat him, and he was gone.

I know this is a complex topic, often resulting in death like we saw with my husband’s high school friend, or we see with celebrities who have been unable to break the cycle, and the pandemic has magnified this issue for those who were stuck in their homes for all of this time, but with the understanding of our brain in mind, my hope is that this topic no longer is swept under the rug, but talked about openly to find solutions with our brain in mind.

Let’s meet Dr. Anna Lembke and explore her new book, Dopamine Nation, together to gain a deeper understanding for those who struggle with serious addiction, to those with less severe, and see if her 30 day Dopamine Fast could be a solution to tighten up the gaps and improve our productivity.

Welcome Dr. Lembke, thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me on the podcast today. I’ve got to tell you that before I hit send on your email to invite you on the show as a guest, I thought twice, a bit nervous about you actually replying and saying yes because I knew I needed to talk about a topic that I have avoided going deeper into, but at this point, It was obvious that I couldn’t  avoid it any longer, so thank you for agreeing to speak with me so quickly, allowing me to be more authentic and open.

Dr. Lembke, before we get to the questions I have on your most recent book, Dopamine Nation, I wanted to

ask a question that ties into where I first saw you, in the movie The Social Dilemma (which scared the living daylights out of me) where you talk about how “social media is a drug—that directly affects the release of dopamine and the reward pathway”[ix] and you talk about how with all of your knowledge and experience, you are still worried about your own kids and their time spent using these apps. I know your kids are a bit older now since that film was released, but what did you tell your kids DAILY about how our brains respond to certain apps on our cell phones?

NOTE: This question sums up everything I want to ask you in this interview, and that at the end, we can come back to your answer here, and I know it will sum everything up perfectly. I launched this podcast helping educators and those in the workplace to understand how to apply the most current neuroscience research into the classroom and workplace because it’s so important, and many of us need this information, but it wasn’t taught to us in school. Either was the topic of addiction, and this is why I thought it was so important to reach out to you, because your first book on this topic, Drug Dealer MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (2016)[x] explains what is addiction and who is at risk, Dopamine Nation goes beyond chemical addiction (drugs and alcohol) to understanding the Social Dilemma you spoke about in the Netflix movie and beyond that with how our brains respond to anything we do to escape “even minor forms of discomfort.”

Q1: So diving into your book, Dopamine Nation, I thought I’d seen it all, but I’m sure there’s a lot you see in your practice that shows to what extent we distract ourselves from whatever it is that’s painful in our present moment. You give some good examples that drill down this point, and I thought about how often I use my phone to distract me from difficult times in life (From serious life challenges to minor things). I know we can all think of what we do to escape from life, but can you explain why not being In the present moment and dealing with life’s challenges as they come up (whether we are using our phones as an escape/drugs/alcohol, romance novels, binge watching Netflix, whatever it is we do) only make our challenges worse? 

Q2: I think I’ve got an understanding of what happens to our brain when we are in a dopamine deficit. Would it be accurate to say this is what happens when we cut something out that we liked, and experience withdrawals?

2B) What happens to our brain when we overindulge?

I had never heard of the idea that you mention in the article one of my friends put on the windshield of my car[xi] about how too much pleasure (with our phones, or video games or whatever it is) can tips us towards feeling pain. I’m not sure I have ever felt this, or I’m not aware of it. What is the pleasure /pain balance and how do we know we have had too much of a good thing?

Q3: But you say there’s good news, and that our brains can reset if we do what you call a dopamine fast (30 days away from whatever we were doing) and our brains can go back to balance or baseline. With the young man who was playing video games, he went back to doing what he enjoyed by modifying his behavior and making sure he kept his work and gaming separate. You talk about after the 30 days, that you experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. I know an alcoholic can’t after a month of abstinence go back to “controlled” drinking (as much as they would like to). How does the dopamine fast work and is there something we should watch out for to make sure our brains don’t get flooded with dopamine again? 

Dopamine is not the only neurotransmitter involved in reward processing, but most neuroscientists agree it is among the most important. Dopamine may play a bigger role in the motivation to get a reward than the pleasure of the reward itself. Wanting more than liking.

The more dopamine a drug releases in the brain’s reward pathway (a brain circuit that links the ventral tegmental area, the nucleus accumbens, and the prefrontal cortex), and the faster it releases dopamine, the more addictive the drug.

Q4: When I saw your rewards and dopamine chart that show how much dopamine is released with chocolate vs sex vs drugs, and you say that learning “also increases dopamine firing in the brain.”

RAT.jpg

Where would learning or other healthy habits fit on your rewards/dopamine release chart?

How can we be sure we are not being “indulgent” with healthier habits like learning/exercise?

In your article[xii], the young man who played video games was able to go back to playing video games with a modified schedule. Then I read about how the brain changes with high dopamine rewards. (Experience dependent plasticity). Does this mean that high reward behaviors you can’t limit, and you can never go back to them? Don’t we eventually experience tolerance with all behaviors, and over time would find them boring anyway? (Your example reading your novels they were never as exciting as the first read, or when we rewatch a Netflix series we loved, it’s never as good as the first time). Where does tolerance fit into the equation?

Experience Dependent Plasticity

The brain encodes long-term memories of reward and their associated cues by changing the shape and size of dopamine-producing neurons. For example, the dendrites, the branches off the neuron, become longer and more numerous in response to high-dopamine rewards. This process is called experience-dependent plasticity. These brain changes can last a lifetime and persist long after the drug is no longer available

PART II Self-Binding chapter four: Dopamine Fasting chapter five: Space, Time, and Meaning chapter six: A Broken Balance?

Q5: Can you explain your ACRONYM for DOPAMINE and what happens to our brain when we take a month off of using our drug of choice? Dr Huberman[xiii] said it really well in his recent interview with you, the first 10 days suck. Why does this dopamine deficit feel so bad?

“A week would be good, but in my experience, a month is usually the minimum amount of time it takes to reset the brain’s reward pathway. If you don’t feel better after four weeks of abstaining, that’s also useful data. That means the cannabis isn’t driving this, and we need to think about what else is. So what do you think? Do you think you would be able and willing to stop cannabis for a month?”

Younger people recalibrate faster than older people, their brains being more plastic. Furthermore, physical withdrawal varies drug to drug. It can be minor for some drugs like video games but potentially life-threatening for others, like alcohol and benzodiazepines.

Mindfulness practices are especially important in the early days of abstinence. Many of us use high-dopamine substances and behaviors to distract ourselves from our own thoughts. When we first stop using dopamine to escape, those painful thoughts, emotions, and sensations come crashing down on us.

Q5B) Why does tolerance occur?

Dr. Lembke, I could spend the next week asking you more questions, but know I’ve got to wrap up this interview.

Q6: To close out our questions, I wanted to give something for our listeners to be able to apply on this topic. I know that you openly talk about something you stopped doing in the book that you enjoyed, and I was on the tail end of letting go of a habit that I loved when someone put the article on my car about your 30 day dopamine fast, showing me how important it was to understanding this at the brain level.  Going back to the first question I asked you, “what do you tell your kids daily about dopamine/the pleasure/pain balance and dopamine deficit and the risk of addiction” what should we all know dopamine, and breaking free of its hold over us?

Q7: Final thoughts? What should we all know about Dopamine Nation?

Thank you very much for your time today. I will put the links to Dopamine Nation in the show notes, and for anyone who wants to reach you, is the best way through your Stanford website?

Thank you Dr. Lembke.

BIO:

PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES (GENERAL PSYCHIATRY AND PSYCHOLOGY-ADULT)

Dr. Anna Lembke received her undergraduate degree in Humanities from Yale University and her medical degree from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Medical Director of Addiction Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. She is also Program Director of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Fellowship, and Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Lembke was one of the first in the medical community to sound the alarm regarding opioid overprescribing and the opioid epidemic. In 2016, she published her best-selling book on the prescription drug epidemic, "Drug Dealer, MD – How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016). Her book was highlighted in the New York Times as one of the top five books to read to understand the opioid epidemic (Zuger, 2018).

"Drug Dealer, MD" combines case studies with public policy, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience, to explore the complex relationship between doctors and patients around prescribing controlled drugs. It has had an impact on policy makers and legislators across the nation. Dr. Lembke has testified before Congress and consulted with governors and senators from Kentucky to Missouri to Nevada. She was a featured guest on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, MSNBC with Chris Hayes, and numerous other media broadcasts.

Using her public platform and her faculty position at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Lembke has developed multiple teaching programs on addiction and safe prescribing, as well as opioid tapering. She has held multiple leadership and mentorship positions and received the Stanford’s Chairman’s Award for Clinical Innovation, and the Stanford Departmental Award for Outstanding Teaching. Dr. Lembke continues to educate policymakers and the public about causes of and solutions for the problem of addiction.

Look for her new book, "Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence" (Dutton/Penguin Random House, August 2021).

FOLLOW DR. ANNA LEMBKE: 

https://profiles.stanford.edu/anna-lembke

https://tedx.stanford.edu/lineup/anna-lembke

https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/drug-dealer-md

 

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

 

RESOURCES:

https://tedx.stanford.edu/lineup/anna-lembke

Reward Pathway in the Brain Khan Academy Lesson https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/processing-the-environment/drug-dependence/v/reward-pathway-in-the-brain

REFERENCES:

[i] https://profiles.stanford.edu/anna-lembke

[ii] The Social Dilemma Full Feature Netflix Movie Published on YouTube August 17, 2021 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mqR_e2seeM

[iii] Drug Dealer MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked and Why It’s So Hard to Stop https://www.amazon.com/Drug-Dealer-MD-Doctors-Patients/dp/1421421402

[iv] Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Dr. Anna Lembke August 24, 2021 https://www.amazon.com/Dopamine-Nation-Finding-Balance-Indulgence-ebook/dp/B08KPKHVXQ

[v]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #102  “Mental Health, Well-Being and Meditation: Overcoming Addiction Using Your Brain”

https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/aneesh-choudhry-on-mental-health-well-being-and-meditation-overcoming-addictionusing-your-brain/

[vi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #157 on “Overcoming Digital Addiction Using Neuroscience” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/brain-fact-friday-overcoming-digital-addiction-using-neuroscience/

[vii] 15 Best Addiction Podcasts for 2021 https://www.choosingtherapy.com/addiction-podcasts/

[viii] https://www.bannerhealth.com/es/services/behavioral-health/treatment-programs

[ix] The Social Dilemma Full Feature Netflix Movie Published on YouTube August 17, 2021 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mqR_e2seeM

[x] Drug Dealer MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (Nov.15, 2016) https://www.amazon.com/Drug-Dealer-MD-Doctors-Patients/dp/1421421402

[xi] Digital Addictions are Drowning Us in Dopamine by Dr. Anna Lembke. (Saturday August 14/Sunday August 15, 2021) https://www.wsj.com/articles/digital-addictions-are-drowning-us-in-dopamine-11628861572

[xii] IBID

[xiii] Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Huberman Lab Podcast https://hubermanlab.com/dr-anna-lembke-understanding-and-treating-addiction/

John Almarode, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey on ”How Learning Works: Translating the Science of Learning in Your Classroom”

John Almarode, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey on ”How Learning Works: Translating the Science of Learning in Your Classroom”

September 2, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #161 with 2 returning guests, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey from EPISODE #77[i] from last August 2020 on “Developing and Delivering High Quality Distance Learning for Students” that became our most watched YouTube interview and we also have the co-author of their new book that we are diving into today, How Learning Works, John Almarode.

Watch this video on YouTube.

To Learn More About How Learning Works https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/how-learning-works/book279410#description

To Learn More About Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey https://fisherandfrey.com/

To See Past Episodes of The Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast https://www.achieveit360.com/episodes/

 

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments so this podcast was created to share ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately. My vision is to bring the experts to you, share their books, resources, and ideas to help you to implement their proven strategies, whether you are a teacher working in the classroom or online, a student, or parent working in the corporate space.

Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode Background and Short Bio:

Just to view our speakers for today, our returning guests Doug and Nancy are also both teacher leaders at Health Sciences High & Middle College[ii], an award-winning open-enrollment public school in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego that they co-founded in 2007. For over 2 decades, they have dedicated their work to the knowledge and skills teachers and school leaders need to help students attain their goals. Their shared interests include instructional design, curriculum development, and professional learning. Doug and Nancy have co-authored numerous articles and books on literacy, and leadership that I’ve included links to in the show notes, including: This is Balanced Literacy,[iii] The Teacher Clarity Playbook, PLC+,[iv] All Learning is Social & Emotional,[v] The Teacher Credibility and Collective Efficacy Playbook,[vi] and most recently The Distance Learning Playbook[vii] with co-author John Hattie[viii].

Dr. John Almarode has worked with schools, classrooms, and teachers all over the world.  John began his career teaching mathematics and science in Augusta County to a wide range of students.  Since then, he has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the application of the science of learning to the classroom, school, and home environments.  He has worked with hundreds of school districts and thousands of teachers.  In addition to his time in PreK – 12 schools and classrooms, he is an Associate Professor and Executive Director of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at James Madison University.  When you view some of the teacher resources and videos on the Companion Website, you will meet John in the Intro and Purpose Behind this new Playbook.

I’m excited to welcome back University Professors Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey, with John Almarode, to dive deeper into their new book, How Learning Works: A Playbook[ix] that unpacks the science of how students learn and translates that knowledge into promising principles or practices that can be implemented in the classroom or utilized by students on their own learning journey. Designed to help educators create learning experiences that better align with how learning works, each module in this playbook is grounded in research and features prompts, tools, practice exercises, and discussion strategies that help teachers to

  • Describe what is meant by learning in the local context of your classroom, including identifying any barriers to learning.
  • Adapt promising principles and practices to meet the specific needs of your students—particularly regarding motivation, attention, encoding, retrieval and practice, cognitive load and memory, productive struggle, and feedback.
  • Translate research on learning into learning strategies that accelerate learning and build students’ capacity to take ownership of their own learning—such as summarizing, spaced practice, interleaved practice, elaborate interrogation, and transfer strategies.
  • Generate and gather evidence of impact by engaging students in reciprocal teaching and effective feedback on learning.

Rich with resources that support the process of parlaying scientific findings into classroom practice, this playbook offers all the moves teachers need to design learning experiences that work for all students!

Let’s meet Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Almarode and uncover the science behind How Learning Works.

Welcome back Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and welcome John Almarode to the podcast! It’s so good to see you again after such a successful launch of your BESTSELLING Distance Learning Playbook[x] last year. How have you been and wonderful to meet you John!  

Q1: I was excited to see your new book How Learning Works for so many reasons, but to start off with, something you say about your playbook is the reason why I tied Neuroscience, or an understanding to the brain to this podcast. You say that this playbook is about “how learning works—not by chance, but by design.” (Introduction) Can you explain what you had in mind when writing this book, that unpacks the science of how we learn so that educators can design a learning experience in their classroom based on the research and principles you have found to be effective?

Q2: I love how the book has an interactive component where you can click through each of the 4 sections, watch videos for further exploration, and access the many resources, research articles and downloads available for each of the 4 parts of the book. Can you give an overview for the reader to be sure they don’t miss anything that’s important as they navigate through the online resources and what we should learn in each section?

Q3: This book is full of the science and most current research behind learning and features so many valuable resources that point educators back to the research. Of course, I enjoy seeing well-known researchers who I have met along this podcast journey, one of them being Kent State’s Dr. John Dunlosky, from EPISODE #37[xi] who covered with us “Improving Student Success with Principles from Cognitive Neuroscience” whose research I saw included in your resource section under resources related to learning.[xii]  I also saw a video series from Samford University on “Cognitive Principles of Effective Teaching” that we should all know as educators, and I can’t miss my all-time favorite interview (besides you three of course) #42[xiii] with Dr. John Medina, whose research you’ve referenced from his Brain Rules series under your section of elaborate encoding in Part II under the Motivation Chapter. How did you choose the resources to back up the science behind How Learning Works and are there others that are important to you who I haven’t mentioned?

Q4: I think we have a good idea about what we can learn from How Learning Works:

THE INTRODUCTION: covers the purpose of the playbook

PART 1: covers what learning looks like in your classroom and different ways to think about learning.

PART 2: Looks at barriers to learning with Promising Principles (Motivation, Attention, Elaborate Encoding, Retrieval and Practice, Cognitive Load, Productive Struggle and Feedback). Can you pick one of the promising principles (Motivation? Or one you want to talk about) and dive a bit deeper into mastering these principles?

Q5:PART 3: I think this section is exactly what educators are looking for as it explicitly teaches skills to students to help them to self-regulate, and how to master these skills long after they have left the classroom (using explicit strategy instruction, goal setting, integrating prior knowledge, summarizing, mapping, self-testing, and elaborative interrogation). Can you pick one topic to expand on?

Q6: For this final part of the Playbook, generating and gathering evidence, can you explain the goal so that this Playbook uncovers what worked well, what needs more work and what are the best next steps to follow?

Q7: Final thoughts or anything we have missed that’s important for us to all understand about How Learning Works?

Doug, Nancy and John, thank you very much for coming on the podcast to share this new Playbook, that you can see I find immense value with. Thank you for your time speaking with me today, and for the work you have put into this resource to help educators to uncover How Learning Works, and create a plan for continued improvement in their schools, classrooms and Districts.

To access the book  https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/how-learning-works/book279410#description

There is also a 20% discount code POD20 that can be used for ALL books on Corwin.com

To contact Nancy Frey or Doug Fisher https://www.fisherandfrey.com/ and they can find you both on twitter Nancy is https://twitter.com/NancyFrey and Douglas is https://twitter.com/DFISHERSDSU 

To connect with John Almarode:  https://twitter.com/jtalmarode on Twitter and www.johnalmarode.com

Thank you and have an incredible Friday!

FREE WEBINAR To Learn More:

John and Nancy are presenting a free webinar on Sept 13 at 3:30pm PT A Look at How Learning Works 

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

 

RESOURCES:

 

Companion resources for the How Learning Works Playbook https://resources.corwin.com/howlearningworks

John Hattie’s Visible Learning https://visible-learning.org/

REFERENCES:

[i]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #77 with University Professors Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey on “Developing and Delivering High Quality Distance Learning”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/university-professors-and-authors-doug-fisher-and-nancy-frey-on-developing-and-delivering-high-quality-distance-learning-for-students/

[ii] https://www.facebook.com/hshmc.inc/ give

[iii] https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/this-is-balanced-literacy-grades-k-6/book266872

[iv] https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/plc/book266974

[v] http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Books/Overview/All-Learning-Is-Social-and-Emotional.aspx

[vi] https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-teacher-credibility-and-collective-efficacy-playbook-grades-k-12/book271561

[vii] https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/thedistancelearningplaybook

[viii] John Hattie https://visible-learning.org/

[ix] How Learning Works: A Playbook by John Almarode, (James Madison University, Douglas Fisher (San Diego State University) and Nancy Frey (San Diego State University). https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/how-learning-works/book279410#description

[x] Distance Learning Playbook by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-distance-learning-playbook-grades-k-12/book275865

[xi]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #37 on “Improving Student Success with Principles from Cognitive Neuroscience”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/kent-states-dr-john-dunlosky-on-improving-student-success-some-principles-from-cognitive-science/

[xii] https://pcl.sitehost.iu.edu/rgoldsto/courses/dunloskyimprovinglearning.pdf

 

Functional Sports Registered Dietician Chrissy Barth on ”High Performance Fuel for Athletes”

Functional Sports Registered Dietician Chrissy Barth on ”High Performance Fuel for Athletes”

August 31, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for EPISODE #160 with Chrissy Barth, MS, RDN, RYT, an integrative and functional sports registered dietician and mind-body expert in the field of nutrition who is passionate about teaching others about optimal health and performance by taking the confusion out of nutrition.

Episode website. 

Watch this interview on YouTube here. 

Learn more about Chrissy Barth https://livebreathenutrition.com/ 

Past Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast Episodes https://www.achieveit360.com/episodes/  

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately.

I first met Chrissy Barth a couple of weeks ago, when she was asked to speak at our daughter’s gym, to help a team of aspiring gymnasts, improve their nutrition, and be sure they are fueling their bodies efficiently. I was blown away with her presentation, as I always have in the back of my head, what else can I learn to help my family and others when it comes to the Top 5 Health Staples that we have been talking about on this podcast, so I immediately asked Chrissy to join us.

A bit more about Chrissy—she is the founder and CEO of Live Breathe Nutrition, LLC and Nutrition Lifestyle Education – nutrition coaching and consulting practices in Phoenix, Arizona where she serves as a nutrition consultant to sports teams, spas, behavioral health programs, medical and training facilities, corporations, and local and national media outlets serving as a media spokesperson. Chrissy is also a Lecturer at Arizona State University where she teaches sports nutrition, complementary health care, human nutrition and entrepreneurship and serves as a mentor to many aspiring future RDs.

Chrissy has received many awards but the single highest mark of achievement as a dietitian she has received recognition as Arizona’s Young Dietitian of the Year. Chrissy enjoys giving back to her community and volunteers her time educating youth athletes on the benefits of sports nutrition.

Let’s meet Chrissy Barth and sharpen our saw with regards to high performance fuel!

Welcome Chrissy! Thank you so much for speaking with me today—I know it’s busy times with back to school and sports in full swing.

Intro Q: So I picked up in your presentation the other Friday night where we first met that you worked in MLB. Did you consult with the AZ Diamondbacks or was it another team?

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I wonder, besides the comment you made about all the Red Bull drinks on the bench, what did you learn from working with a pro sports team?

Q1: I picked up so much from your “High Performance Fuel Presentation” and wanted to give our listeners an overview of this presentation, since this is one of the Top 5 health staples that we are focused on with the podcast. And who doesn’t want to learn the tips you would offer to a pro sports team! Can you share what you think are the 6 Keys to Optimal Performance and for those who have athletes in their home, what do you think is crucial for the athlete to be aware of with regards to using food as fuel?

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Q2: This next question is powerful because you know you can learn something and what’s the point if you don’t implement it in your life to reap the rewards. This next question is where my 2 girls (ages 11 and 9) who were in your presentation the other night, payed attention and implemented what you taught them. I was so proud of them, because nutrition is an area that we have some weaknesses in. Can you break down what should be on an athlete’s plate? What was powerful about what you taught us was that now, on training days, my girls show me their meal plates and break down what you suggested they eat (grains/carbs vs fruits/veggies vs lean protein).

Q3: What about fats? What’s crazy to me is that if you are to ask someone to name off the items they eat that are proteins or carbs, I know they will be able to give a long list. But I notice that there is still this stigma behind eating fats (that I know was a huge paradigm for me to change a few years ago). What do you notice with fats, are people starting to see their benefits? What are some good fats vs bad fats?

Q4: This next one hit home for our household and it’s a crazy one, because I’m not the one training at the gym every night like my girls, but I’d say of everyone in my household, I eat the most “fuel” I call it. I’ve consumed more calories than anyone by 9am because I know I need it. What happens to an athlete when they under fuel? Where does it show up?

Q5: Can you explain what happens to our muscles after we work out? How do we prime them for performance the next day?

Q6: Can you give an example of the best breakfast for an athlete?

Q7: What about examples of good lunches or dinners?

Q8: We have been talking about inflammation a lot on this podcast, as it is often found in the body as a precursor to some of the major diseases.  Can you name some natural anti-inflammatory foods?

Q9: I know we mentioned the Red Bull drinks in the beginning that shocked you behind the bench when you worked in pro sports, but what about Gatorade? Isn’t that drink just a whole bunch of sugar ang dye? What other foods should we be aware of as dangerous for our health?

Chrissy, I have learned so much from the time we spent together when you spoke at Aspire Gym, and now the additional time on the podcast. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. For those who want to learn more about your work, is the best place your website?[i]

FOLLOW CHRISSY BARTH:

https://www.facebook.com/chrissy.barth

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrissy-barth-ms-rdn-ryt-b6273a4/?originalSubdomain=de

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

 

RESOURCES:

Dr. Dale Bredesen https://www.apollohealthco.com/dr-bredesen/

Sheena’s Place Eating Disorder Clinic in Toronto https://sheenasplace.org/

REFERENCES:

[i] https://livebreathenutrition.com/

100,000 Download Episode Dedicated to Listeners ”What‘s Your Vision?  Using the Queen Mary Ship as a Symbol to What you Are Building”

100,000 Download Episode Dedicated to Listeners ”What‘s Your Vision? Using the Queen Mary Ship as a Symbol to What you Are Building”

August 30, 2021

Welcome back, to a BONUS Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning episode that I want to dedicate to YOU, the listener. It took this podcast a bit over 2 years to hit the 100k download milestone, and like any goal we have (whether a sales goal or something you want to do, it might seem so far off, you wonder how you’ll ever get there).

If you are reading these notes on iTunes, click here to see all images.

In February of this year, when we hit the 50k mark, it wasn’t hard to project the download numbers and guess when we would hit this milestone, but it still seemed like a moonshot goal, difficult to imagine, and August (when we projected, we would hit this goal) seemed so far away. Do you know what I mean? Do you have something you are working on where the gap from you are now and where you are going seems like an impossible goal?

Even when you have the belief?  Even when the evidence is there? I could hear how the episodes were helping people around the world thanks to the messages you sent me, but a part of me had just an ounce of disbelief, and I thought “is this really happening?” wondering if the momentum would continue to build. But the numbers never lie. They kept going up, and each month, we would surpass our monthly goal target.

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This weekend, while away with the family in Long Beach, CA, I look out of the window and can see the Legendary Queen Mary Ship[i] in the port as I watch our statistics graph project upwards (see image in the show notes) as we break records with our monthly downloads since launching, and surpass the 100k download mark, with the next milestone on our list to hit 1 million downloads which seems much more difficult but yet not impossible as we break this down into smaller targets.

The Queen Mary ship is a symbolic metaphor to look at this weekend as “This iconic ship is now a floating museum, and tourist attraction.”[ii]  Sadly, the hotel is currently closed but my husband had an opportunity to stay on the ship on one of his work trips, and he took me on a tour on FaceTime, where I asked him to show me all of the rooms that had mystery and intrigue surrounding them. If you are like me, and love a good ghost story, look up the history of The Queen Mary that was named one of the “Top 10 most haunted places on earth”[iii] and look up the story of Stateroom 340B. The scariest thing we noticed was that there was no room 340B. Where it should have been, it was boarded up and no longer accessible for the public, unless things have changed, but we might not ever know this, as we mentioned this spooky hotel is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.

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The Queen Mary's Stateroom 340B was boarded up. 

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The Queen Mary Hotel Rooms, just no 340B Stateroom. 

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Andrea Samadi standing in front of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. 

This retired British ocean liner sailed on the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 from Southampton, a port city on England’s south coast, just 2 hours from where I lived in England before my parents immigrated to Canada. 

On the Queen Mary Ship’s website, I saw a quote written by King George V that made me think about anything new that goes out into the world. When you’re create something out of nothing, like The Queen Mary before it was named, was known only as “Hull #534”[iv] which was the yard number where it was being built. Whatever it is that you are creating, the hope is that it makes an impact within your local community, rippling that impact throughout your state, country, nation, and eventually throughout the world. Listen to this quote and think about whatever it is that you are creating and I hope it energizes you, like it did for me.

"Today we come to the happy task of sending on her way the stateliest ship now in being. It has been the nation’s will that she should be completed, and today we can send her forth no longer a number on the books, but a ship with a name in the world, alive with beauty, energy and strength! May her life among great waters spread friendship among the nations!"[v]

– King George V on the Queen Mary launch

The Queen Mary Heritage Foundation is now developing a museum and educational facility to preserve and enhance the ship’s remarkable story” and is an incredible reminder for all of us building our own Queen Mary Vision. This weekend, as I was walking around Long Beach, where we were staying for our daughter’s gymnastics training, I was speaking with Julianne, another gymnastics Mom, who shared with me that Winston Churchill was on board the Queen Mary, 3 times, and along with this new knowledge that I just love learning, I also thought about how the Queen Mary spread “friendships” across the nations, and as I walked with my new friend in Long Beach,  thought about how new ideas really do bring people together, and make the world a smaller place.

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Winston Churchill on the Queen Mary Reference: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/420453315192219227/ 

My vision for this podcast has always been to make some sort of lasting shift with education (with the implementation of simple neuroscience connected to social and emotional learning) and the history of The Queen Mary Ship reminds me that nothing happens overnight, without hard work and dedication. Looking out of the window at the ship was nothing compared to standing right next to it. I’ll post the images in the show notes but had to include this metaphor to show you that whatever you are working on can have a global impact, and it just takes one person (like you) to begin and create something.  As long as the numbers continue to trend upwards on this podcast,  I’ll keep putting in the effort behind each episode and really am grateful for the opportunity to host this show and share everything I’m learning in this new field of educational neuroscience with you. 

So, this 100,000th download episode is dedicated to you, the listener. I want to thank you for tuning in and sharing with me how you are using this understanding of simple neuroscience in your schools, workplaces, and personal lives. It does help when you send me messages on social media or tag me when an episode is useful. Also, a sincere thank you to all the incredible guests who gave up their time to share their knowledge, ideas, and strategies with us, giving back in such a generous manner. 

Sleep scientist Antonio Zadra from episode #104[vi] said it best as he mentioned “of course it’s the listeners who decide such things” when we hit the 90k mark, and that’s when I realized that the key to long-term success in anything is to “find a need and fill it” as Norman Vincent Peale quoted and I think of the entrepreneurs I’ve met over the years who have used this motto to guide them. 

Here’s The Top 4 Lessons Learned from Launching This Podcast to See if These Ideas Can Help You With Your Goals

  1. Where There is No Vision, The People Will Perish”[vii] (Proverbs 29:18)

Even if your vision is shaky in the beginning, keep going! When we launched the podcast in June 2019, with a need in mind, I wasn’t sure if this idea would take off. With any goal, being able to see where you are going is important and following the tips of those who’ve already achieved what you want to do is important. On our 50k milestone episode[viii] I talk about Lewis Howes from the School of Greatness Podcast[ix] who said ‘I built up my podcast through consistently providing quality valuable content and constantly being open to my own growth without being attached to the end result.” So we use this model of providing quality valuable content, keeping an eye on the downloads, remembering to not be “attached to the end result” but to just keep moving forward and applying what we are learning.

  1. There Will Be Problems and Challenges 

I remind myself with other great stories, not to forget that with any worthwhile goal, there will be challenges. Presidential historian Doug Wead[x] said it often. “When you get up and do something, there will be problems” and this comes with the territory of taking action with big goals. The history of the Queen Mary reinforced this idea as although the Queen Mary attracted elite passengers, it was the government that kept her afloat. 

“With the onset of the worldwide Great Depression, construction on the Queen Mary came to an abrupt halt. Eager to spur on the sluggish economy, the British government agreed to give a loan that would allow construction on ship #534 to continue, but only if Cunard and White Star would merge. (Like Cunard, White Star—famous as the owner of the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic—had fallen on hard times.) In 1934, the new Cunard-White Star Line was born, and construction on the ship immediately resumed.”[xi]

Nothing worthwhile comes without problems.

Anticipate problems and challenges. I remember my first interview for the podcast with Ron Hall[xii] from Valley Day school where for some reason we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t hear each other. After trying every possible setting on his end, we found the problem on my end, and thank goodness we didn’t give up on that interview. It was a powerful one connecting me to many other speakers in the future.

Problems will be unexpected, and they will keep coming---I think to see how dedicated you are to your vision. Will you give up at the slightest challenge, or find a way forward?

  1. Be Consistent and Relevant to Your Listeners. 

I’ve mentioned that as long as the interest in these episodes continues, I’ll continue to research, learn new ideas in this field, and produce content, with the hopes that it can help you to sharpen your saw with the understanding of how our brain impacts our learning, results and productivity, with this understanding of neuroscience made simple. I watch the numbers for each episode and know what parts of the world are listening. Thank you for keeping me in the top 100 iTunes Charts in the US, Great Britain, Canada, Finland, Australia, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Ireland and many others where we come in and out of the charts.

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  1. Being Transparent with My Own Learning 

This year, I noticed that as I’m diving deeper into this content, that the more I’m learning, the more I realize just how little I know. But with each interview, each strategy can be gleaned and applied for an improved life. I know that the topic of neuroscience could seem intimidating especially when most of us have not studied this at school, but I hope that by being open with places it overwhelmed me, helps you to be patient with your own learning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and some ideas and concepts might take a few listens to sink in. I still go back and listen to some episodes on topics I’m struggling with and learn something new, and I hope this transparency reassures you that we can all learn anything, I really believe that, if we take the time to learn and apply it. Life really is about pushing ourselves to grow and learn from the lessons we experience along the way.

If you look in the show notes, I have a METACOGNITION graphic that I created (adapted Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman’s Spectrum of Human Consciousness Model) that shows how learning takes place in the brain, and we will dive deeper into How Learning Works[xiii] this week with Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Almarode’s new book but understanding how our brain adapts to learning something new, until we hit those Aha! Moments is important.

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When we learn something new, we go through different stages on the way to metacognition, where we are aware and in control of our knowledge. It begins with Instinctive Learning, where we study and learn with curiosity and desire. We experience positive emotions when we attain success. Next, we move to Habitual Learning, where we form study habits. It is very important we develop proper study habits or else we will only get by until the work becomes challenging. Intentional Learning is where we will spend most of our logic, reason, and attention when solving mental problems. The challenge here is that we are working with our short-term working memory, which contains limited information. It is easy to get distracted at this level of awareness. Worries, fears, and doubts also operate at this level and can interfere with decision-making strategies. We must learn strategies to move forward in spite of fear and focus on the positive side of situations, taking a proactive approach to learning, instead of giving up at the first signs of a challenge. Finally, we arrive at Creative Learning, where all of the magic happens for decision making and goal setting. This process is strenuous on the brain and requires frequent brain breaks to reset our neurochemistry. We must have strategies for practice, study, and learning and be able to find a way to relax their brain and body. During these resting states, remarkable activity takes place, allowing the brain to creatively solve problems. When creativity is integrated with logic and reason, research shows we can solve conflicts and improve academic success. Metacognition occurs when we are aware and in control of the knowledge we are learning. When we reach this level, we begin to have “Aha!” experiences, where we gain insight what we are learning. This is the true magic of the learning process and proves that with the right strategy in place, but eliminating all distractions, we can all learn anything.

Thank you again and stay tuned for our new episodes this week. We have Chrissy Barth on High Performance Fuel for Athletes and as I mentioned, 2 returning guests, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher, with John Almarode on their new book How Learning Works, that explains the science behind how we learn.

Next month we are looking forward to diving deeper with American psychologist and Chief of Stanford’s Addiction and Medicine Clinic, Dr. Anna Lembke on her new book Dopamine Nation, and the following month, will finally get to speak with Dr. Bruce Perry on his new book with Oprah, What Happened to You that discusses conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.

Stay tuned and thank you for helping us to achieve this milestone! 

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

RESOURCES:

See past episodes here https://www.achieveit360.com/episodes/ 

11 Facts About the RMS Queen Mary by Kim O’Connell June 8, 2018  https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/544591/facts-about-rms-queen-mary

REFERENCES:

[i] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Queen_Mary

[ii] https://www.queenmary.com/history/

[iii] https://www.queenmary.com/hotel/rooms/b340/

[iv] "Four-Leaf Clover Propeller to Drive Giant Liner 534".

[v] https://www.queenmary.com/history/

[vi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #104 with Sleep Scientist Antonio Zadra on “When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/sleep-scientist-antonio-zadra-on-when-brains-dream-exploring-the-science-and-mystery-of-sleep/

[vii] The Bible King James Version https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2029%3A18&version=KJV

[viii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #109 “Achieving Quantum Leap Results Using Price Pritchett’s You Squared Book” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/achieving-quantum-leap-results-using-price-pritchetts-you-squared-principles/

[ix] https://lewishowes.com/sogpodcast/

[x] www.dougwead.com

[xi] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Queen_Mary

[xii] https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/interview-with-ron-hall-valley-day-school-on-launching-your-neuroeducational-program/

[xiii] How Learning Works: A Playbook by John Almarode, (James Madison University, Douglas Fisher (San Diego State University) and Nancy Frey (San Diego State University). https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/how-learning-works/book279410#description

 

Dr. Michael Rousell on ”The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs”

Dr. Michael Rousell on ”The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs”

August 26, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for EPISODE #159 with Dr. Michael A. Rousell, PhD[i] a teacher, psychologist, and professor emeritus at Southern Oregon University who has studied how random events transform us. After studying formative events, which are moments that define us, or strongly influence us, for over three decades, Michael Rousell discovered that most of them took place during a spark of surprise and serve as a mechanism to instantly change our beliefs.

Watch the interview on YouTube here.

Learn more about Michael Rousell and The Power of Surprise Book (coming out Sept.15) 

 

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately.

 

In today’s episode, we will speak with Michael Rousell about his new book, The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs.[ii] Michael will show us how surprising events produce invisible influence because they open a window to spontaneous belief change with no warning or conscious awareness. You’ll see how a seemingly minor feature of surprise can be devised to strategically enrich someone’s life (personally or in the workplace) and create positive mindsets, for students or employees while maximizing your influence for those in leadership roles.

 

You can dive deeper into The Power of Surprise by watching Michael’s TED TALK.[iii]

30% DISCOUNT ON The Power of Surprise BOOK https://rowman.com/ use CODE RLFANDF30 (by Sept. 30, 2021)

 

Here’s what people are saying about Michael Rousell’s new book: 

 

“Fascinating read chock full of lots of truly novel information and ideas. A must-read for anyone interested in enriching their lives and finding new ways to expand their mind.”—Andrew Newberg, MD, best-selling author of Why We Believe What We Believe.

“A fascinating book. The Power of Surprise shows what most of us miss about moments that change us.”—Jonah Berger, New York Times best-selling author of 3 Books, The Catalyst, Contagious, and Invisible Influence

In today’s episode you will learn:

  • What happens in the brain when we experience surprise?
  • Why random events transform us, and how they secretly change our beliefs.
  • How to use this understanding of surprise at the brain level to enrich/transform someone else’s life dramatically and instantly (in the workplace or classroom environment).

As you are listening to this episode I encourage you to think about where surprise has shown up in your life. Has someone ever said something to you that caught your attention, and made you think? What did you do with this new information? Did you use it? Did that moment change or transform you in some way, like Jonah Berger’s testimonial offered or did you just dismiss it, never to think about it again? And finally, have you ever wondered “what just happened there?”

I hope that we can dive a bit deeper and see if we can uncover some meaning behind the element of surprise in your life and offer you a framework to intentionally impact those around you, on a deeper level, with the Power of Surprise.

Let’s meet Michael Rousell.

Welcome Michael, it’s wonderful to see you again--thank you so much for speaking with me today. We set this interview up months ago, and August seemed so far away at the time! Doesn’t time fly!

Q1: I know that if we all think about it, we can come up with a time in our life where we experienced a surprise that had a profound impact on us, but most of us don’t think that deeply about something like this. We plan surprise parties, love surprise gifts, but what makes a surprise so special?

Q2: What drew your attention to study the impact that surprise has on someone’s life and belief system? Was there an experience that surprised and changed you? When did you first notice The Power of Surprise?

Q3: What can we learn from The Power of Surprise? Are there Aha Moments of learning that can be revealed to us if we are self-aware, or paying attention? Are surprises like epiphanies?

Q4: What does emotion have to do with surprise? (Positive or negative emotion?)

Q5: We all know how powerful the neurotransmitter dopamine is, and its connection to the motivation centers in the brain, but when did science discover the role of dopamine when we experience surprise?

Q6: Can you give an example of how to use the element of surprise in the workplace to transform one of your team members who you notice might be having a difficult time. Can we really transform someone’s life with surprise, and will we notice the impact immediately?

Q7: Can you give an example of how an educator could use surprise to change a student’s mindset in the classroom and how surprise can impact a student’s ability to learn?

Q8: What’s the difference between being startled and surprised?

Q9: Can I surprise someone and impact change if they have a strong belief?

Q10: Have I missed anything about the Power of Surprise? Any final thoughts?

Today’s listeners will receive a 30% discount on the purchase of Mike’s book, The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs. Just hit the link for the discount that you’ll find it in the show notes.

For those who want to learn more about Mike and the Power of Surprise, go to michaelrousell.com, or find him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.rousell

https://twitter.com/rousellm

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-rousell-92839580/

http://michaelrousell.com/books

 

FOR A FREE EBOOK on The Power of Surprise in the Practical NeuroWisdom series, click the link below.
Surprise: The Neurological Spark to Personal Transformation
 

Thank you very much for speaking to me today, and sharing your decades of research of formative events to help us to all impact change, and transform those around us, whether we are a teacher in the classroom, looking to impact our students, or those in the workplace, the understanding of how we can use the element of surprise to influence others is something I know could positively influence others, as we watch those around us flourish, with an understanding of the unexpected. Thank you!

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

 

RESOURCES:

Wolfram Schultz https://www.neuroscience.cam.ac.uk/directory/profile.php?Schultz

2017 Brain Prize Award Winner Wolfram Schultz https://speakingofresearch.com/2017/03/06/winners-of-2017-brain-prize-announced-peter-dayan-ray-dolan-and-wolfram-schultz/

REFERENCES:

[i] http://michaelrousell.com/

[ii] http://michaelrousell.com/books/power-of-surprise

[iii]Surprise! How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs| Michael Rousell TEDxSalem Published on YouTube March 18, 2019  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5O6mFWpgZo

Dr. Howard Rankin and Grant Renier on ”Intuitive Rationality: Predicting Future Events with the New Behavioral Direction of AI”

Dr. Howard Rankin and Grant Renier on ”Intuitive Rationality: Predicting Future Events with the New Behavioral Direction of AI”

August 24, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for EPISODE #158 with a return of our popular guest, expert in psychology, cognitive neuroscience and neurotechnology, Dr. Howard Rankin from episodes #146[i] and #152[ii] with Grant Renier, who started his venture into ‘Intuitive Rationality’[iii] 30 years before Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman published his groundbreaking book, Thinking, Fast and Slow[iv] creating a company that uses Intuitive General Intelligence (a knock off term like Artificial Intelligence)  to predict near and future events, while taking into account the fundamentals of human behavior. So basically, he has created a predictive technology that can peer into the future of sports predictions, health and medicine.

Watch the interview on YouTube here. 

Learn more about Grant Renier and Dr. Howard Rankin's artificial intelligence system https://intualityai.com/ 

See past episodes here https://www.achieveit360.com/episodes/ 

In Today's Episode, you will learn:
✔︎ How to Improve Our Strategic Decision-Making Process with the Most Common Cognitive Biases in Mind.

✔︎ How Grant's AI System (that can be used by anyone) can predict sports wins, medicine and financial markets.

✔︎ How Howard and Grant wrote their book, Intuitive Rationality to explain the future of decision-making, through the lens of Artificial Intelligence.

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately.

Dr. Rankin and Grant Renier will discuss their new book, Intuitive Rationality, that brings to light the fact that humans are not entirely rational but instead are influenced by several factors in arriving at decisions, like subconscious and environmental processes, and a need for emotional comfort and ideological consistency. These are “heuristics” which are defined as “mental shortcuts” designed to reduce the energy involved in critical thinking and complex processing, showing that pure rationality is almost never practical or possible for human beings and that even the most seemingly rational conclusions are at best probabilities based on the currently known data, which would almost certainly change over time.

While these notions are not new, they have appeared in a new context, the 21st century where technology is prevalent and social connection has never been greater. These contemporary processes mean that the various ways that people think have never been more important. Understanding cognitive biases is now critical for anyone in being more aware and efficient in not just their own thinking but also that of others. I know that local police departments now train their employees on cognitive bias, so officers are aware of how their thinking impacts their decision-making on the job, and cognitive bias is an important concept for educators to think about in the classroom, as well in any workplace environment for that matter.

Which biases and heuristics are programmed into Intuitive Rationality and how are they incorporated? This new book  and our interview  will answer these questions, as well as demonstrating the proven success of such a system that is a new direction in artificial intelligence logic. Grant and Howard will introduce this fascinating and paradoxical[v] connection between Intuition and Rationality to help us better understand the strategic decision-making process, to understand how and why we make the decisions that we do, how our world is defined by them, and show how this new approach to artificial intelligence can shift its development to a more human behavior-based logic, leading to a new field of AI-Intuitive General Intelligence.

I like the sounds of this! Who doesn’t want to figure out new ways to improve their thinking, and strategic decision-making with this new understanding while also getting a glimpse of the future? I think this concept could help us to stay one step ahead of the crowd.

Let’s welcome Dr. Rankin back for a third time to the podcast, and meet the co-author of their new book, Grant Renier and let’s see if we can learn the concept of Intuitive Rationality together.

Welcome Dr. Rankin and wonderful to meet you, Grant.

Q1: For Grant: I’m fascinated with the system you created years before Daniel Kahneman’s groundbreaking book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, for many reasons, but mostly because I’ve always wondered about incorporating “gut feelings” or intuition into our decision-making process. Now that I’m studying practical neuroscience and have spoken to Howard a couple of times now, he’s convinced me that there’s a problem with the way humans think.

Can you explain what is Intuitive Rationality, your intuitive General intelligence system, and how it works (financial markets, sports. Elections and medicine?)  taking into the account of human decision-making?

1B: Howard, taking Grant’s work into account, and the idea that you have a podcast called How Not to Think[vi], What should we all know about “how we think and make decisions?”

Q2: Can you share some of the insights you write about in Chapter 1 about your visit to Walmart that are metaphors to help us to understand “how we think?” Can we talk through each of the examples of human thinking?

  1. Dan— “According to Aristotle, all human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.” You mention in your example that you had chosen the long life 100-watt light bulbs with a combination of chance, nature and habit as per Aristotle via Dan. In my studies so far, I have come across Jaak Panksepp[vii], an American neuroscientist who says we have seven networks of emotion in the brain that begin with seeking—we are always looking for something new, and the brain releases dopamine when it finds it. How do we make decisions here? Looking for something new, or choosing what we are used to and like?
  2. Maria— “As Buddha says, we are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” I understand this one, probably from my work with the speaker Bob Proctor who taught me the importance of guarding my thoughts, since our thoughts, feelings and actions control our results/conditions, circumstances, and environment.  How important are our thoughts in your opinion and how does our thinking tie into decision-making?
  3. Aloysius—As Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, “One may say anything about the history of the world--anything that might enter the most disordered imagination. The only thing one can't say is that it's rational.” What role does our imagination play with decision making? 
  4. Crystal —Sigmund Freud said “unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” We could talk about this one for a week!! A month…maybe a year!! Before I start this one, I wonder, when making decisions, how can we keep emotions out of this process?

Andrea’s Thoughts: I’ve uncovered that Research shows that “emotion has a substantial influence on the cognitive processes in humans including perception, attention, learning, memory, reasoning and problem solving.”[viii] This happens because our amygdala “is activated by emotional events. The amygdala boosts memory encoding by enhancing attention and perception and can help memory retention by triggering the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, to boost arousal.”[ix] How can we keep our emotions out of decision-making, or when can we become aware of how they are impacting our decisions?

Q2B: How can you predict sports wins? What data is pulled?

  1. Maggie—“as Daniel Kahneman says, ‘We are very influenced by completely automatic things that we have no control over, and we don't know we're doing it.’” Dr. Carolyn Leaf on our interview in March of this year told me that our emotions show up in our behavior, and often times when we have a behavior we don’t like, we can just take some time to identify the emotion attached to the behavior (or the root cause) that remains unforgotten in the non-conscious mind from something that happened to you in your childhood and making the connection between the emotion and the behavior explain why you are doing something “without control.” Is that what this means?

Q3: It wasn’t even 2 seconds into chapter 3 (A Starbucks Encounter) where you meet Sherlock Holmes for coffee (which sounded like an incredible idea) where he introduces risk aversion bias, confirmation bias, and availability bias. I have seen a list of the top 50 cognitive biases[x] but how many are you aware of, and how is it possible that we check ourselves against these biases during decision-making?

Q4: Can you explain a few of the most important of the 12 core cognitive biases in Intuitive Rationality? (Availability, anchoring, confirmation, symmetry, risk-avoidance, memory decay)?

Q5: How do these cognitive biases fit into AI and how would a system like what Grant has developed take into consideration Theory of Mind, or respond to different human cues like emotions?

Q6: What should we all take away from Intuitive Rationality?

I want to thank you both for your time today, and for explaining Intuitive Rationality to me and the listeners. I know these lessons and ideas will help us all to think clearly, and take a bit more time with our decision-making process.

For anyone who wants to learn more about you, Grant, what is the best place?

Intuality AI Website https://intualityai.com/

Grant Renier grant.renier@intualityai.com 

Dr. Howard Rankin Howard.Rankin@intualityai.com  and www.IthinkthereforeIamwrong.com 

To read the book? https://intualityai.com/the-book/

Thank you!

Join the Intuitive Rationality Facebook Group to Learn More and Stay in Touch with Grant and Howard. https://www.facebook.com/groups/603274067316015

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/  

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

REFERENCES:

[i]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #146 with Dr. Howard Rankin on “How Not to Think” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/expert-in-psychology-cognitive-neuroscience-and-neurotechnology-howard-rankin-phd-on-how-not-to-think/

[ii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #152 with Dr. Howard Rankin Interviewing Andrea Samadi https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/expert-in-psychology-cognitive-neuroscience-and-neurotechnology-howard-rankin-phdinterviews-andrea-samadi/

[iii] https://intualityai.com/the-book/

[iv] Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Published Dec. 19, 2012 https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Daniel-Kahneman-Minute-Summary/dp/1623150604

[v] The Interplay between Intuition and Rationality in Strategies Decision-Making: A Paradox Perspective Published July 29, 2016 by Guilia Calabretta, Gerda Gemser, Nachoem M. Wijnberg https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0170840616655483

[vi] Dr. Rankin’s How Not to Think Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-not-to-think/id1488982079

[vii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaak_Panksepp

[viii] The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory Published August 24, 2017 Chai M Tyng, Hafeez U Amin, Mohammed N M Saad, Aamir S Malik  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573739/

[ix] What Makes Memories Stronger? https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain-basics/memory/what-makes-memories-stronger

[x] 50 Cognitive Biases in the Modern World https://www.visualcapitalist.com/50-cognitive-biases-in-the-modern-world/

Brain Fact Friday ”Overcoming Digital Addiction Using Neuroscience”

Brain Fact Friday ”Overcoming Digital Addiction Using Neuroscience”

August 19, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for Brain Fact Friday and episode #157 on a topic that I think we should be aware of: Digital Addictions: Do You Know What’s Happening to Your Brain When You are Using Certain Apps on Your Smartphone, or Using Your Smartphone at All?

EXCITING UPDATE: Stay tuned (early September) for an exclusive interview with Dr. Anna Lembke, Professor and Medical Director of Addiction Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine who inspired this episode.

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately.

This week’s Brain Fact Friday kind of snuck its way into my schedule, as I wasn’t planning on writing this topic and think there are many other podcasts that cover the subject of addiction[i] more thoroughly than I ever could, but it all started last Friday night when I was out at dinner with my husband and our two friends that we met on the hiking trails, Scott and Ruth. Scott, a business consultant who travels for his work, was home for a change, so we met up at a local restaurant and chatted about life, and what was on our minds that day. The conversation took a turn towards our phones, that we never have out at the table, and social media, and how addictive some of the apps are for the human brain. Scott mentioned he rarely uses social media, and I think I said something along the lines of “That’s really smart” remembering the Netflix Documentary Social Dilemma[ii] that scared the living daylights out of me. I wrote this down (on my phone) while watching the movie that “Magicians were like the first neuroscientists” What do magicians and neuroscientists have in common? Both are concerned with how the brain works. In magic, people try to fool the brain and in neuroscience, they are trying to understand the brain and this documentary will show you how the creators of technology apps have designed their software to trick or fool the human brain, just like magic, into addiction.

When we can use an understanding of neuroscience, or how our brains work in these situations, we can take a powerful stance towards being in control, instead of being controlled by these apps. I was blown away when I heard one of the app developers in this movie, say that he had to develop a code to break his addiction to Reddit. I don’t use Reddit, but completely understood what he was saying.

The next morning, we hit the hiking trails as usual, and we ran into Scott and Ruth along the way. Scott told me that he saw an article in the newspaper that might interest me about our conversation last night, and he had put it on the windshield of my car. “Sounds good” I said, forgetting what we were even talking about the night before, and then at the end of the hike, sure enough, he had pinned The Wall Street Journal on my windshield with an article called “Digital Addictions Are Drowning Us in Dopamine[iii]” by Dr. Anna Lembke (who also appeared in the Netflix Documentary Social Dilemma) with a headline that would catch anyone’s attention these days “Rising rates of depression and anxiety in wealthy countries like the US may be the results of our brains getting hooked on the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.”

I read the article written by Dr. Lembke, a psychiatrist and professor at Stanford University and saw that this article was an essay from her forthcoming book (coming out next week-August 24th) called Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence[iv] that was about a young patient of hers who came to her with debilitating anxiety and depression and what was interesting is that instead of prescribing him antidepressants like she would have done 20 years ago, she uncovered that he was playing videogames every day, and prescribed him with a 30 day dopamine fast. She explains that the problems she is seeing in the world today is because of “too much dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with the feelings of pleasure and reward” (Lembke) and that “when we do something that we enjoy—like playing video games,—the brain releases a little bit of dopamine, and we feel good. But one of the most important discoveries in the field of neuroscience in the past 75 years is that pleasure and pain are processed in the same parts of the brain and the that the brain tries to keep them in balance. Whenever it tips in one direction, it will try hard to restore the balance, which neuroscience calls homeostasis, by tipping in the other.” (Lembke)

This is the part that caught my attention because I know we’ve all heard of the fact that dopamine is the pleasure neurotransmitter, and too much of it is not good for the brain, but for this week’s Brain Fact Friday, did you know that “as soon as dopamine is released, the brain adapts to it by reducing or downregulating the number of dopamine receptors that are stimulated. This causes the brain to level out by tipping to the side of pain, which is why pleasure is followed by a feeling of hangover of comedown” Lembke explains. “If we can wait long enough, that feeling passes and neutrality is restored. But there’s a natural tendency to counteract it by going back to the source of pleasure for another dose.” (Lembke)

When it comes to addiction, I have always wondered, why on the earth would someone do something that they know is not good for them? I finally understood addiction, with brain science in mind. When you do something over and over again (whatever it is—video games, drugs, alcohol, or a certain behavior) dopamine is released until you keep the pattern going and “The brain’s setpoint for pleasure changes” (Lembke) and you have to keep doing the thing that once brought you pleasure, just to feel normal.  The minute you stop whatever it is you are doing, you feel the withdrawal symptoms that make you crave for that addictive thing. Dr. Amen has a graphic that explains the “Cycle of Addiction[v]” to help us to recognize the process and feelings at each stage.

FBF-The-Cycle-of-Addiction-A.jpeg

IMAGE REFERENCE:The Cycle of Addiction Graphic by Dr. Daniel Amen https://mk0amenclinicsg0ovs5.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/FBF-The-Cycle-of-Addiction-A.jpg

Just try to take away someone’s smartphone and watch what happens to them. “The smartphone is the equivalent of the hypodermic needle for a wired generation.” (Lembke)

In some of the past episodes, I have spoken about ways to break bad habits you don’t like by replacing the bad habit with a new, healthier habit, but this crosses a line that is much deeper than just wanting to replace a cup of coffee with some lemon water, like I suggest in EPISODE #35 (Jan. 2020) How to Use Your Brain to Break Bad Habits.[vi] Dr. Lembke explains that “it’s hard to see cause and effect when we are chasing dopamine. It’s only after we have taken a break from our drug of choice that we are able to see the true impact of our consumption on our daily lives.”

Dr. Lembke suggests taking a break from whatever it is that you think is taking up too much of your mental real estate. Self-awareness is important here. I couldn’t tell you what this might be in your life, but I surely can see it in my own. Dr. Lembke’s 30 day detox idea “gives enough time to allow the brain to reset its dopamine balance” and she is seeing people feel better than they have in years with this reset. She even suggests that after the 30-day reset, that you can go back to whatever it was like you enjoyed (videogames being an example) if you are able to limit the time and be sure that it’s not interfering with your day-to-day life. “Not everyone plays video games, but just about all of us have a digital drug of choice, and it probably involves using a smartphone-(Like we’ve mentioned before) the equivalent of the hypodermic needle for a wired generation.” (Lembke).

To Review This Week’s Brain Fact Friday

Remember that whatever your digital drug of choice is, that the minute you use it, that  you will become “drowned in dopamine” like Lembke explained in her article, “causing the brain to level out by tipping towards the side of pain—which is followed by a feeling of hangover or comedown” and if we want to avoid this feeling, the most effective way is to reset the brain with a 30 day digital detox “to reset the brain’s dopamine balance.” (Lembke).

What makes this week’s episode more interesting, is that after I had started writing this episode, I looked at some of the podcasts I follow at the start of the week, and I was just referred to Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Podcast by Greg Wolcott, and his Monday’s episode was surprisingly with Dr. Anna Lembke on “Understanding and Treating Addiction”[vii] that I highly recommend. This episode takes a deeper dive into addiction, how to beat it, resetting dopamine, and many other fascinating associated topics.

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If you have never taken a good look at areas of your life you could improve with this dopamine fast, I highly suggest trying it, as it builds mental strength, autonomy and like Dr. Lembke mentioned, her patients were never happier after this type of detox. Dr. Huberman says it really well on his podcast, “Be prepared, because the first 10 days will suck”[viii] and I couldn’t have said it better myself, until you are able to reach the end of the detox and look back and learn some valuable lessons that you could never have seen while your brain was flooded with dopamine.

To close out this week’s Brain Fact Friday, I want to encourage anyone who wants to learn more on this topic to visit Dr. Andrew Huberman’s podcast with Dr. Anna Lembke and to take a look at her book coming out next week, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence.

I’ll end with two thought-provoking Quotes from the Social Dilemma Movie[ix]

Think about this:

”If you’re not paying for the product, then you’re the product.” (thinking about the data collected from you while using an online product and how little attention we pay to the keystrokes we make on our computers).

”There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.” This one has new meaning to me after seeing the close correlation with drug and tech addictions.

See you next week where we have more interviews than I was ready for, but let’s see how many we will be able to release to help us to all sharpen the saw with our thinking, nutrition, and teaching, all with a deeper understanding of how our brain works.

UPCOMING INTERVIEWS:

  1. Howard Rankin and Grant Renier on their new book Intuitive Rationality[x] where we will look into an Intuitive General Intelligence system that predicts near and future events, while taking into account the fundamentals of human behavior.
  2. Michael Rousell on his new book “The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs[xi]” with the powerful effects that surprise has on the human brain.
  3. Chrissy Barth, the Brainy Dietician on High Performance Fuel for Athletes.
  4. Returning guests (from our successful interview on High Quality Distance Learning[xii] Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Almarode on their NEW book How Learning Works[xiii] that unpacks the science of how students learn and translates this knowledge into principles and practices for the classroom.

See you next week!

FOLLOW ANDREA SAMADI: 

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/AndreaSamadi  

Website https://www.achieveit360.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samadi/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Achieveit360com  

Neuroscience Meets SEL Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2975814899101697  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreasamadi  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreasamadi/ 

RESOURCES:

Dopamine, Smartphones and You: A Battle for Your Time May 1, 2018 by Trevor Haynes https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/dopamine-smartphones-battle-time/?web=1&wdLOR=c8834920B-429F-774A-AAFC-C88B7456E3C5  

Social Dilemma Netflix Documentary featuring Dr. Anna Lembke https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224  

REFERENCES:

[i] 15 Best Addiction Podcasts for 2021 https://www.choosingtherapy.com/addiction-podcasts/

[ii] Why The Social Dilemma is a Must Watch by Harleen Kalsi Sept. 15, 2020 https://www.lifestyleasia.com/ind/culture/entertainment/netflix-documentary-movie-the-social-dilemma-quotes-cast-direction/

[iii] Digital Addictions are Drowning Us in Dopamine by Dr. Anna Lembke. (Saturday August 14/Sunday August 15, 2021) https://www.wsj.com/articles/digital-addictions-are-drowning-us-in-dopamine-11628861572

[iv] Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence by Dr. Anna Lembke August 24, 2021 https://www.amazon.com/Dopamine-Nation-Finding-Balance-Indulgence-ebook/dp/B08KPKHVXQ

[v] The Cycle of Addiction Graphic by Dr. Daniel Amen https://mk0amenclinicsg0ovs5.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/FBF-The-Cycle-of-Addiction-A.jpg

[vi]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #35 “How to Use Your Brain to Break Bad Habits”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/how-to-use-your-brain-to-break-bad-habits-in-2020/

[vii] Dr. Andrew Huberman’s Huberman Lab Podcast https://hubermanlab.com/dr-anna-lembke-understanding-and-treating-addiction/

[viii] IBID

[ix] https://www.lifestyleasia.com/ind/culture/entertainment/netflix-documentary-movie-the-social-dilemma-quotes-cast-direction/

[x] Intuitive Rationality by Grant Renier and Howard Rankin PhD https://intualityai.com/the-book/

[xi] The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs by Michael Rousell  Sept. 15, 2021 https://www.amazon.com/Power-Surprise-Secretly-Changes-Beliefs/dp/153815241X

[xii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #77 with University Professors Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey on “Developing and Delivering High Quality Distance Learning”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/university-professors-and-authors-doug-fisher-and-nancy-frey-on-developing-and-delivering-high-quality-distance-learning-for-students/

[xiii] How Learning Works: A Playbook by John Almarode, (James Madison University, Douglas Fisher (San Diego State University) and Nancy Frey (San Diego State University). https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/how-learning-works/book279410#description

Brain Fact Friday on ”Boosting Your Immunity by Optimizing The Gut Microbiome”

Brain Fact Friday on ”Boosting Your Immunity by Optimizing The Gut Microbiome”

August 13, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for Brain Fact Friday and episode #156 that takes us back to the Top 5 health staples that we introduced at the end of 2020[i] when I was asked to speak at Podbean’s Wellness Week[ii]  with Dr. Carolyn Leaf. I’ve listed a reminder to these 5 health staples in the show notes and think it’s important to revisit them using the principle of “spaced repetition” since “where our attention goes, energy flows” (James Redfield) with the idea that as we move in the direction of our goals this next year, that we do so with our physical and mental health in mind.

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately.

Medical Disclaimer: Just a reminder—I would consider myself a researcher, sharing preventative and supplemental ideas and strategies related to the most current research on the brain, health and wellness education. In addition to studying directly with Mark Robert Waldman, a leading neuroscience researcher and expert on communication learning and the brain, I spend my evenings, weekends and spare time making connections with our past speakers, so that I can share these ideas to help bring more awareness to the advancements made in this fast moving field.  Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about your health and remember that you should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you learn through this podcast.

Back to our episode—You may have noticed the shift towards health and wellbeing at the end of 2020 as we were a good year into the Pandemic, and who wasn’t looking for ways to improve their mental and physical health to improve cognition, productivity, and results. When I look at the top 5 health staples, I know that some of them I can put a check next to, and say “making progress here” and some areas I know I have completely forgotten about, and if these 5 health staples are important for future brain health, mental health and Alzheimer’s prevention, I know it’s important to keep learning as much as possible to further optimize these areas. As I am researching and learning, I will share anything important and relevant on our future Brain Fact Friday episodes.

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This week I wanted to focus on Health Staple #4 “Optimizing our Microbiome” because I still have questions myself about best practices in this area and making a stronger case for the gut-brain connection as we figure out the best ways to fix, repair and rebuild our body so that we can be the best possible versions of ourselves. To do this, I wanted to share some key findings from Jonathan Otto’s recent documentary Autoimmune Answers[iii] with some ideas that he brings to light to help everyone understand that strengthening our immune system is the key to disease prevention and health, and how understanding Autoimmune Diseases (like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis or Type 1 Diabetes) all begins with an understanding of the gut-brain connection.

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We all know the toll that the Pandemic took on our mental health, and I was reminded today with a post on Instagram from Amen Clinics[iv] that “suicide hotlines have seen a significant increase in calls due to (the) Coronavirus” and that “we must continue navigating the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.” I think back to my interview with Dr. Carolyn Leaf[v] who I hosted Podbean’s Wellness week with last December, and her most recent book that we covered on a bonus episode this past March reminds us that we must “Clean Up Our Mental Mess” since “unmanaged toxic stress puts our body into low-grade inflammation which can accelerate the aging process”[vi] among other things we will take a closer look at on this episode. Dr. Jon Lieff on episode #143[vii] reminded me that “inflammation is the precursor for chronic disease.”

Which brings me to this week’s Brain Fact Friday.

I mentioned I wanted to focus on health staple #4 this week (optimizing the microbiome) and this week, I came across a documentary created by Jonathan Otto called Autoimmune Answers[viii]  that caught my attention because someone I know has been struggling with health issues for some time now, and every time he visits the doctor, he is told—your blood work looks fine, so it’s got to be an auto immune disease. 

I started hearing about automated immune diseases from Ari Whitten from his Energy Blueprint: New Science of Energy Class[ix] where he went deeper into the causes behind common illnesses that he would say showed brain-related symptoms like chronic fatigue, brain fog, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and loss of resilience that he attributed to “neuroinflammation” or chronic inflammation in the brain. He said that some of these illness were caused by a leaky blood-brain barrier (that should let in glucose, amino acids, and hormones, but keep out toxins and pathogens) and this is similar to a leaky gut.  His course explains how the powerhouse of the cells, the mitochondria go into defense-mode when stressed (lack of sleep, poor inflammatory diet, toxin exposure) which is at the root of inflammation. I will put the link to his course in the show notes, as I have learned so much from Ari, but it was here that I decided I had better watch Jonathan Otto’s documentary if I wanted to get a better understanding of Autoimmune Disease and the gut-brain connection.

REVIEW OF THE TOP 5 HEALTH STAPLES THAT ARE ALZHEIMER’S PREVENTION STRATEGIES

I wasn’t even 5 minutes into episode 1 of Jonathan’s Autoimmune Answers and guess who appears as a doctor giving advice? Dr. David Perlmutter who taught me the top 5 health staples with his Alzheimer’s Science of Prevention Documentary[x]. I know that we all know that when we feel “off” we can usually look at the top 5 health staples and see if there’s a starting point to make improvements.  We have covered these staples extensively, but here’s a quick review.

  • How is your aerobic exercise? John Ratey on EPISODE #116[xi] made a clear case for the connection with aerobic exercise and improved brain structure and function along with fitness expert Luke DePron on EPISODE #90.[xii]
  • How is your sleep? If you need help here, visit EPISODE #72[xiii] with Dr. Shane Creado on “Sleep Strategies That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage” or EPISODE #120[xiv] where I share how the Fisher Wallace Medical Device Improve My Sleep.
  • What about eating a healthy diet? We all can sway towards eating a certain diet, but Dr. Daniel Stickler took diet, nutrition, and our future to a whole new level on EPISODE #96[xv] and Dr. Perlmutter says it loud and clear in EPISODE 1 of Autoimmune Answers that “making good food choices will help us to make better decisions”[xvi] in our everyday lives.
  • Are you optimizing your microbiome? We will dive into this one today, but Dr. Vuyisich was the first to talk with me about the importance of optimizing our microbiome for reversing chronic disease on EPISODE #93.[xvii]
  • Have you tried Intermittent Fasting? Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting Expert Jason Wittrock covers this topic on EPISODE #94.[xviii]

Other than taking probiotics at night, or making sure I’m eating a healthy diet, I don’t pay much attention to optimizing my gut microbiome. Do you? Let me know if there are other ideas that you know of, that can help others.

This brings me to this week’s Brain Fact Friday:

DID YOU KNOW THAT “70-80% of your immune system is found in your gut tissues?” (Dr. Gerenger and Dr. Kan from Autoimmune Answers, explain this in detail saying that many people who feel “off” visit their doctor only to be told that their labs are normal because “the inflammation that began in the gut, has not attacked the glands yet” (Autoimmune Answers, EPISODE 1)[xix] Dr. Daniel Amen (America’s leading psychiatrist and brain health experts) calls our gastrointestinal tract our “second brain”[xx]  that is “lined with about 100 million neurons—more neurons than you have in your spinal cord” and he believes that “when you have problems with your gut, you’re more likely to have mental health issues.”[xxi]

We have also heard before that there does appear to be a hidden relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and the microbiome in our gut and that “an imbalanced gut microbiome (dysbiosis) could lead to Alzheimer’s disease and wider neuroinflammation through the gut-brain-axis. Promoting ‘good bacteria’ relative to ‘bad bacteria’ in the gut may be important in maintaining good digestive, immune and neurological health.”[xxii] This is still a developing field but taking prebiotics and probiotics[xxiii] are the best way to promote a healthy gut/brain balance.

If 70-80% of my immune system is found in my gut tissues, I think it makes sense that I learn as much as I can about optimizing my gut microbiome. I do recommend watching the Autoimmune Answers documentary by Jonathan Otto, but in the meantime, here are my main take-aways from this documentary.

3 Tips for Optimizing the Gut Microbiome to Improve Your Immune System

  1. Know what helps your gut microbiome: Did you know that our gut is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes? This microbiome plays an important role in our health by helping to control digestion and benefitting our immune system. Taking a probiotic daily, remaining active, eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods that disrupt our microbiome[xxiv] (processed fried foods, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners), are important for our gut/brain health. This makes sense to me, but I still sometimes forget to take my probiotic at night.  I did learn that taking digestive enzymes were a good idea to help break down your food so that the nutrients could be better absorbed. I’ve been taking digestive enzymes for over 20 years after a trainer said it would be a good idea, but now they have a new purpose. I did learn about the importance of taking fulvic acid to fight inflammation and improve my body’s ability to be resistant to disease, but I haven’t started this one yet.
  2. Know what hurts your gut microbiome: Antibiotics were designed to kill bacteria but they also “kill good bacteria in the gut” (Autoimmune Answers EPISODE 1) but so do oral contraceptives, NSAIDS, stress, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and toxins”[xxv] I always think really hard before taking something that I know will have a damaging effect on the health of my body, even if I think it will help me in the short term. I’m not perfect in this area, probably because I can’t see the damage I’m doing so it’s not always easy to make the best decisions here. Even though we sometimes know better, we still do things that we know are not good for us. What I learned from Autoimmune Answers that changed my thought process here a bit was that the stomach lining is “one-cell thick” from Dr. Vincent Pedre from EPSIODE 4[xxvi] so it’s not difficult to damage the lining of our stomach, making it permeable to pathogens that come in and create what is called “leaky gut.”
  3. Add Aerobic Exercise: It Fixes Everything. Dr. Perlmutter reminded us that “aerobic exercise increases gut bacterial diversity”[xxvii] Researchers say “they noticed changes in the gut microbiome after six weeks of exercise. The gut makeup returned to normal after the exercise was dropped.”[xxviii] There are so many cases for adding aerobic exercise to your daily routine and now we can add gut health to our list. 

FINAL THOUGHTS TO CLOSE OUT THIS WEEK’S BRAIN FACT FRIDAY

When our podcast took the turn towards Health and Wellness at the end of 2020, in addition to the focusing on the science behind social and emotional learning, I decided to launch Brain Fact Fridays—with a goal to provide a brain tip that ties back to how our brain works. If I can also tie this Brain Fact to one of the Top 5 health staples, I think this reinforced, spaced repetition of ideas will be helpful, for all of us. Let me know what you think of this episode. Send me an email to andrea@achieveit360.com or connect with me through social media.

At the end of last year, we learned how important the top 5 health staples were from Dr. Perlmutter’s Alzheimer’s Science of Prevention Documentary[xxix] but what about Autoimmune Disease? Have you or someone you know just felt “off’ for some reason, and you’ve gone to the doctor, taken some blood tests, and they all come back fine, yet you intuitively know something wasn’t right? This has got to be the most frustrating situation. If you’ve ever had this happen, you will know what I mean, and if you want to watch Jonathan Otto’s Autoimmune Answers, be sure to click the link in the show notes.  https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/ I am not affiliated to Jonathan Otto in any way, nor is this an affiliate link, I just think his documentary could help someone who is struggling with their health to find some answers.

I’m sure you can see that the implementation of these ideas is important, and what I love about hosting these podcasts (in addition to how much I am learning personally) is hearing that some of these high-level performers, like Dr. Carolyn Leaf, mentions she doesn’t have it all together, all of the time either, and often uses the principles she teaches to help calm her brain and mind down during her work day. When I see these ideas being implemented in this way, I think it makes them more relatable for others who can see that no one is immune from life’s challenges. We will all face challenges, but the key will be—to think—do you have the tools that you need to suffer the inevitable adversity and challenge less, and get back on track so that you get to where you are going in one piece with your physical and mental health intact?

As we are interviewing high-level speakers, working on ways to improve productivity and results in our life, whether we are a teacher in the classroom, or someone looking to take their results to the next level in their workplace, I want to make sure that we all get to where we are going that we have exceptional health when we get there. When I’m sitting at my desk, and look up on my wall, I see a list of values that drive me on a day-to-day basis, and Health is at the top of this list. What would be the point of doing these podcasts, getting excited about the new strategies we are learning and implementing from all these powerful speakers, and hearing about how people around the world are implementing these ideas in their schools, classrooms and workplaces, without addressing the importance of our physical and mental health along the way of this journey.

And with that, I wish you a wonderful weekend! See you next week.

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RESOURCES:

Therapeutic Potential of Fulvic Acid in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Diabetes by John Winkler and Sanjay Ghosh Published Sept.10, 2018

Dr. Peter Kan, DC https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6151376/https://askdrkan.com/about-drkan-in-gilbert-az/

Dr. Cathleen Gerenger, DC https://www.healthgrades.com/providers/cathleen-gerenger-2vgrd 

REFERENCES:

[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast BONUS EPISODE December 2020 with Andrea Samadi on “The Top 5 Health Staples”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/bonus-episode-a-deep-dive-into-the-top-5-health-staples-and-review-of-seasons-1-4/

[ii] Podbean’s Wellness Week https://www.podbean.com/podcastwellnessweek

[iii] https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/

[iv] https://www.amenclinics.com/

[v] BONUS EPISODE with Dr. Carolyn Leaf on “Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/worldrenownedneuroscientistdr-caroline-leaf-oncleaningup-your-mentalmess5-simplescientifically-proven-stepsto-reduceanxiety-and-toxic-thinking/

[vi] https://neurocycle.app/ (Day 10)

[vii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #143 on “The Secret Language of Cells”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/jon-lieff-md-on-the-secret-language-of-cells-what-biological-conversations-tell-us-about-the-brain-body-connection/

[viii] https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/

[ix]  https://theenergyblueprint.com/new-science-of-energy1/

[x] https://www.drperlmutter.com/alzheimers-the-science-of-prevention-2020-air-dates/

[xi]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #116 on “The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/best-selling-author-john-j-ratey-md-on-the-revolutionary-new-science-of-exercise-and-the-brain/

[xii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #90 with Luke DePron on “Neuroscience, Fitness and Growth”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/host-of-the-live-great-lifestyle-podcast-luke-depron-on-neuroscience-health-fitness-and-growth/

[xiii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast BONUS EPISODE #72 with Dr. Shane Creado on “Sleep Strategies That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-shane-creado-on-sleep-strategies-that-will-guarantee-a-competitive-advantage/

[xiv] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #120 with Andrea Samadi on a “Personal Review of the Fisher Wallace Wearable Medical Device” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/personal-review-of-the-fisher-wallace-wearable-medical-device-for-anxiety-depression-and-sleepstress-management/

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast  EPISODE #96 with Dr. Daniel Stickler on “Expanding Awareness for Limitless Potential” [xv]https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-daniel-stickler-on-expanding-awareness-for-limitless-peak-performance-health-longevity-and-intelligence/

[xvi] https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/ (EPISODE 1 Dr. Perlmutter)

[xvii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #93 with Dr. Vuyisich on “Improving the Health of Your Microbiome: Reversing Chronic Disease” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-momo-vuyisich-on-improving-the-health-of-your-microbiome-preventing-and-reversing-chronic-disease/

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #94 with Jason Wittrock on “Health, Nutrition, Intermittent Fasting and the Ketogenic Diet[xviii] https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/personal-trainer-and-fitness-model-jason-wittrock-on-health-nutrition-intermittent-fasting-and-the-ketogenic-diet/

[xix] https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/ (EPISODE 1 with Dr. Cathleen Gerenger, DC and Dr. Peter Kan).

[xx] Does My Gut Affect My Mental Stability? Dr. Daniel Amen October 1, 2019 https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/does-my-gut-health-affect-my-mental-stability/

[xxi] ibid

[xxii] Alzheimer’s Disease and the Microbiome by Oman Shabir  https://www.news-medical.net/health/Alzheimers-Disease-and-the-Microbiome.aspx

[xxiii] What is the Difference Between a Prebiotic and a Probiotic https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323490

[xxiv] 11 Ways Your Life Can Disrupt the Gut Microbiome https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/11-ways-your-life-can-disrupt-the-gut-microbiome/

[xxv] Does My Gut Affect My Mental Stability? Dr. Daniel Amen October 1, 2019 https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/does-my-gut-health-affect-my-mental-stability/

[xxvi] https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/lifetime-access-2021/ Autoimmune Answers EPISODE 4 Dr. Vincent Pedre

[xxvii] https://theautoimmuneanswers.com/lifetime-access-2021/ Autoimmune Answers EPISODE 4 Dr/ Perlmutter

[xxviii] Researchers Say Exercise Also Improves Your Gut Bacteria Written by Elizabeth Pratt, September 24, 2018 https://www.healthline.com/health-news/exercise-improves-your-gut-bacteria#:~:text=Research%20Says%20Exercise%20Also%20Improves%20Your%20Gut%20Bacteria&text=Researchers%20say%20they%20noticed%20changes,reason%20to%20exercise%2C%20try%20this.

[xxix] https://www.drperlmutter.com/alzheimers-the-science-of-prevention-2020-air-dates/

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