Lisa Feldman Barrett: Hierarchical Bayesian Brains & the Imposition of Functions, Value & Meaning


Lisa Feldman Barrett is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University and is among the top one percent most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. She also holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior. In addition to the books "Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain" and "How Emotions are Made", Dr. Barrett has published over 240 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, as well as six academic volumes published by Guilford Press. She has also given a popular TED talk with over 6 million views.

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(0:00) - Introduction
(0:36) - What is consciousness?
(8:37) - Perception vs reality
(15:18) - Helmholtz, unconscious inference & the Bayesian brain
(19:40) - Psychiatry, mental health, & reductionism vs holism
(25:34) - Animal consciousness & other minds
(28:02) - Cortex vs mid-brain
(30:49) - Essentialism, semantic memories & abstract concepts
(33:15) - Imposing functions, value & meaning
(40:14) - Anthropology
(44:03) - Free speech, social dilemmas & conflict
(46:05) - Identity & politics
(54:27) - Cognitive dissonance & metabolic costs
(56:36) - Why do we search for a deeper understanding of the mind and universe?
(59:52) - Conclusion