The past few months have been a bit of a trip down memory lane with these brain blogs as I’ve been digging out some recent footage of my appearances on other people’s shows.
Two months ago I posted a few clips from my appearance on BBC2’s Ranganation where I talked about smartphones. Last month I pulled out some best bits from my appearance of Celebrity Big Brother (as a brain expert, not a contestant!). And this week I’ve grabbed the best bits from the first episode of Michael Mosley’s MEET THE HUMANS.
Meet the Humans has aired all over the world, but never in the UK, such is the deal with any series shot for BBC EARTH (I believe). So there’s a fairly good chance that, if you are based in the UK, you’ll never have seen this.
In this first episode of the first series, we invited twenty old school mates, all from the same school year, to stay the weekend in a stately home where we hosted a school reunion. The guests were around 50 years of age and the aim was to turn back the clock by wearing school uniforms again, listen to the music of their youth, eat their favourite childhood foods, play school yard games and trigger some long lost memories.
We also got them to perform some simple tests that have some predictive power over longevity to see how the ageing process had affected each of them. We wanted to inspire those who’d not been looking after themselves so well to take action sooner rather than later. And to give those who had been looking after themselves credit where credit’s due.
We also ran a few little scientific experiments with them to demonstrate some psychological and neuroscientific phenomena (like implanting false memories). The idea of getting them to wear school uniforms is that not only would the sight of themselves quite literally in their old school tie help to trigger feelings of being a more youthful version of themselves, but so too would the feelings of the material against the skin. The theory on this was all sound. But would they really feel uninhibited enough to actually exhibit those child-like behaviours?
The main aim of this weekend was to help the attendees to get some perspective and take stock of some of the key events in their lives so far. But this was only a starting point in terms of the main motive: to get them thinking about what they can do to improve matters going forwards. So it occurred to me that it might be nice to leave them with some words of encouragement.
This clip is an abridged version of a fairly lengthy speech I gave to the assembled masses right at the end of the weekend that aimed to rally them to action. I was essentially urging them to take control of the very fabric of their brains by harnessing the hope-inspiring power of neuroplasticity…
Next month’s blog is going to be an update on all of the Motivational Brain Talks I’ve been developing over the past 10 years. To date I’ve almost exclusively given these six keynote talks (decisions, creativity, unconscious bias, resilience, brain hacks, health and safety) for audiences of business people at their annual conferences. But I’ve been thinking for a while now that I might start giving them as public lectures so that anyone who’s interested in their brain can come along. If you’d be interested please let me know where in the world you are and I’ll see if I can set one up in your nearest city….