Dr. David Berson: Understanding Your Brain's Logic & Function


Huberman Lab

In this episode, my guest is Dr. David Berson, Professor & Chairman of Neuroscience at Brown University. Dr. Berson discovered the neurons in your eye that set your biological rhythms for sleep, wakefulness, mood and appetite. He is also a world-renowned teacher of basic and advanced neuroscience, having taught thousands of university lectures on this topic. Many of his students have become world-leading neuroscientists and teachers themselves.

Here Dr. Berson takes us on a structured journey into and around the nervous system, explaining: how we perceive the world and our internal landscape, how we balance, see, and remember. Also, how we learn and perform reflexive and deliberate actions, how we visualize and imagine in our mind, and how the various circuits of the brain coordinate all these incredible feats.

We discuss practical and real-life examples of neural circuit function across the lifespan. Dr. Berson gives us a masterclass in the nervous system—one that, in just less than two hours, will teach you an entire course's worth about the brain and how yours works.

For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com.

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(00:00:00) Dr. David Berson

(00:03:11) Sponsors: AG1, LMNT

(00:08:02) How We See

(00:10:02) Color Vision

(00:13:47) “Strange” Vision

(00:16:56) How You Orient In Time

(00:25:45) Body Rhythms, Pineal function, Light & Melatonin, Blueblockers

(00:34:45) Spending Times Outdoors Improves Eyesight

(00:36:20) Sensation, Mood, & Self-Image

(00:41:03) Sense of Balance

(00:50:43) Why Pigeons Bob Their Heads, Motion Sickness

(01:00:03) Popping Ears

(01:02:35) Midbrain & Blindsight

(01:10:44) Why Tilted Motion Feels Good

(01:13:24) Reflexes vs. Deliberate Actions

(01:16:35) Basal Ganglia & the “2 Marshmallow Test”

(01:24:40) Suppressing Reflexes: Cortex

(01:33:33) Neuroplasticity

(01:36:27) What is a Connectome?

(01:45:20) How to Learn (More About the Brain)

(01:49:04) Book Suggestion, my Berson Appreciation

(01:50:20) Zero-Cost ways to Support the HLP, Guest Suggestions, Sponsors, Supplements

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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