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Home » Matthew Lieberman: The Social Brain and Its Superpowers (Full Transcript)

Matthew Lieberman: The Social Brain and Its Superpowers (Full Transcript)

Matthew Lieberman

Watch and read the full transcript of neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman’s TEDx Talk: The Social Brain And Its Superpowers at TEDxStLouis 2013 Conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: the-social-brain-and-its-superpowers-by-matthew-lieberman-ph-d-at-tedxstlouis-2013


All right. I’ve been a neuroscientist for the past 15 years. And based on what I’ve learned, I’d like to make a pretty bold claim. Now, this isn’t a late-night infomercial, and there’s nothing for you to buy. But I’m going to give you the secret by the end of my talk to being smarter, happier and more productive. This secret depends on a couple of superpowers that we all have and one “kryptonite” that kind of gets in the way.

Let’s start with Earl and Gloria. For more than half a century they lived the American dream. They were high school sweethearts, and when Earl volunteered to be a World War II naval pilot, Gloria went off to the training camp with them. And when they returned, he built his own house and a thriving business where they worked together for years while raising their family.

But at the age of 67, Earl died of prostate cancer. And Gloria was never the same after Earl died. She became fixated on her past with him, and yet her memory was slipping away more and more each day. And her personality changed too. She used to be charming and witty, and now she became inattentive, even mean. Her family and friends tried to understand her dramatic transformation, doctors too. But they were never able to identify a physical cause.

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