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The Peter Attia Drive

Apr 3, 2023

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Andrew Huberman is a Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford University and host of the Huberman Lab podcast. In this episode, Andrew begins with a fascinating discussion about the brain, including the role of the prefrontal cortex in adjusting your ruleset to match your setting, the neural circuitry underlying the ability of stress to limit creativity and problem-solving, the effect of belief on physiology and performance, and more. He speaks about vision being our “superpower” and compares this to animals that rely more on other senses. Next, he opens up about his personal journey, the struggles and losses he has overcome, the value of therapy, and the many great people who helped him along the way. He speaks to his love of biology and discovery and the importance of staying true to your passion rather than being driven purely by ambition. Lastly, the conversation includes a look to the future of Andrew's scientific work and podcast as well as his unique approach to communicating science and tackling the issue of scientific illiteracy.

We discuss:

  • Exercise under blood flow restriction, lactate utilization, and transient changes in the brain function in response to adrenaline and stress [3:30];
  • The role of the prefrontal cortex in governing rulesets [9:15];
  • New discoveries about the circuitry between the prefrontal cortex, insula, and amygdala, and the insights gleaned about brain function in different emotional states [15:30];
  • Comparing human vision and other senses to animals [26:00];
  • A deep dive into vision: evolutionary adaptations, facial recognition, color, and more [39:45];
  • Sense of smell, pheromones, and why evolution developed better vision over smell [46:30];
  • The relationship between visual input and time perception [55:30];
  • Mindset effects: the effect of belief on physiology and performance [1:00:45];
  • Accessing higher levels of creativity with broadening rulesets and the limiting nature of stress and fear on creativity [1:05:30];
  • Stress and fear increase autonomic arousal, limit access to rulesets, and inhibit performance [1:12:15];
  • Andrew’s upbringing, early childhood, and tough adolescent years [1:15:00];
  • Andrew’s time in a residential treatment program and how he benefited from therapy [1:20:15];
  • The beginning of positive changes in Andrew’s young life [1:28:30];
  • Andrew’s decision to turn his life around [1:37:00];
  • A new passion for science and exercise helps Andrew [1:42:00];
  • The difference between a postdoc and a PhD [1:54:15];
  • Staying in touch with the love of biology and not getting pulled into ambition [1:59:15];
  • Andrew starts his own lab, and continues work to overcome his demons [2:07:00];
  • The loss of three mentors leads to deep soul searching [2:12:00];
  • What motivated Andrew to begin his podcast [2:18:00];
  • Looking to the future of Andrew’s scientific work, podcast, and more [2:22:45];
  • Andrew’s unique approach to communicating science and the issue of scientific illiteracy [2:30:00]; and
  • More.

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