Watch Impulse Control: Making Your Brain Work for You

Written by: The Exchange

RSVP here to join us on Wednesday, February 10 at 1PM PST/4PM EST for Impulse Control: Making Your Brain Work for You.

Can we learn to control our impulses before they control us? Even more importantly: can we learn to let them flow when it really matters? Countless years of life are lost and countless chances at happiness are missed because of our unhealthy relationship with impulses, which we tend to control too little (e.g., addiction and explosive anger) or too much (e.g., repression and anxiety). Understanding the underlying mechanisms of impulse control can give you the potential to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life. Heather Berlin and her colleagues have been illuminating these mechanisms for years, including the surprising positive effects of losing control at the right time and in the right place. Some domains of human experience, such as meditation, improvisation, and therapy under certain psychoactive drugs, offer controlled circumstances under which losing control provides overwhelming and repeatable benefits to human well-being. By understanding these dynamics that are already at play in you, you can master the fine art of losing control and gaining it back, learn to adjust your impulse control settings at will, and make your brain work for you.

*****VIP Q&A After the Main Event*****

If you donated $100 or more in the past 12 months or donate at the $20 level for this event, you’ll have the opportunity to join our 30 minute VIP Q&A at around 2PM PST/5PM EST and speak directly with Heather. We’ll reach out to those donors with more details.


Dr. Heather Berlin is a neuroscientist, clinical psychologist, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. She explores the neural basis of impulsive and compulsive psychiatric and neurological disorders with the aim of improving treatments. She is also interested in the brain basis of consciousness, dynamic unconscious processes, and creativity. Passionate about science communication, destigmatizing mental illness, and promoting women in STEM, Heather is a committee member of The Science & Entertainment Exchange and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS’s) Committee on Science and Technology Engagement with the Public. She co-hosts StarTalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and has hosted series on PBS and Discovery Channel.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.