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How We Feel: what neuroscience can and can't tell us about our emotions

CPNSS LSE Literary Festival lecture

Date: Saturday 1 March 2014 
Time: 1-2.30pm
Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker:  Giovanni Frazzetto 
Chair:  Stephan Guettinger

Is neuroscience better than philosophy to cope with anxiety in the face of the world’s economic crisis?

What can a brain scan or a Caravaggio painting reveal about the deep seat of guilt? Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than anti-depressants? What do poetry and joy have in common? And how can experiments in mice teach us how to find a partner?

We live at a time when neuroscience is unlocking the secrets of our emotions. But can the neural script of the brain indeed tell us how we feel?

Giovanni Frazzetto takes us on a journey through our everyday lives and most common emotions. He mixes his scientific knowledge with art, literature, philosophy and personal experience to offer a set of stories that contend rationality and sentiment, science and poetry.

Giovanni Frazzetto (@BravePassion) was born and grew up in Sicily. In 1995, after high school, he moved to the UK to study science at University College London and in 2002 he received a PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg. Since he was a student he has worked and written on the relationship between science, society and culture, publishing in journals such as EMBOreports and Nature.

While he was a researcher at the LSE, he was one of the founders of the European Neuroscience & Society Network and the creator of the transdisciplinary Neuroschools. Giovanni has also written short stories and plays and curated science-inspired art exhibitions.

For his transdisciplinary efforts he was awarded the 2008 John Kendrew Young Scientist Award. He now lives between London and Berlin where he works at the Institute for Advanced Study. His first book How We Feel: What Neuroscience Can -and Can't- tell us about our emotions was published by Doubleday in August 2013.

This event forms part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2014, taking place from Monday 24 February - Saturday 1 March 2014, with the theme 'Reflections'.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest


A copy of Giovanni Frazzetto's PowerPoint presentation is available to download. Download How We Feel: what neuroscience can and can't tell us about our emotions (pdf)


A podcast of this event is available to download from How We Feel: what neuroscience can and can't tell us about our emotions

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.


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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).


LSE Literary Festival 2014