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How the social brain creates identity

Who we are is a story of our self — a narrative that our brain creates. Like the science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind. But though the self is an illusion, it is an illusion we must continue to embrace to live happily in human society. In The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other.

Below, you can listen to Bruce Hood speak with Ginger Campbell, MD on the Brain Science Podcast, a regular podcast series on recent discoveries from the world of neuroscience.

Listen to the podcast:


Bruce Hood is the author of The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity. He is currently the Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre at the University of Bristol. He has been a research fellow at Cambridge University and University College London, a visiting scientist at MIT, and a faculty professor at Harvard. He has been awarded an Alfred Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Infancy Researchers, the Robert Fantz Memorial Award and voted a Fellow by the Association for Psychological Science. He is the author of several books, including SuperSense: Why We Believe the Unbelievable. This year he was selected as the 2011 Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer — to give three lectures broadcast by the BBC — the most prestigious appointment for the public engagement of science in the UK. Read his previous blog post: “You are essentially what you wear.”

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  1. […] on to neuroscience and psychology, a podcast on the Oxford University Press blog focuses on the emergence of identity during childhood, as well as the link between the brain and […]

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