The St. Olaf Community is welcome to attend the dual Psychology Olaf W. and Juta R. Millert Memorial Speaker Series Annual Lectures: “Exploring the Shared Neural Circuitry Underlying Physical and Social Pain” by Naomi Eisenberger, Ph.D. and “Seeing Red: How the Constructive Nature of Conscious Experience Determines Who We Like and Who Drives Us Crazy” by Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D.
In this talk, Naomi Eisenberger will review multiple studies that: a) examine whether social pain relies on some of the same neural regions involved in the distressing component of physical pain and b) explore the functional consequences of such an overlap, including whether individuals who are more sensitive to one kind of pain are also more sensitive to the other. She will also review some contexts in which physical and social pain do not seem to naturally overlap (e.g., empathy, consoling touch).
Matthew Lieberman’s, talk will present a new model of conscious experience that focuses on effortless meaning making in everyday life. He will show evidence that a particular part of the brain called ‘gestalt cortex’ is central to ordinary conscious experience. Critically, looking at this region allows us to examine when two or more people are having similar or different experiences of something.
The St. Olaf W. and Juta R. Millert Memorial Speaker Series in Psychology, founded in 2010, supports an annual lecture at St. Olaf College and was created by Professor Emeritus Olaf Millert in memory of his wife of 46 years, Juta.