Rick Hanson + Forrest Hanson & Judson Brewer

The Science of "Self" with Dr. Jud Brewer

14 Mar 2022 • 76 min • EN


One of the underlying threads that runs through many of our conversations on Being Well is our relationship with our “self”. On this episode, Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson talk with neuroscientist, mindfulness researcher, and bestselling author Dr. Jud Brewer about where we can find the “self” in the brain, and the benefits of relaxing our attachment to it.

About our Guest: Dr. Jud Brewer is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in Behavioral and Social Sciences at the School of Public Health and Psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University. He is a New York Times best-selling author and thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery,” and has done extensive research on the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness and meditation. His books include Unwinding Anxiety and The Craving Mind.

Watch the Episode: Prefer watching video? You can watch this episode on YouTube.

Key Topics:

0:00: Introduction

1:45: What is a “self”?

5:10: Distinguishing consciousness, person, and self

7:25: Can there be a unified sense of self in an everchanging psychological process?

11:50: Selfing and what triggers a sense of “me”

15:20: Evolutionary speculations about the origins of selfing

18:50: Predictive processing and personal associations

21:55: How Jud responds to selfing

28:10: The unicorn metaphor of self and relief in sensory experience

34:45: The experience of addiction and anxiety

39:50: Somatic markers and distinguishing healthy vs. unhealthy desires

41:40: Letting go vs. straining to create a self

45:40: Underlying neurological components of the self

56:30: The fluidity of awareness without self

58:30: When and how does the default mode network become functional?

1:03:00: Neuro-psychedelic research and unlearning

1:07:15: Having a self vs. taking ourselves personally

1:11:00: Recap

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Have a question for us? 

Email: contact@beingwellpodcast.com to submit questions or potential topics you'd like us to explore in future episodes.


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From "Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson"