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The 2019 Rotman Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, professor of psychology at Northeastern University, and author of “How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain“. She delivered the 2017 TED Talk, “You aren’t at the mercy of your emotions — your brain creates them”, which was among the top 25 most watched TED videos of 2018.


In this talk, we’ll explore a series of experiments about emotion whose conclusions seem to defy common sense. We’ll learn that common sense is wrong, and has been for 2000 years. In the process, we’ll dispel four of the most widespread fictions about emotions that lurk in classrooms, boardrooms and bedrooms around the world. We’ll then explore a radically new scientific understanding of what emotions are and how they work.


Lisa Feldman Barrett is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University. Dr. Barrett’s research focuses on the nature of emotion from the perspectives of both psychology and neuroscience, and takes inspiration from anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics. Her lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, and incorporates methods from social, clinical, and personality psychology, psychophysiology, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, and visual cognition. Current projects focus on understanding the psychological construction of emotion (i.e., how basic affective and conceptual ingredients provide the recipes for emotional experiences), age- and disease-related changes in affective circuitry within the human brain, how language and context influence emotion perception, how affect influences vision, and sex differences in emotion.

Read more about Lisa Feldman Barrett.


Attendance is free, but for planning purposes advance registration is requested. All registered guests are invited to join us prior to the lecture for a free reception (with coffee, tea & light appetizers) in the foyer outside of Wolf Hall. The Western Book Store will have copies of Dr. Feldman Barrett’s books for sale, and she will be available for book signing.

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Reception and Book Sale
6:00 – 6:30 pm – Book Signing
7:00 – 8:30 pm – Lecture

Two hours of free validated parking are available in the Citi Plaza parking lot, during library hours.

Advance registration for this event is now closed.



This Rotman Lecture was co-sponsored by the London Public Library and The Brain and Mind Institute at Western University.



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View a copy of the event poster.

Image credit: Frank Behrens – Clowns (license)

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