Neuroscientists study the human brain to understand consciousness; they do not necessarily believe in a soul. Heather Berlin notes that due to our limited time on Earth, we should try to explain as much as possible using the scientific method.
Emotional Brain (05:10)
Directly experiencing love and memories of dead people does not mean their soul lives on. Consider whether discovering the neural basis of emotions contributes to overmedication.
Human Condition (05:10)
Emotions evolved for human survival; severely disordered patients benefit from neuroscientific research and medication. Freud and Shakespeare were great observers, contributing to an understanding of the human condition.
Human Themes (04:55)
Ibsen’s “Ghosts” condenses moral choices and difficult themes into 90 minutes. The theater is a chosen family for Sir Richard Eyre who was raised in an unhappy, but unrepressed, household.
Theater People (05:22)
Berlin used theater to deal with her childhood. Eyre notes that truly great actors pretend to lose themselves, and hit their marks consistently.
Good Actors (03:15)
For Eyre, rehearsing “31” was filled with laughter and joking; comedic rehearsals can feel laborious. Great actors are shy people who prefer not to talk about acting.
Science of Acting (06:07)
Patients with dissociative disorders return different brain imaging associated with multiple brain states. Actors have difficulty recalling and describing the experience of getting into character.
During brain states of relaxed self-awareness, there is increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex while the filter function of the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex is relaxed. Self-awareness creates and hinders the creative process.
Nonverbal Communication (06:52)
Eyre nurtures offstage relationships between actors to create a better rehearsal and performance. Creating and adjusting the utopian community of theater productions reflects society.
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