What are we reading?

Richard Davidson’s book, The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How its Unique Patterns Affect the Way you Think, Feel, and Live—and How You Can Change Them, is the product of his experiences exploring the connection between the physical brain and our seemingly intangible emotions. Davidson discovered how emotion and reason actually stand upon equal ground. He found that our “emotional styles” are discernible from recordable functions in the brain, which activate in the same regions as logical thought processes.

Emotions, then, deserve our attention!

An optimistic attitude or pessimistic outlook, emotional caprices or periods of calm, intense focus, or moments of self-awareness—we often find ourselves repeating certain emotional states and mindsets. However, The Emotional Life of Your Brain shows that emotions don’t have to stay fixed in our daily lives as characteristics we’re stuck with. Davidson encourages readers to understand the flexibility of their “emotional style,” and their freedom to decide what to do with it.

How to participate in Common Reading:

Read. Enjoy Dr. Davidson’s journey to uncovering the brain’s emotional secrets.

React. Think about what insights you gained and what questions you have.

Interact. Post your thoughts here, attend discussions and events to chat with other readers, and see Dr. Davidson at the UO on February 9!


November 12: Watch Happy on the big screen!





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