Genetics and neurobiology of willpower: why some people can resist temptations better.


  • Datum: 07.02.2020
  • Uhrzeit: 10:30 - 12:00
  • Vortragende: Irina Yakutenko
  • Irina Yakutenko is a scientific journalist and writer based in Berlin. As a science writer and editor, she worked at many leading Russian media including Lenta.Ru, TASS and ‘Вокруг света’ ("Around the Globe ") magazine. She graduated from Molecular Biology Department of Moscow State University and her primary interest in science lies in the field of biology. She is especially interested in biological mechanisms underlying different aspects of human behavior. In 2017 she published a book “Willpower and self-control: how do genes and brain prevent us from resisting temptations”. In the book, which was short-listed for prestigious Russian book prize ‘Просветитель’ (Enlightener), she studies the phenomenon of willpower in the context of neurobiology and genetics, and reviews existing scientific theories explaining why some people combat temptations better than others. In addition to writing, Irina often gives public speeches about science: she is a lecturer and author of popular science videoblogs ‘Бодрые новости’ (Brisk news) and ‘И что с того?’ (So what?’).
  • Ort: IPP Greifswald
  • Raum: HGW S1 (Übertragung Hörsaal D2)
  • Gastgeber: Dmitry Moseev
  • Kontakt:
 Genetics and neurobiology of willpower: why some people can resist temptations better.
Statistics revealed that people dramatically differ in their capability to resist all sorts of temptations from nicotine and alcohol to food cravings and shopping. Latest research shows that brains of the people who can better resist things which seem pleasant now but are dangerous in the long run, distinctly differ from those of others. These differences include not only physiology but also biochemistry: brain of willpower superheroes literally works in another way when exhibited to cravings. In her lecture Irina Yakutenko will explain what differences are most important in the context of self-control and tell which genes are responsible for the behavior patterns that manage our reactions to tempting things. In the last part of the lecture she will outline some strategies that can help people who bear ‘unfavorable’ gene variants to overcome devastating reactions of their brain that threaten important life plans.
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