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Joseph LeDoux
Joseph LeDoux is a University Professor and Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, and Professor of Neural Science and Psycholgoy at NYU.He is also the director of the Emotional Brain Institute, a new collaboration between New York University and New York State at the Nathan Kline Institute. His work is focused on the brain mechanisms of emotion and memory. In addition to articles in scholarly journals, he is author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life (Simon and Schuster, 1996), Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are (Viking, 2002), and Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety (Viking, 2015). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the New York Academy of Science, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, recipient of the 2005 Fyssen International Prize in Cognitive Science and the William James Award from the Association for Psychological Science. He also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His band, The Amygdaloids, plays music about mind and brain, with many of their songs being based on his research.

LeDoux Lab at NYU

The Amygdaloids

Entries by Joseph LeDoux

The Amygdala Is Not the Brain's Fear Center

(2) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 4:57 PM

This blog post first appeared on the Psychology Today website.

I've been studying the amygdala for more than 30 years. When I started this work, research on this brain region was a lonely field of inquiry. The hippocampus was all the rage, and I sometimes felt jealous of...

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Hubris and the Tree of Life

(9) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 1:18 PM

Where do we come from? By "we" I mean humans in the large spectrum of life. What makes each of us different from every other human, but more like every other human than like any other animal roaming the earth, and, at the same time, somehow connected to all forms...

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Well Tuned Guitars and Highly Strung People

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2010 | 11:47 PM

The lights went down and the introduction, which went something like this, began. Tonight, we are delighted to have NYU neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, world-renowned specialist on memory and emotion, particularly fear, teamed up with Lenny Kaye, the legendary guitarist of the Patti Smith Group,...

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Can Memories Be Erased?

(34) Comments | Posted October 7, 2009 | 11:34 AM

"Life without memory is no life at all," so said Luis Buñuel, the surrealist filmmaker. But do we really want every memory? Joel Barish didn't. Remember the guy played by Jim Carrey in Michel Gondry's 2004 film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? He wanted the memory of Clementine Kruczynski...

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Why the "Right Brain" Idea is Wrong-Headed

(7) Comments | Posted May 29, 2009 | 2:01 PM

We're living in the golden age of the brain. Researchers around the world are trying to figure out how Woody Allen's "second favorite organ" works. The US Society for Neuroscience has more than 40,000 members, and the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) puts up impressive numbers from the rest of...

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Guns, Germs, and Squeals

(1) Comments | Posted May 12, 2009 | 6:11 PM

I learned what a brain was by digging bullets out of them as a kid in my father's meat market in Eunice, Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun country. In those days, cows and pigs were killed by a 0.22 caliber right between the eyes. Sounds barbaric, but was...

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How does your brain work?

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2009 | 6:25 PM

How does your brain work? Why doesn't it work the way you want it to? Can you make it work better (or at least differently)? Are you in charge of your neurons and synapses, and who's the "you" that is or isn't in control? Can I answer these questions? Actually,...

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The Brain Is Wider than the Sky, but It Can Feel the Music

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2007 | 2:01 PM

Emily Dickinson said in one of her poems that "The brain is wider than the sky." I've been trying to narrow it down for the past 25 years, especially in terms of how it makes emotions, and how it goes wrong in emotional disorders. One of the key problems that...

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Heavy Mental: The Message is in the Music

(11) Comments | Posted July 24, 2007 | 3:46 PM

You know the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." For many people, though, it is broken, and we need to fix it. What's broken is the brain, especially the emotional brain, and the consequence is a life dominated by mental suffering.

Emotions monopolize brain resources. That's a...

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