Past Event

The Hacking of the American Mind: A Discussion with Dr. Robert Lustig

February 22, 2018
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Buell Hall, 515 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027 East Gallery
We all know that we can’t put down our sodas or our cellphones. But what if these cravings were engineered—by design? And what if these desires actually caused damage – not just to ourselves, but to our families, our friends, and to our entire society? Dopamine is the “reward” neurotransmitter that tells our brains “This feels good, I want more.” Yet too much dopamine leads to addiction. Serotonin is the “contentment” neurotransmitter that tells our brains “This feels good, I have enough.” Yet too little serotonin leads to depression. Ideally, both should be in optimal supply. But too many of our “simple pleasures” have morphed into something else – a 6.5-ounce soda became a Big Gulp; an afternoon with friends gave way to 1000 friendings on Facebook. What we think we want, what we’re told will bring us happiness, is just a clever marketing scheme to consume more and more. Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Las Vegas, and Silicon Valley have gotten inside our heads, exploiting this newly discovered brain chemistry, while Congress and the Supreme Court have codified their actions. Our behaviors are not our own, because our minds have been “hacked”. But there are ways to reclaim our health and our lives, to re-engage in the “pursuit of happiness”, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Join us as Dr. Robert Lustig presents on 'Hacking of the American Mind' followed by an open discussion of the book led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Beverages and light snacks will be served. Agenda 2:00 - 2:30pm: Registration opens 2:30 - 3:30pm: Dr. Robert Lustig presents 3:30 - 3:45pm: Coffee break 3:45 - 4:45pm: Open discussion led by Professor Sachs 4:45 - 5:30pm: Book signing