Mary Helen Immordino-Yang is an assistant professor of education at the Rossier School of Education and an Assistant Professor of Psychology for the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. She studies the bases of the brains emotions, social interaction, culture and its implications for development and learning and is also the inaugural recipient for the Award of Transforming Education through Neuroscience. The award is co-sponsored by the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES) and the Learning and the Brain conference. Immordino-Yang lectures nationally about how the arts foster creativity and the latest in neuroscientific and developmental evidence of what creativity is and how it is grounded in emotional and cognitive processing.
Recent advances in neuroscience are highlighting connections between socio-emotional feelings and learning that have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the role of affect in creativity. In this talk I will discuss our new work on the neurobiology and psychology of admiration and compassion, demonstrating how these emotions can be inspirational, how they appear to influence biological and sociocultural development, how they may differ across cultures, and how they may promote social, intellectual, and artistic creativity. We will also discuss how these emotions reveal connections between the mind and body in learning and creating, and what they may teach us about the neurobiology of self awareness and the importance of internal reflection to these processes. Possible implications for children and adolescents living in unsafe or urban environments, and for children who overuse technology, will be discussed.