Stanford Psychology Podcast
Stanford Psychology Podcast
128 – Halie Olson: How our Brains Care About our Personal Interests

128 – Halie Olson: How our Brains Care About our Personal Interests

In this episode, Adani chats with Dr. Halie Olson! Halie is a postdoctoral researcher at MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Her research explores how early life experiences and environments impact brain development, particularly in the context of language, and what this means for children’s outcomes.

Halie talks about the intriguing backstory and results of her recent pre-print paper titled “When the Brain Cares: Personal interests amplify engagement of language, self-reference, and reward regions in the brains of children with and without autism.” In particular, she discusses what it means to be really interested in something, and how our brains respond to language about the things we’re interested in. Halie also shares how she first got involved in research, her favorite parts about science, what she is excited to work on next, plus a fun book recommendation!

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