Franca Parianen, born in 1989, works at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurological Science in Leipzig. Her research focusses on human social behaviour in neurological, hormonal and developmental contexts, as well as social and ethical emotions. She has been active on the science slam scene since 2014.
CONTROLLED BY OUR HORMONES
Most people overemphasise the role of the brain. Although we often equate the influence of hormones with the concept of our bodies ruling our brains, it’s our hormones, in fact, that keep us on an even keel. They are the most important messengers between the body, the brain, stress and serotonin. If the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, hormones are the substances that pass on the message. But what happens when we jet across time zones, bury our heads in our mobile phones or cry in the cinema? Why are we more suspicious of fluctuations in our hormones than the substances themselves? And where is the contraceptive pill for men? Drawing on her immense knowledge and expertise, Franca Parianen takes us on an entertaining whistle-stop tour of the interface between our brains and our hearts, between our health and our thoughts.