How Do We Experience Awe? Beau Lotto Explains his Study on Cirque du Soleil for the TED Stage
Human beings fear uncertainty, yet the world is constantly changing. In order to survive, it’s imperative that we adapt along with it. In his brand-new TED talk, leading neuroscientist Beau Lotto explains how the evolutionary cure for uncertainty is one of the most profound perceptual experiences we can have: the feeling of awe.
“My Lab of Misfits had just the wonderful opportunity and the pleasure to work with [...] some of the greatest creators of awe that we know: the writers, the creators, the directors, the accountants, the people who are Cirque Du Soleil,” explains Beau Lotto. While there, he and his team recorded the brain activity of the Cirque audience, as well as their behavior before and after the performance. What did they discover? The brain state exhibited by the audience—awe—felt more social, uninhibited, and comfortable with risk.
This altered state could have profound effects on how we relate to each other as humans, whether in work, in play, or in moments of confrontation. When we think of it that way, it’s easy to agree with Lotto: awe is essential.
Watch Lotto’s full talk here.
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