Episode 137: Brant Cortright

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Description: Host Elle Russ talks with Brant Cortright, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and authore of the #1 international Amazon bestseller, The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life. He is a Professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in neuroscience-informed depth psychotherapy as well as a coaching practice focused on brain health, anxiety and depression. He is the author of two previous books, Psychotherapy and Spirit and Integral Psychology: Yoga, Growth and Opening the Heart.

Show Notes:

  • Brant Cortright is a psychologist specializing in neurogenesis. Up until the late 1990 it was believed that after a certain age, we no longer develop brain cells. [00:01:10]
  • High rate of neurogenesis means rapid learning. And it also means having a robust emotional resilience. [00:04:39]
  • Antidepressants are hugely over prescribed. Are SSRIs the only way to treat depression? [00:05:07]
  • What are four major poisons (neurotoxins) that affect the neurogenesis? [00:10:01]
    1. Deprivation (too little stimulation) is like when someone is in solitary confinement or permanently hospitalized.
    2. Physical assault (concussion, bumps on the head, mercury) can cause severe damage to the brain.
    3. Chronic inflammation slows neurogenesis to a crawl.
    4. Chronic stress (physical and emotional) is what most people suffer from.
  • Dr. Cortright is very much aligned with the primal/paleo lifestyle. [00:16:54]
  • Running jars the brain. What type of aerobic activity is best? [00:18:11]
  • What about diet and how it affects neurogenesis? [00:20:47]
  • How important is the role of sleep on the brain? [00:23:50]
  • What about touch and how it stimulates neurogenesis? [00:27:34]
  • What happens in neurogenesis when we try a new experience? [00:30:48]
  • Positivity and optimism is very important. [00:36:53]
  • What about dominance and subordinate position? [00:34:04]
  • Feeling good in personal loving relationships is good for the brain. What does that look like? [00:41:14]
  • What about co-dependent and caretaker relationships? How do they differ? [00:44:00]
  • How does creativity come in to what they have been talking about? [00:48:39]

Selected Links:
Brant’s Website
Find Brant on Facebook
Follow Brant on Twitter

$50 Discount: Today’s show is brought to you by Casper. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting casper.com/primal and using the promo code PRIMAL at checkout.

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One thought on “Episode 137: Brant Cortright

  1. Input / Output

    I’m frankly confused now about how much aerobic exercise is needed to trigger neurogenesis, but not go into chronic cardio territory.
    Dr Cortright is recommending 3-4 times per week, 20-30-40 minutes each time.

    Do we need to go into a heart rate range to get into that aerobic threshold?
    For instance, the MAF 180- (your age) = your target heart-rate ???

    would that do it? Because, while I used to be a marathon runner in the 90’s, I now hate hate hate running.
    I will walk, hike, bike, bound on a rebounder, skip rope – anything but running.
    Look forward to anyone’s more precise insight or knowledge on a weekly schedule for cardio.

    ps, I do a variation of 5×5 lifting schedule as well as a Tabata session weekly.


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