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#48 How Ann Zuccardy became an accidental neuroscientist

This week I am joined on another episode of Getting Goosepumps by Ann Zuccardy, and what an episode it is. Ann a former writer who suffered from a brain injury has since become, what she explains to be, an accidental neuroscientist. 4 years following her injury Ann has learned that the majority of new information she was discovering about her brain, is in fact backed up by science, hence the accidental title of a neuroscientist.  

How Ann’s brain injury made her smarter

Since Anne’s injury in 2011 she has since been redefining what makes somebody ‘smart’. Ann enlightens us into less conventional ways of determining how smart somebody is. She explains how she was once measured on things like her school grades, her job, and the amount of money in her check-book. Today she measures her level of smartness on inventing new ways to do old tasks, her ability to be creative and learn through curiosity.

Ann explains due to her injury, she has no other choice, nor physical capacity, but to be present in everything she engages in. Her ability to only focus on one task at a time has taught her that more people should practice this. Listening to people without thinking of an agenda of what to say next is something Ann can’t do, however this is something she would encourage more people anyway to do too.

Telling stories with humour makes a more memorable experience

Ann talks of her The Safe/Unsafe Ted-ex Talk and how embracing your ‘inner-dork’ is something she preaches and encourages. Stepping out of your comfort zone every day and doing so with a child’s mind like Tom Hanks in BIG is a way of exposing our brains to novelty it needs to grow. Finding levity in a serious moment and creating stories create memories, something Ann encourages and wills us to do more.

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