Dr. Maya Shankar (cognitive scientist, Senior Advisor to Obama administration, host of Slight Change of Plans podcast) breaks down the role of language in cognition and why understanding human behavior makes a huge difference in informing government policy. She discusses her pivot from Juilliard violinist into neuroscience after suffering a permanent hand injury as a teenager, and how she created her own role in the White House. Mayim and Maya explain why "I" statements are the best way to communicate difficult emotions, the benefits of speaking to yourself in third person, and achieving positive lifestyle changes through a technique called "temptation bundling." Maya opens up about using her anxious thoughts to propel her to strive for positive change in the world, and the benefits of spending effective time in the past and future. Mayim addresses the notion of self-sabotage within a relationship in another installment of Ask Mayim Anything.
Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change. Maya is no stranger to change. “My whole childhood revolved around the violin, but that changed in a moment when I injured my hand playing a single note,” says Shankar, who was studying under Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School at the time. “I was forced to try and figure out who I was, and who I could be, without the violin." Maya soon discovered a new path in the field of cognitive science, where she earned her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar studying how and why we change