H. A. Berlin

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Heather Berlin
Heather Berlin speaking at Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2014.jpg
Heather Berlin speaking at Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2014
Heather A. Berlin

Alma materUniversity of Oxford, Harvard University
Known forneural basis of consciousness, unconscious processing, creativity, impulsivity, compulsivity. Television series: Science Goes to the Movies, Discovery Channel television series: Superhuman Showdown
AwardsYoung Investigator Award American Neuropsychiatric Association, Clifford Yorke Prize International Neuropsychoanalysis Society
Scientific career
FieldsNeuroscience, Psychology, Science Communication
InstitutionsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine
ThesisImpulsivity, the orbitofrontal cortex and borderline personality disorder (2003)
Doctoral advisorsSusan Iverson, Edmund Rolls

Heather A. Berlin is an American neuroscientist noted for her work in science communication and outreach. Her research focuses on brain-behavior relationships affecting the prevention and treatment of impulsive and compulsive psychiatric disorders.[1] She is also interested in the neural basis of consciousness,[2] dynamic unconscious processes,[3] and creativity.[4] Dr. Berlin is host of the PBS series Science Goes to the Movies,[5] the international Discovery Channel series Superhuman Showdown,[6][7] and Startalk All-Stars with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.


Berlin received her doctorate in experimental psychology/neuropsychology from University of Oxford, Magdalen College and her Master of Public Health from Harvard University specializing in psychiatric epidemiology and health care management/policy.[8] Berlin earned her Master's in psychology from The New School for Social Research and Bachelor of Science from Stony Brook University.[9] Berlin was a National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow in psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai working on compulsive, impulsive, personality, and anxiety disorders.[1] She is married to the rapper and playwright Baba Brinkman. They have a daughter, born in November 2013, and a son, born in November 2016.[10]


Berlin has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Young Investigator Award from the American Neuropsychiatric Association, a Young Investigator Award from the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, and the Clifford Yorke Prize from the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society. She won the 2015 BBC2 Christmas University Challenge as part of the Magdalen College, Oxford team.


Berlin is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and a Visiting Scholar at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She trained in clinical neuropsychology at Weill Cornell Medicine in the Department of Neurological Surgery, and was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Vassar College, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Berlin's research has been published in American Journal of Psychiatry,[11] Journal of Personality Disorders, Psychiatry Research, Brain, and Scientific American[12] among others.

Passionate about science communication and promoting women in STEM, Berlin is a committee member of the National Academy of SciencesScience and Entertainment Exchange, the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Committee on Science and Technology Engagement with the Public (CoSTEP)[13], and The New York Times series TimesTalks.

She co-wrote and stars in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway and Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Off the Top, about the neuroscience of improvisation [14], and the new Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Impulse Control[15]. Berlin has made numerous media appearances including on the History Channel,[16] Netflix (Chelsea Does Drugs with Chelsea Handler),[17] BBC World Service,[18] StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson,[19][20][21][22] Big Think,[23][24] Bill Nye: Science Guy documentary film,[25][26] Curious Minds and One World with Deepak Chopra,[27][28] StoryCollider[29] and TEDx.[2][30]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Sinai Hospital".
  2. ^ a b "Heather Berlin TEDxYouth@KC talk".
  3. ^ "Heather Berlin Lucid NYC talk".
  4. ^ "Off the Top: The Neuroscience of Creativity". 92nd St Y.
  5. ^ "Science Goes to the Movies".
  6. ^ "Superhuman Showdown: Brain episode trailer".
  7. ^ "Superhuman Showdown Series trailer".
  8. ^ "People Behind the Science Podcast".
  9. ^ "Heather Berlin SUNY Stony Brook 40 Under Forty Honoree".
  10. ^ "Rap Scholar". Orlando Magazine.
  11. ^ Berlin, HA; Rolls, ET; Iversen, SD (2005). "Borderline personality disorder, impulsivity, and the orbitofrontal cortex". American Journal of Psychiatry. 162 (12): 2360–73. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.12.2360.
  12. ^ Berlin, HA; Koch, C. "Defense Mechanisms: Neuroscience Meets Psychoanalysis". Scientific American. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  13. ^ "AAAS Committee on Science and Technology Engagement with the Public (CoSTEP)".
  14. ^ "Off the Top, reviews".
  15. ^ "Impuse Control, Edinburgh Fringe Festival". EdFringe.
  16. ^ "Heather Berlin - IMDB".
  17. ^ "Chelsea Does Drugs trailer".
  18. ^ "BBC World Service: The Forum". BBC.
  19. ^ "StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 1)".
  20. ^ "StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 2)".
  21. ^ "StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 3)".
  22. ^ "StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson - The Science of the Mind".
  23. ^ "The Neuroscience of Genius, Creativity, and Improvisation, with Heather Berlin". Big Think.
  24. ^ "Bill Nye: Science Guy". IMDB.
  25. ^ "Bill Nye: Science Guy' Review". IndieWire.
  26. ^ "Heather Berlin & Dr. Deepak Chopra: The Neuroscience Of Consciousness". Curious Minds.
  27. ^ "Deepak Chopra interviews Heather Berlin". One World.
  28. ^ "Can a neuroscientist believe in life after death?". Story Collider.
  29. ^ "Heather Berlin TEDxAsburyPark talk".

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