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
Born New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Neuroscience, Psychology, Science Communication
Institutions Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Alma mater University of Oxford, Harvard University
Thesis Impulsivity, the orbitofrontal cortex and borderline personality disorder (2003)
Doctoral advisors Susan Iverson, Edmund Rolls
Known for neural basis of consciousness, unconscious processing, creativity, impulsivity, compulsivity. Television series: Science Goes to the Movies, Discovery Channel television series: Superhuman Showdown
Notable awards Young Investigator Award American Neuropsychiatric Association, Phillip M. Rennick Award International Neuropsychological Society, Clifford Yorke Prize International Neuropsychoanalysis Society

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] and of the international Discovery Channel series Superhuman Showdown.[6][7]


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 SUNY Stony Brook.[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, Hannah Skye, born in November 2013, and a son, Dylan Alexander, 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, the International Neuropsychological Society Phillip M. Rennick Award, 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 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 such scientific journals as the American Journal of Psychiatry,[11] Journal of Personality Disorders, Psychiatry Research, Brain, and Scientific American[12] among others.

She is a committee member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, and co-host of the critically acclaimed science comedy show Off the Top performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014 and 2015.[13] Berlin has made numerous media appearances including on the History Channel, BBC World Service,[14] StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson,[15][16][17][18] Big Think,[19][20] Bill Nye: Science Guy,[21][22] Curious Minds and One World with Deepak Chopra,[23][24] StoryCollider[25] and TEDx.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Sinai Hospital". 
  2. ^ a b "Heather Berlin TEDx 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. ^ "Off the Top, reviews". 
  14. ^ "BBC World Service: The Forum". BBC. 
  15. ^ "StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 1)". 
  16. ^ "StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 2)". 
  17. ^ "StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 3)". 
  18. ^ "StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson - The Science of the Mind". 
  19. ^ "The Neuroscience of Genius, Creativity, and Improvisation, with Heather Berlin". Big Think. 
  20. ^ "Bill Nye: Science Guy". IMDB. 
  21. ^ "Bill Nye: Science Guy’ Review". IndieWire. 
  22. ^ "Heather Berlin & Dr. Deepak Chopra: The Neuroscience Of Consciousness". Curious Minds. 
  23. ^ "Deepak Chopra interviews Heather Berlin". One World. 
  24. ^ "Can a neuroscientist believe in life after death?". Story Collider. 

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