Tali Sharot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tali Sharot
Tali Sharot in 2010.
NationalityIsraeli, American, British
Alma materNew York University, Tel Aviv University
OccupationProfessor of cognitive neuroscience
EmployerUniversity College London
Josh McDermott
(m. 2013)

Tali Sharot is an Israeli/British/American neuroscientist and professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London and MIT. Sharot began studying at Tel Aviv University, receiving a B.A. in economics in 1999, and an M.A. in psychology from New York University in 2002. She received her Ph.D in psychology and neuroscience from New York University.[1] Sharot is known for her research on the neural basis of emotion, decision making and optimism.[2] Sharot hopes to better understand these processes to enhance overall well-being.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

Tali Sharot grew up in Israel with an English father and an Israeli mother. In school, she was taught in Hebrew, but spoke both English and Hebrew at home. After attending Tel Aviv University, she attended New York University to pursue her master's degree and PhD in psychology.[4] While in New York, Sharot witnessed the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. Sharot decided to focus her research on how emotion affects memory. A few years after the attacks, she and fellow researchers interviewed 22 New Yorkers who had been present on the island of Manhattan during the event.[5]

Scientific contributions[edit]

Sharot is especially known for her discovery of the neural underpinnings of human optimism,[6] work that has been published in numerous eminent journals.[7][8] In her books The Optimism Bias[9] and The Science of Optimism, she describes the evolutionary benefits of unrealistic optimism along with its dangers.[10] Richard Stengel has written in a Time editorial that Sharot's work gives us a better grip on how we function in reality.[11] The implications of Sharot's discoveries for health,[12] finance,[13] cyber security,[14] policy and more have been extensively covered by the media and she is often featured on radio,[15][16] TV[17][18][19] and in the written press.[2][20][12] In 2017 her book The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others was published highlighting the critical role of emotion in influence and the weakness of data.[21] It was selected as a Best Book of 2017 by Forbes, The Times UK, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Greater Good Magazine, Inc., Stanford Business School among others.[22] Sharot was one of the presenters on the Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, who also introduced her on stage at The Royal Albert Hall's Imagining the future of Medicine in 2014.[23] She was a speaker at TED2012.[24]

Affective Brain Lab[edit]

Directed by Tali Sharot, the Affective Brain Lab is a neuroscience and psychology based lab that studies the experience of emotion on normal cognitive function and its causative effects in regards to common mental disorders. The lab combines neural imaging techniques, pharmacological manipulation, and genetic principles to perform experiments on human behavior and neurological mechanisms.[25] Real world application of this lab's research aims to combat the detrimental effects of brain dysfunction.[26]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Sharot received prestigious fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, the Forum of European Philosophy and the British Academy. She won the British Psychological Society Book award for 2014 (for The Optimism Bias) and 2018 (for The Influential Mind).[27][28] She has been described as "one of the top female scientists in her country"[1] listed as one of the 15 exemplary female Israeli-born scientists alive.[29] Her two TED talks have been viewed a total of 15 million times.[30][31]

Hope isn’t rational, so why are humans wired for it?[32]

— Tali Sharot


  1. ^ a b "Tali Sharot". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  2. ^ a b Cadwalladr, Carole (2012-01-01). "The optimism bias: reasons to be cheerful". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  3. ^ "Tali Sharot". Jewish Virtual Library.
  4. ^ Sutherland, Amy (2011-06-19). "A neuroscientist who favors familiar places". boston.com. Boston Globe.
  5. ^ Hunter, Jennifer (8 July 2011). "Cheer up, you're really an optimist". The Star.
  6. ^ Chan, Amanda (2011-10-11). "Brain Imaging Reveals Why Optimists Are The Way They Are". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  7. ^ Gallagher, James (2011-10-09). "Brain 'rejects negative thoughts'". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  8. ^ "Mind chemical 'controls choice'". BBC. 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  9. ^ Sharot, Tali. The optimism bias: A tour of the irrationally positive brain. Random House LLC, 2011.
  10. ^ "Look on the bright side: A Q&A with TED ebook author Tali Sharot on our biological wiring for optimism". TED Blog. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  11. ^ Stengel, Richard (2011-06-06). "Illusions and Reality". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  12. ^ a b Liat Clark (29 April 2014). "Positivity not scaremongering could help you lose weight (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  13. ^ Ciccone, Stephen J. (2013-01-18). "Check the Calendar Before You Buy that Stock!". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  14. ^ Shah, Sonali (March 2014). "Cyber Security Risk: Perception vs. Reality in Corporate America". Wired. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  15. ^ Vedantam, Shankar (2013-03-04). "Your Child's Fat, Mine's Fine: Rose-Colored Glasses And The Obesity Epidemic". npr.org. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  16. ^ "TS Eliot Poetry Prize, Coriolanus, Film Funding, Tali Sharot, Night Waves - BBC Radio 3". BBC. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  17. ^ "Out of Control?, 2011-2012, Horizon - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  18. ^ "Reality Check: Is Our Universe Real?". Live Science. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  19. ^ "Redes para la Ciencia » Tali Sharot". www.redesparalaciencia.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  20. ^ Hunter, Jennifer (2011-07-08). "Cheer up, you're really an optimist". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  21. ^ Sharot, Tali. The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. Henry Holt LLC, 2017.
  22. ^ The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. Henry Holt and Co. 19 September 2017. ISBN 978-1627792653.
  23. ^ "Imagine the future of medicine with funnyman Dara O'Briain". Time Out Blog. 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  24. ^ Walters, Helen (2012-03-01). "Thinking about the optimism bias: Tali Sharot at TED2012". TEDBlog. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  25. ^ "About". affectivebrain.com. UCL.
  26. ^ "Tali Sharot". Jewish Virtual Library. AICE. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Book Award | BPS". www.bps.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  28. ^ "Two books honoured in British Psychological Society Awards". The British Psychological Society. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  29. ^ Snider, Lisa. "Women in Israel: In Science & Technology". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  30. ^ Sharot, Tali (14 May 2012), The optimism bias, retrieved 2016-08-01
  31. ^ Sharot, Tali, How to motivate yourself to change your behavior, retrieved 2020-07-03
  32. ^ "Tali Sharot". Tali Sharot, Speaker, TED. TED.

External links[edit]