15 episodes

Neuroscience-based strategies for encouraging growth mindset, creativity, emotion regulation and resilience.

Mindset Neuroscience Podcast Stefanie Faye Frank

    • Education

Neuroscience-based strategies for encouraging growth mindset, creativity, emotion regulation and resilience.

    New Episode 1! Neuroscience of Growth Mindset

    New Episode 1! Neuroscience of Growth Mindset

    In this revised first episode, we'll look at why fixed mindset is 'neurologically inaccurate', how our experiences build brain architecture, and two types of neuroplasticity that can help us re-program our behaviors We'll also see how struggle and failure spark powerful and creative changes in the brain why celebrating 'grit' and effort can be a bad idea.

    One of the most important ideas that anyone can bring into any learning environment is to help people recognize their capacity to learn. Simply because they are human. Simply because of the architecture of the human brain, they are capable of developing new adaptations and flexible ways of achieving their goals. And that is really what intelligence and learning is all about.

    • 20 min
    New Episode 2! Psychological Safety, Resilience and the Vagus Nerve

    New Episode 2! Psychological Safety, Resilience and the Vagus Nerve

    "It's not merely that we can't be loving or creative when we're scared; we can't heal." -Stephen Porges

    In order for us to access our most evolved neural and behavioral resources, we must be in a state of physiological and psychological safety.

    We'll explore this idea through the lens of something called the the Polyvagal Theory and the Social Engagement System. 

    This highly evolved system has to do with the 10th cranial nerve called the Vagus Nerve. 

    As soon as we move into a state of vigilance or defensiveness, we have less access to this very evolved system. 

    Understanding the Social Engagement System and the Vagus Nerve can help us do three key things:

    1) regulate our own internal state,

    2) have a better understanding of what other peoples triggers are and how to help them

    regulate themselves; and

    3) create conditions that nurture the social engagement system and increase the chances that are more evolved systems can come online in a given moment. 

    • 30 min
    Why the future of Growth Mindset is in danger – MNT 002

    Why the future of Growth Mindset is in danger – MNT 002

    Growth mindset is at risk of being yet another hyped up buzz word that gets killed off by bad explanations, and lack of understanding of human behavior.

    Find out the three biggest mistakes that block people and organizations from building growth mindset, including outdated science, factory and punish/reward models, extreme points of views. Get science-based tips on how to build growth mindset within an organization or classroom.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    New Episode 3! The science most people keep using is wrong

    New Episode 3! The science most people keep using is wrong

    There's a lot of 'old science' out there. Stuff we humans used to believe that has been de-bunked.

    Things like...   'humans are more complex than other species, which means we have more genes.'

    Before the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, humans were estimated as having around 100,000 genes - more than any other species.

    Nope.  Turns out we only have between 20,000-25,000 genes.

    A tiny moss plant actually beats humans with 10,000 more genes than we do.  The sponge genome contains 18,000 genes, many of which are similar to people.

    In fact, humans and sponges share around 70 percent of their DNA.

    Previous generations simply did not have the same science and understanding of genes that we have now. They didn't know how much environment plays a role.

    "Genetic destiny" or determinism - the belief that we get what we get when we're born, and this will dictate the rest of our life... this is a belief that older generations had.   

    They were wrong.

    This includes our belief about the destiny of the brain. 

    In this episode, you'll find out the other two outdated systems most of us keep using that is holding us back from creating the change we hope to see.

    [Bonus: here's an extra science update that most people don't talk about:

    ALMOST ALL DINOSAURS were probably covered in feathers.

    The point?  We need to stay on our toes and make sure we don't keep passing on outdated thinking to the next generation :-) :-) ]

    • 16 min
    The science of psychological safety and resilience

    The science of psychological safety and resilience

    Psychological safety’ is a biological requirement for learning and creativity. Period.

    The Podcast Episode for this topic is here:

    Episode 2:  Psychological Safety, Resilience & the Vagus Nerve.

    Learning environments that emphasize psychological safety and relationship build better brains.

    Simply put, we CANNOT expect people to learn or be creative if they are in a state of defensiveness or vigilance.

    The way we’re wired is that we HAVE TO be in a state of physical and psychological safety in order for the higher order features of our brain to be accessible.

    The biomechanics of how adverse childhood experiences affect mind-brain-body and social dynamics

    We’ll also see is that every person is going to have different thresholds of what makes them feel safe or in danger… so we’re going to cover adverse childhood experiences and trauma and the actual biomechanics of what threatening and stressful environments and relationships do to us.

    I’ll also give some ideas on how we can cultivate the physiological state of safety in a learning or work environment in order to help people access more of the human features of the brain, and therefore more of their creativity, imagination and harmonious social behaviors

    Even if you are not directly dealing with children, students or people who have suffered trauma, abuse or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), there is a very high chance that simply because you are human, you’ll be dealing with someone who is dysregulated, and who has unconscious triggers due to their past experiences.


    Neuroception: a subconscious system for detecting threats and safety (Stephen Porges)

    The infant’s sixth sense: awareness and regulation of bodily processes

    Child Trauma Academy (Bruce Perry)

    Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute (Bessel Van Der Kolk)

    SevenSlideSeries: Threat Response Patterns (Bruce Perry video)

    • 36 min
    A Sense of Purpose – MNT 004

    A Sense of Purpose – MNT 004

    In this episode, we look at how neuroscience can help us develop a sense of 'Purpose':

    1) That people are mainly reacting to life unconsciously (not 'on purpose').  Understanding this helps us get to the root of our issues, instead of repeating our reactions over and over again.

    2) We can do more things 'on purpose':  by strengthening our prefrontal cortex, we can have more control over our reactions and behaviors.

    3) How to tune in to a sense of purpose - the feeling that we know why we are here and what we are 'meant to do'.

    Topics covered:

    - A neuroscience explanation of the concept of purpose.

    - Methods and rituals we can use to have more control over our behavior and impulses.

    - Executive functioning skills.

    - Mindfulness and meditation.

    - Why we numb and distract ourselves, being uncomfortable to sit and go into our own thoughts.

    - Importance of expressing our uniqueness in a way that has value.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

Morgane from Canada ,

Science + Practical Tips

Stefanie is incredibly knowledgeable In the field of neuroscience, mindset, and applying best practice to teaching methodology. This podcast is a treasure trove of important information essential for learning and teaching. It’s hard not to feel inspired after listening!

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