SF Presents

SF Presents: How Emotions Shape Our Memories

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium/2-GDFA (160 5th Avenue)

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium/2-GDFA

160 5th Avenue


Registration link:

Registration is required for this free, in-person event and will close one day before this event. 

Have you ever contemplated the difference between a feeling, a thought and a memory? And how do all these things fit together in making us who we are?

Leonard Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist and best-selling author. In his latest book, “Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking,” he unpacks the role emotions play in our thinking and mental well-being.

Kelsey Martin, director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and the foundation’s neuroscience collaborations, has spent much of her career as a neuroscientist seeking to understand better how experiences change brain connectivity to store long-term memories.

Come explore the inner workings of the mind as Mlodinow and Martin sit down to discuss how these phenomena shape our perception of the world and the way we exist within it.



Martin joined the Simons Foundation in September 2021 as director of SFARI and the Simons Foundation Neuroscience Collaborations. She previously served as dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), chair of the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry and professor in the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Her research addresses the cellular and molecular biology of long-term synaptic plasticity and memory, with a focus on experience-dependent regulation of gene expression in neurons. Her lab has discovered signaling molecules that travel from stimulated synapses to the nucleus to impact transcription. They have also elucidated functions for the translation of synaptically localized mRNAs during synapse formation and plasticity. As dean at UCLA, Martin established programs in precision health and computational medicine and developed a series of interdepartmental research initiatives spanning basic through clinical research.

Mlodinow received his physics Ph.D. from Berkeley and was on the faculty of Caltech. In addition to many pioneering academic research papers, he has written for The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalScientific American and numerous other publications. He authored two children’s books and 11 popular science books, including five bestsellers. His book, “Subliminal” won the 2013 PEN/Wilson award for best literary science book. “The Grand Design,” co-authored with Stephen Hawking, was made into a three-part documentary on the Discovery Channel. He has also written for network television, including “MacGyver” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

5:30 p.m. Doors open
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. In Conversation
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Reception

Inquiries: sfpresents@simonsfoundation.org