Welcome to the Brain for Business, Brain for Life Podcast

The Brain for Business, Brain for Life podcast takes the lessons from evidence-based academic research in the brain and behavioural sciences – neuroscience, psychology, behavioural economics and more – and brings them to life for a business and organisational audience.

Over the series we will speak to a range of neuroscientists, psychologists, behavioural economists, researchers and organisational practitioners, and look at some of the key aspects of human behaviour relevant to business and management practice.  In so doing, we will seek to understand not just the what but also the how and the why – and how it can be done differently

Our overall goal? To build a bridge from research into the brain and behavioural sciences to practical, everyday insights and to help leaders at all levels within organisations enhance their effectiveness and the effectiveness by providing timely and relevant insights.

For regular updates follow us on Twitter – @brainforbiz

Episode 1: Are cognitive bias, learning and leadership a natural fit?


In this episode I speak to neuroscientist Professor Shane O’Mara of Trinity College Dublin and look at some of key issues related to cognitive bias, learning and organisations.

Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research (Personal Chair) at Trinity College, Dublin – the University of Dublin. He is a Principal Investigator in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and is also a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator. His research explores the brain systems supporting learning, memory, and cognition, and also the brain systems affected by stress and depression, and he has published more than 140 peer-reviewed papers in these areas.

Professor O’Mara is a graduate of the National University of Ireland – Galway, and of the University of Oxford (DPhil). He is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (USA), and an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Professor O’Mara’s new book is  ‘In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration’ (WW Norton, 2020). He loves to walk wherever and whenever he can, with walking in cities a firm favourite. He particularly wants to see urban design incorporate ease of walking and movement for all into our daily lives.




In this episode we are joined by Anna Connolly, management consultant and Chair of the Psychological Society of  Ireland’s Division of Work & Organisation Psychology  and ask: what really is the big deal with “evidence-based management”?

Anna Connolly is a Chartered Work and Organisational Psychologist and founder of Work Frontiers, a Business Psychology consultancy. Work Frontiers applies the science of human behaviour to help people thrive in the workplace. Anna uses coaching, learning solutions, and organisational design to improve team performance, develop leaders and  facilitate change. Anna has 13 years management experience in the ICT industry with Ericsson and is the current Chair of the Division of Work and Organisational Psychology in Ireland.

Anna can be contacted at: anna@workfrontiers.ie





In this episode we are joined by psychologist Dr Zoe Walkington to consider whether we – as humans – find stories more convincing, and if so why this might be the case.  Along the way, Zoe shares insights into the power of Harry Potter and the joys of  reading novels, and even lets us in on her secret crush!

Dr Zoë Walkington is Senior Lecturer in School of Psychology and Counselling and Deputy Director for Learning in the Centre for Policing Research and Learning, both at The Open University.

One of Zoe’s key areas of research interest is stories or narratives, and there are two main strands to this research. First, in terms of the impacts that reading can have on individuals psychologically (for example, how reading initiatives can help with the development of empathy). Second, how story can be used to ‘create’ or inform individuals identity.

Beyond that, much of Zoe’s work focuses on Forensic Psychology and related areas and she regularly provides training to detectives on the psychology of suspect interviewing.

Our theme song, La La La song (Electronic beat time and dream sequence) by Lorenzo’s Music is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike License.