Rubin Museum of Art

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Brainwave: Mind Over Matter

If you are only now catching up with Brainwave, or you want to revisit some of the best of the last seven years, this ten-episode DVD is available at the museum’s Shop or online at


What happens in our brains when we attempt to overcome adversity, survive tests of endurance and stay focused under pressure? This is the subject of the seventh annual Brainwave, a series of on-stage conversations, films and experiences.


Brainwave programs tend to sell out, so advance purchase is strongly recommended.  To receive updates, join the Brainwave mailing list: sign up here.

Leading Sponsor

MetLife Foundation


Recent Events

TALK | Monday, January 6, 7:00 p.m.
The Performance Artist
Isabella Rossellini + cognitive scientist Diana Reiss

TALK | Saturday, January 11, 6:00 p.m.
The Cellist
Cellist Maya Beiser + cognitive psychologist Jamshed Bharucha

TALK | Friday, January 24, 7:00 p.m.
The Ballet Dancer 
Wendy Whelan + neuropsychologist Mark Solms

TALK | Saturday, January 25, 7:30 p.m.
The Social Worker for the Blind 
Sabriye Tenberken, with writer Rosemary Mahoney + neuropsychologist Sabine Kastner

TALK | Friday, January 31, 7:00 p.m.
The Basketball Champion
Walt Frazier + neuroscientist Paul Glimcher

TALK | Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 p.m.
The Photographer 
Frédéric Lagrange + cognitive scientist John J. Sakon

TALK | Saturday, February 8, 3:00 p.m.
The Monk 
The Venerable Metteyya + neurosurgeon Philip Stieg

TALK | Saturday, February 8, 6:00 p.m.
The Actor

Giancarlo Esposito + neuroscientist Moran Cerf

TALK | Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.
The TM Teacher
Bob Roth + experimental psychologist Barry Cohen

TALK | Wednesday, February 19, 7:00 p.m.
The Zen Teacher

Shinge Roko Sherry Chayat Roshi + neuroscientist Brent A. Field

TALK | Friday, February 21, 7:00 p.m.
The Teacher 
His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang + neuroscientist Zoran Josipovic

TALK | Saturday, March 1, 6:00 p.m.
The Astronaut 
Scott Parazynski + psychologist Tracy Dennis

TALK | Monday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.
The Mogul
Russell Simmons + cognitive neuroscientist David Vago

TALK | Wednesday, March 5, 7:00 p.m.
The Activist 
Zainab Salbi + neuroscientist Dean Haycock

TALK | Saturday, March 8, 6:00 p.m.
The Philosopher 
Rebecca Goldstein + neuroscientist Antonio Damasio

TALK | Wednesday, March 12, 7:00 p.m.
The Face Transplant Surgeon 
Eduardo Rodriguez + neuroscientist Timothy Buschman

TALK | Sunday, March 16, 3:00 p.m.
The Poker Player 
Vanessa Selbst + psychologist John D. Mayer

TALK | Friday, April 11, 7:00 p.m.
The Yoga Teacher
Elena Brower + Kenneth Perrine

TALK | Friday, April 25, 7:00 p.m.
The Math Genius 
Jason Padgett + neuroscientist Heather Berlin

TALK | Friday, May 2, 7:00 p.m.
The Congressman
Tim Ryan + cognitive scientist Emma Seppala



Past Conversations

Neurologist Demetrios Kapagiannis asks Karma Trinlay Rinpoche the hard questions about consciousness, enlightenment and rebirth in last year’s series on Ignorance.

In Memoriam

Lou Reed took part in the very first Brainwave in 2008 in which he talked about composing, meditation and tai chi. Here is a video of highlights of that session.