Optimizing Your Cognition - with Dr. Art Markman

Optimizing Your Cognition – with Dr. Art Markman

Guest Introduction:

Dr. Art Markman is a cognitive scientist, author, and blogger. He is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, and is the Founding Director of the Human Dimensions of Organizations. Art is the co-host of the public radio podcast, Two Guys on Your Head, for KUT Radio in Austin. He has also authored/co-authored several books, including “Smart Thinking,” “Smart Change,” and “Habits of Leadership.”

Interview Summary:

In this interview, Art begins by talking about the two components of the motivational system. He explains why the go system is much more efficient than the stop system, and offers strategies to leverage the go system and increase our chances of achieving our goals. Art also describes how this process works in the brain, and how the functions of the outer and inner brain structures differ. He goes on to discuss why mindfulness helps us overcome rumination.

Next, Art walks us through the process of reprogramming our brains and developing new habits. Chris talks about how our habits become anchored to relationships. Art then discusses how our communication patterns are laid down early in life. He offers insights on how to break out of old communication patterns and become more open and honest in order to build new trusting relationships. Chris also gives some examples of how he’s become more open and honest in recent relationships.

Art references his book “Smart Thinking,” and expands on the connection between learning and creativity. Chris and Art share examples of new skills they’ve learned and how they’ve impacted other areas of their lives. Art also offers some quick insights for developing habits for long-term wellness and getting out of a rut. Chris describes how having a diverse set of experiences gives him greater diversity of thought. Art then discusses how this process works in the brain, and explains how we draw from our knowledge and our environment.

Finally, Art expands on the relationship between the mind and the body. He talks about how sleep, social interaction, and stress affect our brain health, and offers tips for optimizing these aspects of our lives. Chris describes how we end up dreaming about unresolved issues. Art then goes into more detail on what the brain does during the different stages of sleep. He leaves us with some insights and advice on using language to our advantage, living a life free of regret, and overcoming fear.

Find out more about Dr. Markman:

The Craft of Charisma Podcast is also available at:


Mike is the Producer for the Craft of Charisma Podcast.


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