Demystifying The Mitochondria

Guest Name and Bio:
Dr. David Geary

Dr. David C. Geary is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program. His work spans a broad range of topics from children’s mathematical cognition and development to the evolution of sex differences. He’s written four sole authored books, Children’s Mathematical Development (1994), Male, Female (1998, 3nd edition release August, 2020), Origin of Mind (2005), and Evolution of Vulnerability (2015), one co-authored book, Sex Differences (2008), and co-edited a five-volume series on Mathematical Cognition and Learning. In addition, he has published about 325 journal articles and chapters and has had extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for his empirical research. He served on the President’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel from 2006 to 2008 and chaired the learning processes task group, and was appointed by President G. W. Bush to the National Board of Advisors for the Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (2007 to 2010).

His current sex differences work is focused on sex-specific deficits associated with chronic exposure to stressors, using Darwin’s sexual selection and the evolution of condition-dependent traits. These traits, such as the peacock’s tail, have been exaggerated over evolutionary time based on competition for mates and mate choices. Condition-dependence means that they are the first to deteriorate when exposed to stressors, such as poor nutrition, chronic disease, and toxins. At the most fundamental level, condition-dependent expression of these traits might be dependent on the efficiency of mitochondrial energy production.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • What are mitochondria, where do they come from, and why are they important to health
  • What are some of the things we can do to optimize mitochondrial health
  • The link between cognition and mitochondrial health
  • The link between aging and mitochondrial health
  • How to reduce oxidative stress in order to improve your longevity

How to learn more about our guest:
Psychology Today Blog
NIH Medical Abstract

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