Reframe & Reset Your Career Podcast

Episode 45. Neuroscience Insights Into Interoception, Decision Making And Career Success – Professor Sarah Garfinkel

What is interoception and can gut feeling impact decision making? Professor Sarah Garfinkel, who leads the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, and I discussed this and so much more on Episode 45 of the Reframe & Reset Your Career podcast.

In this episode, we will learn about:

Why she chose to study psychology at university rather than art,

How she had a lucky break when she was offered a place to study for a PhD,

How dyslexia helps her to think differently and come up with creative and novel solutions,

Interoception and whether it is possible to develop it,

How emotion and gut feelings impact decision making,

Her work on a trading floor study which looking at the connection between trader’s profitability and their interoceptive ability,

Managing stress before a high pressure situation like an interview or a big presentation,

How practicing beforehand and replicating difficult scenarios may help to manage pressurised situations,

Insights into the creative process,

How Sarah uses a collaborative style of leadership and it is possible for leaders to be kind but firm, and 

Using power and influence to encourage and support research efforts.

Sarah completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, before undergoing a fellowship in Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan.

At the Brighton and Sussex Medical School she underwent further training in autonomic neuroscience before transitioning to UCL in September 2020. Her current work focuses on brain-body interactions underlying emotion and cognition in clinical groups, with a particular focus on the heart. 

In 2018, Sarah was selected as one of 11 researchers on the international Nature Rising Stars Index across all STEM disciplines, and in 2021 she was awarded the ‘mid-career’ award for the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience. 

Sarah told me: “Internal signals can also influence decision making and I think there is space for both approaches. Sometimes our feelings can not necessarily align with what the right thing is to do and there are definitely situations where we need to make the hard decisions … there’s space for that rational thing where you know why you’re feeling what you’re feeling and choose to override it however I think there’s also the reverse scenario where actually paying attention to these bodily signals can also be extra informative”.


Resources & People Mentioned

Richard Diebenkorn

William James

Daniel Kahneman

Antonio Damasio

Tim Dalgleish

Barnaby Dunn

Pablo Picasso

Vincent Walsh

Hugo Critchley

Mahinda Yogarajah


Contact Sarah



Reframe & Reset Your Career Resources & Contact Info

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Thank you for your continued support of Reframe & Reset Your Career, I do appreciate it. I will be taking Christmas off from the podcast but have already recorded the next episode, which will be released on Weds 4th January. The guest is Sophie Wade, an authority on Future of Work issues and author of Empathy Works, and we had such a fun conversation talking about her career, the new world of work and even touching on our mutual love of The Princess Bride!

It would be great to hear from you, the listeners, and your thoughts about the podcast, YouTube channel or anything else, it’s always a pleasure to hear your views. I have had some great reviews but not had any way of responding. Thanks again for your support and wishing you the best for the holidays and a happy 2023!


*Reframe & Reset Your Career, including any comments made by the host and guests, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any description, including but not restricted to financial, legal, investing or medical advice.*

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