­­­­­­­­­­Join us on Saturday, May 1 at 7 p.m. for a meeting of the WUUC Nonfiction Book Club, hosted by Alaine Davis and Lindsay Rogers. We will discuss “How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain” by Lisa Feldman Barrett.

Depending on what the world looks like then, we may meet on Zoom or in person. RSVP to Alaine, alaine.davis@yahoo.com

The internal battle between emotion and reason is one of the great narratives of Western civilization. It helps define [us] as human.-Lisa Feldman Barrett, Ph.D.

Lisa Feldman Barrett says we need to revamp our thinking on emotions. She’s a professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, where she applies psychology and neuroscience research to explore how emotions arise in the brain.

In her book How Emotions are Made, she challenges the classical view, which holds that emotions are hard-wired into our brains and generated automatically by distinct regions, making them universally recognizable across all humans. Feldman Barrett argues instead for a more holistic view: the theory of constructed emotion, which she coined. With it, she explores the evidence that emotions are instead created spontaneously, by several brain regions in tandem, and shaped by factors like an individual’s previous experiences.


Four times a year, the WUUC Book Discussion Group gathers to read and talk about a nonfiction book. You only attend the meetings about books that interest you, so we end up with a different group of participants every time. We meet to connect and talk about a book in depth. Anyone is welcome to suggest a book and/or lead a discussion. Contact Alaine to RSVP, suggest a book, or offer to host a future discussion.