Episode 42: How Do Our Brains Get Things Done? Part II − With Host Caroline Mandell

Brain Skills, Writing Skills – Dec 2021

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Episode 42: How Do Our Brains Get Things Done? Part II − With Host Caroline Mandell
Broadcast Date: December 9, 2021


Following an insightful and popular five-part series on “Judgment Writing School” welcoming some of the top experts in the field, legal communication and litigation consultant Caroline Mandell is back to take us to “Brain School.” In this new three-part series, renowned neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists will help us understand how our brains work. They will also give practical advice on the do’s and don’ts in order to truly benefit from and protect this most valued part of our bodies.

In this second episode, host Caroline Mandell is interviewing David Badre, professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University, located in Providence, Rhode Island. Together, they explain what cognitive control (also known as executive function) is and discuss its implications for judges – and all legal professionals – as knowledge workers engaged in high-stakes, non-routine tasks.

Previous Episode:
Episode #41: How Do Our Brains Process Information? Part I − With guest UNSW’s Emeritus Professor John Sweller

Next Episode:
Episode #43: How Do Our Brains Decide What to Pay Attention To? Part III − With guest Associate Professor Sophie Leroy (University of Washington Bothell, School of Business)


David Badre is Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University, where he is also on the faculty of the Carney Institute for Brain Science and is a trainer in the Neuroscience Graduate Program. He received his PhD from MIT in 2005 and did his postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley before joining Brown as faculty in 2008. His laboratory studies the neuroscience of cognitive control and executive function. Dr. Badre’s research has been recognized by several awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Neuroscience, a James S. McDonnell Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award. He is author of the book, On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done (November, 2020), about the neuroscience of cognitive control.


Caroline Mandell knows the Canadian justice system from all angles. She began her career developing justice policy at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. She then spent over a decade as counsel to the judges of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, working on complex appeals in every area of law. More recently, Caroline was an adjudicator with the Ontario Health Professions and Health Services Appeal and Review Boards.

Caroline is an expert in legal communication with particular interest in the cognitive psychology of information processing. She has taught decision-writing for the National Judicial Institute, the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators, and for individual administrative tribunals, courts, and judges. She is also a litigation consultant, helping litigators craft winning arguments in difficult cases. Caroline has taught Legal Research and Writing at the University of Toronto and is one of the most popular instructors in Osgoode Hall Law School’s professional LLM program.

Caroline has a JD and an MA from the University of Toronto and was called to the Ontario bar in 2005.

In All Fairness is a Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice podcast channel welcoming representatives from the legal community and exploring how we can all contribute to improving the administration of justice in Canada. Legal professionals will benefit from informed discussions on key issues, essential knowledge and insights to strengthen their practice.

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