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I explain the brain

Complex neuroscience.
Made simple.
For professionals.

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Hi, I’m Dr Sarah McKay

I’m an Oxford University-educated neuroscientist, author, speaker and director of Think Brain's suite of online professional training programs in brain health and applied neuroscience. 

My first book, The Women's Brain Book: The Neuroscience of Health, Hormones and Happiness was published in 2018.

My second book, Baby Brain: The Surprising Neuroscience of How Pregnancy and Motherhood Sculpt Our Brains and Change Our Minds (for the better) was published in April 2023.

My third book Brain Health For Dummies will be published by the iconic yellow and black brand in 2025.

Here’s how you can work with me.

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c. Baby Brain: The surprising neuroscience of how pregnancy and motherhood sculpt our brains and change our minds (for the better)

Around 85% of women become mothers. And most agree that pregnancy and parenthood profoundly change us physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually.

Neuroscientists now believe becoming a mother (a process called matrescence) is a significant neurological transition.

Sadly, mothers’ minds and brains are mainly absent from popular pregnancy books and social media posts... unless that is, there’s a discussion about what could go badly wrong:  baby blues, postnatal depression or ditzy ‘baby brain’. It’s as if mothers should expect to lose their minds.

In this book you'll learn the upside of pregnancy and parenting on your brain, and about the new neurobiology of 'mumnesia', nesting, maternal instinct, empathy, attachment, social support, anxiety and sleep.

Baby Brain will change your mind about baby brain!

d. Speaking & Workshops

I regularly present to organisations and businesses such as TikTok, EY, Vogue, Legal Innovation and Tech Fest, and SMG Coaching on the neurobiology of uncertainty, trust, rapport and the practical application of neuroscience within leadership and HR. 

I have a particular interest in women's brain health and how the brain changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. 

For professional audiences, I distil neuroscience and health psychology into practical tools and strategies for use in the clinic, classroom or corporation.

For a general audience, I distil brain science, connect dots between ideas, and translate my findings into straightforward, relevant, and engaging stories.

I'm happy to work with you to create a bespoke talk, workshop or Q&A session, face-to-face or virtually, based on your audience and requirements.

“I have known Sarah since we were graduate students. She was always an extremely sharp thinker about science; she liked to challenge things but with an openness to possibility. It's hard to maintain sharp-edged curiosity without becoming cynical. Sarah did that as a graduate student, and she does that now.”

Professor Andrew Huberman, Huberman Lab Podcast.
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e. Free Micro Training in Neuroscience.

For those of you too busy for extensive (and expensive) training programs.

This free micro-training in applied neuroscience is quick, entertaining, and immediately applicable.

Over ten tiny email-based lessons, you’ll explore the following neuroscience concepts:

  • The interplay between emotions and thinking
  • The importance of social connection and therapeutic relationships
  • Creating and breaking habits
  • Neuroplasticity and behaviour change in adulthood
  • Using visualisation to master skills and emotions
  • Effective goal-setting, even when you're burned out.

Quickly upskill in neuroscience.

Maximum impact with minimal time investment!

Dr. McKay is a vivacious and entertaining guide into the fascinating world of brain science.

- John Mekrut, The Balanced Brain.

f. The Women's Brain Book:

The Neuroscience of Health, Hormones and Happiness

As women, understanding how your brain is sculpted by many factors — including genes and hormones, life experiences, society and culture, thoughts, feelings, and personal beliefs — is key to better health and well-being.

The story begins in the womb and takes a fascinating, informative, and truly eye-opening journey through infancy and girlhood, puberty and the menstrual cycle, the teenage years, mental health, pregnancy and motherhood, menopause, and finally, into old age.

Learn exactly what happens inside your brain and body as you move through all of the important phases of your lives and the unique — and often misunderstood — effects of female biology and hormones.

2nd edition due 2025!

Due to the rapid pace (it was a long time coming!) of women's brain health research, a comprehensive updated 2nd edition of The Women's Brain Book will be released in 2025.

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g. Sarah's TEDx talk: Neurobiology of Afternoon Naps.

over 31,000 views

h. View Sarah's ABC Catalyst TV documentary Living Longer: Brain. 

Dr Sarah McKay is one of Australia’s most well-known brain science commentators and authors. 

She’s been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Grazia, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and Body & Soul, and has been featured on SBS Insight, ABC Radio National, Radio National, ABC Catalyst, and Channel 7. 

Sarah is well-known for taking complex scientific concepts and conveying them in an informative, relevant, and entertaining way.

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download your brain health checklist

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The 9 Habits of Highly Healthy Brains

Backed by neuroscience. Tested by neuroscientists.