Impulse, Emotions and Thinking
- Dinesh Bhattarai
- 594 words
- 3 min
Our life is mostly on autopilot, jumping into conclusions too soon, too often. Our mind always tries to save energy. In the pre-industrial era, that made sense. We can produce as much food as we can eat, why does our brain still try to reduce the energy consumption? The scarcity mindset is deep-wired in our mind to let go.
Critical thinking happens in the cerebrum, cerebellum acts as autopilot whereas limbic system sits between cerebrum and cerebellum and augments cerebellum to form the hind-brain, the primitive animal brain. Cerebrum is like a extra powerful GPU module that is attached to our primitive brain. Parts of the cerebrum is activated from its sleep only when it is required because cerebrum takes too much power to function. Hind-brain mostly uses its old best friends: instincts, impulses, memory, biases and behaviours which feed on your experience.
The Notorious Middleman and Emotional turmoil
The limbic system gives us emotions, behaviours, motivation and long-term memory. It also modifies the signals from the cerebrum according to its state. It works by influencing endocrine system and autonomous systems. As a result our whole body responds to emotional state of your mind. In a way, it acts as a filter that can mask the input to and from the cerebrum and hence influencing what and how we think and what we do. The limbic system has higher emotional processing systems and is connected directly to the parts of cerebrum and cerebellum. Emotions are our tools that we can't throw away, can't control properly and can control us completely.
Exploiting the Brain
An experienced mind has an efficient mind because cerebellum can both work in autopilot mode and produce correct result. Practice trains the brain to work automatically. Mullti-dimensional approach to learning is found to be better at retaining information. By participating the whole brain, the interactions between different parts of brain is found to have accelerated the learning process.
Training our limbic system is not quite easy but understanding how it works helps. When we realize that emotions are a set of chemical reactions occuring in our brain in response to some stimulus, we can identify the stimulus and modify our experience. Since the connections between the brain is two way street, we can change our emotional reactions by feeding the limbic system. Our thoughts, actions, etc can easily manipulate our emotions, behaviours and memory.
Our brain will not always be able to process all the information. We can use external tools and processes to reduce the load on the brain, clearing it up for higher level thinking. Taking notes can reduce burden on memory. Visualization can reduce burden on the spatial cortex. Proper handling of situations and emotions can reduce burden on limbic system by reducing stress and emotional turmoil.
The Case for Using More Energy (and brainpower)
Our brain requires extra energy to work actively. If all of us tried to work actively, our energy consumption will rise. But so will our collective intelligence. As such, we will be able to solve more problems. Many problems of the worlds will vanish or at least reduce if we started using our brain more actively. Frauds, scams, superstitions, etc will be reduced and will advance our civilization by decades, if not centuries. People will be able to understand global warming and greenhouse effect. People will understand the need for nuclear power to stop global warming. People will be able to understand all the perspective if they would open up their mind for other perspectives and possibilities.