Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Right Stuff

A person who is right brained is said to be more creative, intuitive, thoughtful and subjective. An amusing concept for an artist or writer, who like me, enjoy making claims to the right brain, or the mathematicians and scientists - likened to Spock, as the unemotional logical left brainers.

Uncovering the theory behind right brained-left brained observations is not just all pop psychology though, and stems from real research through the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. It's interesting but I also find Sperry's research somewhat eerie, since he made his discoveries by cutting the corpus callosum (the structure that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) for epileptic patients. This helped reduced or eliminate seizures, but the patients experienced some serious post-surgical communication problems. These "split brained" people were unable to name objects that were processed by the right side of the brain, but could name objects that were processed by the left-side. As a result Sperry deduced language was controlled by the left side but most current day research will tell you that our minds are strongest when both halves work together. And speaking of brains could alpha waves be flowing through my head as I remain in my wakeful state, writing my blog about the right stuff, or should we say it has to do with gray matter? Thats a little bit of a "gray" area but it seems to be linked to intellectual ability and intelligence.

Lets not forget the reason we are drawn to such subjects in the first place is the human brain is one of the greatest mysteries in the known universe. In fact the brain contains more connections than there are stars in our entire galaxy. Which is why of course this blog is not actually about the universe today...or is it? The latest answers to the mysteries of the universe might be locked inside our own consciousness. There is a new birth of evidence that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe. It is consciousness that creates the material universe, and not the other way around.

But getting back to the brain, research has shown that when someone in love is placed under an fMRI and shown a picture of someone he/or she loves, deep areas of the brain light up.  One of the deep centers of the brain thought to contain the secrets as to why we feel love is known as the nucleus accumbens. This is where the pathways of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin & vasporessin - the neurotransmitters thought to be involved with love - converge.

This is actually a deeper and older part of the brain under the thinking or neocortex section. Underneath that, well, you'll find something even older known as the Reptilian brain. The term reptilian is instinctive part of the brain that is shared by all reptiles, and mammals, including us. This is our most primitive region, an old and powerful area that without, we could not survive. This is where the attack or hide response function stems from, aggression, anger, fear, revenge, tribalism and reproduction. Survival is the biggest job of our brain and this area protects ourselves from threats. In some ways you could say this is a dismal reality, and we are nothing more than animals but we are much more than that, and think beyond our own self survival. Needless to say all vertebrates mate with their own kind because they have an instinctive urge to duplicate themselves and so do we, as we chose mates with desirable characteristics - or invent intelligent A.I. - but I'll get back to you on that one another time when my Alpha waves are flowing.