Understanding Your Brain – Vol. 1/4
By: EFG Hermes Media
How much do you really know about yourself? Your actions, reactions, decisions, thoughts; are they really yours or are they driven by something else? Why is it that we sometimes judge things or people before even getting to know them? Why could a simple task sometimes take longer to execute than a fairly more complicated one? Why does our memory fail us many a time? Why do we perceive the world the way we do? The answer to all this, and probably to most questions that pertain to how we live our lives, results from our brains and how they work. The brain’s main executive purpose is to manage hundreds of inputs per second, categorize them, analyze them and calculate precise responses accordingly, most of the times without our conscious recognition of this.
The brain is made up of ‘nervous tissues” that are compressed tightly against each other. These tissues are composed of neurons that are constantly firing, forming the reality you live in. Animals are born with brains that are already ‘hardwired’ in ways that are compatible with their nature. Meaning, the way their brains are formed, allows them to adapt their physical composition only to the environment they live in and rarely anything else. Human beings however are different. We are born with brains that are ‘livewired’, meaning that we can accept any different input and learn in time to adapt to it. For this reason, most animals are born with the ability to live independently without their mothers, unlike humans who need constant supervision and provision of neural stimuluses as infants. This provides the human brain with an outstanding level of complexity that we are only scratching the surface of. Which is why we thought you might like to know a few key facts concerning the brain that might help you become more aware of why you do what you do.
The Silent Brain
When exploring the world, taking in all the information your surroundings – including people – have to offer, it is useful to understand that sometimes how you feel about what’s going on around you is not always your own conclusions. In turn you can understand why you have the perceptions you do. Information inflow goes through 2 systems in the brain, System 1 and System 2. System 1 deals with quick, first glance impressions. It causes you to react in impulsive ways after scanning and reading certain hidden, or consciously un-noticed stimuli. For example, studies have shown that when we see people with larger eyes or dilated pupils – we might not notice that but the brain does – we tend to find them more attractive. System 1 speaks fluent body language, reading people’s movements, behaviors and poses to give you a ready decision on how you feel about them. System 2 on the other hand requires more extensive analysis. When you start to consciously analyze and think about what’s going on, going through the variables you notice, this is when you start dealing with system 2. We spend most of our time in the non-conscious regions of our mind, with the conscious regions only arising when we need to make an executive decision or something surprising or unexpected comes to sight. Conscious thinking is actually the least of what we do, but since it is the only sort we are aware of, we tend to believe it is the majority.