The emotional life of the brain, by Richard J.Davidson and Sharon Begley

The Neuropsychologist and scientist Richard J. Davidson, Professor of psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, and Sharon Begley writer explained in his book The emotional life of the brain how the chemistry of the brain affects the way of thinking, feeling, and living, and how changing your style of thinking change your neural circuits. By Koncha pines-Pey for space MIMIND.


New studies using neuroimaging techniques have challenged conventional notions about the role of the brain in relation to emotions. Davidson It has identified different emotional styles and how they are related to patterns of brain activity. In this new book, Davidson and Begley argue that We can train our brain so we can be stronger, less negative and possibly happier.

Neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson years has been fascinated by the reactions that people have in different periods of his life. From it we have failed to learn that some people recover from a traumatic event while others are simply destroyed forever. Why some see a sunny day and others just a cloudy day? That's what I try to explain in this book.

Davidson tells us that for years the scientists interested in the study of the brain focused on thinking, reasoning, and the classic trial. Very few were investigated in areas such as trauma or emotions. These studies were like the bastards sons of science.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has played a large role in the way of thinking and behaving, because it involves teaching people to think differently about the causes of their behavior. Say, for example, that we do the work that we wanted to. Instead attributed it to fault or negligence, we learn to reinterpret it, adopting a different perspective. Changing thinking we change behavior.

Emotional BrainThe book speaks of six emotional styles, What are those that govern the way in which our mind responds to events. "Before we gave you is very important to genetics; "now we have seen that a person trained in contemplative practices can change his mind, and therefore their load of DNA". To achieve this, the recipe is clearly "meditate".

If we can be aware of the emotional style that operates in our minds, are our autopilots, our reactions, it is possible that the next time "before reacting" we operate in a different way. This is simply "operate with self-awareness, being in tune with the emotional, with signals that the body is sending us".

There are many individuals who are capable of modulating their emotional behaviour according to the context in which they inhabit. For example, in the case of soldiers who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder and are unable to calibrate their behavior in a different environment, because they are still in the same place always (entering alert simply by listening to the neighbouring alarm siren).

Resistance and resilience

People who honestly see their character traits and reactions can discover with clarity where are their resistance levels and train for a resilient change. Now we are able to show that the emotional styles are not stable, non-permanent, have self-existence because the brain is not a rigid structure. The field of neuroscience research and neuroplasticity It has reached to show that the brain can be regenerated through use and enhancing.

Neuroplasticity is the feature most certain brain and her Davidson has devoted almost his entire career. Considering that the brain is organic, flowing, we are capable of creating new nerve connections throughout our life. We are continually creating synapses, conectomas; Although children and young people have greater capabilities, human beings are by nature neuroplasticos.

The book is a fascinating journey through the mind guided by two pioneers of science and outreach in the study of emotions, a product of the passionate curiosity that allows us to understand ourselves and others, as well as directly influencing the way of approaching life with a sense of resistant vitality. Also it reveals to us essentially steps that has already proven science and how can take them into account to improve the role and even the structure of our brains.

Davidson has shown us that it is able to measure neural activity, climbing the Himalayas or talk with the Dalai Lama. It is an independent and unrepentant Explorer who has dedicated his life to probing the deep mystery of human feelings.


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By • Sep 13, 2013 • section: General