Dr. neurobiology, known for his sense of humor. Leads a column in The Guardian, where funny explains the processes occurring in the brain in humans.
1. Why are we imagining something horrible
Perhaps everyone will be able to recall the event as one night it seemed as if a thief got into the room, but in fact it turned out to be an old coat on the door handle. Or shadows on the walls reminiscent of a terrible monster. Well, for this we have prepared millions of years of evolution.
Around us, many dangers, and our brain immediately responds to any potential threat. Of course, you think it's silly to jump at the sight of his robe - what is the danger? But only the most cautious of our ancestors, which reacted even to non-existent threat, able to survive.
For our brain is characterized by the approach of "better safe than sorry", so we often experience fear in situations where this is not for no reason.Dean Burnett
Fear has helped mankind to develop an amazing defensive response "fight or flight". At such times, the sympathetic nervous system mobilizes the forces of the body. You begin to breathe more likely to have more oxygen in the blood, feel the tension in the muscles, get the adrenaline charge and become more alert than usual.
The problem is that the reaction of "fight or flight" is activated before it becomes clear whether or not it is needed. And there is a logic: it is better to prepare for the non-existent danger, than to miss a real one.
2. Why can not we remember what went into the next room
A familiar situation: you are determined to run to the kitchen, cross the threshold and... forget that, in fact, you needed here.
The thing is the work features short-term memory. This type of memory is constantly in action. We have every second of something we think, the information enters the brain at high speed and almost immediately disappears. All new data is stored in the form of neural activity patterns, and this is a very complicated process.
It's as if you were shopping list on Penke his cappuccino. Technically it is possible, because the foam for a few moments can keep the outlines of words, but in practice it is meaningless.
Sometimes in this unreliable system failures occur. The information may simply be lost, so you and forget what went. Often this is due to the fact that you think too much about anything else. The volume of short-term memory - a total of four units that are not stored more than a minute. Therefore there is nothing surprising in the fact that the new information replaces the old one.
3. Why do we react badly to criticism
Imagine that you have changed the haircut, and when they came to work, ten colleagues have made you a compliment, but one frowned. Who do you remember most? Here and do not have to guess, because in our brain criticism much more important than praise. This occurs for several reasons.
When you hear or see the remark backlash is experiencing stress, however small. In response to this event begins to produce the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is not only involved in stressful situations, but also to provoke a reaction "fight or flight", and this is a serious burden for the body.
But it is not only in physiology, but also psychology. To the praise and courtesy we are accustomed to. A criticism - not a typical situation, therefore, draws our attention. In addition, our visual system unconsciously looking for threats in the environment. And we probably will feel it from the negative sentiment of man than of smiling colleagues.
4. Why do we doubt their abilities
Smart people often lose disputes fools, because the latter is much more confident. In science, this phenomenon is called "the effect of Dunning - Kruger."
Psychologists Dunning and Kruger experiment was performed. They were given the test task, and then asked how they, in their opinion, have coped with them. It opened an unusual pattern. Those who perform the task poorly, were sure that coped very well with them. And those who have done the job well, to doubt yourself.
Dunning and Kruger hypothesized that stupid people not only do not have enough mental capacity. They also lack the ability to recognize that they are ill with something to cope.
Smart people are constantly learns something new, why not undertake to argue their case with absolute certainty. He understands that there are still many unexplored in any matter. Remember the saying of Socrates: "I know that I know nothing."
The foolish man does not suffer these doubts, so often wins debate. He does not hesitate to throw false claims and give my personal opinion as the truth.
5. Why can not we hide from others that think really
Our brain is remarkably good at guessing facial expressions and recognize emotions. To this end, it is the minimum information required. A typical example - emoticons. The characters :), :(,: O you to be able to recognize the course of joy, sadness and surprise, even though it is just a point and dashes.
Some people are good at hiding their emotions, such as poker players. But even they can not do anything with involuntary expressions. They are ruled by an ancient structure of our brain - the limbic system. Therefore, when we try to hide their true emotions out of politeness, surrounding still notice when your smile is sincere, and when - no.
Our brain is often compared to a super-modern computer. But you would definitely not like a computer, which at its discretion, change, or delete data in the memory. If you want to know when our brain fails and deceives you, we recommend not to postpone the reading of the book "Idiotic invaluable brain" Dean Burnett. You will find a fascinating account of the latest advances in neuroscience.
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