Brain Sparks

One for the scientists.

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.

– Adam Smith

This morning, I got to thinking – how has science changed me? Why do I approach situations so differently, compared with others?

When you dissect, at great lengths, the facilitator of existence, it becomes second nature to view motions and emotions through the lens of systematic reasoning.

This happens > therefore this is why that happens.

After significant emotional turmoil swept through my family, I found myself wanting to justify the subconscious causes, not the discussions, and the neurobiological cocktails that result in such confusion and melodrama.

In other words – I didn’t cry. I didn’t even get upset. I wondered what would really drive a person to do such a thing? And at what point did the pre-frontal cortex get body-slammed by the amygdala. How did the memories of this person contribute to their reasoning?

I wanted desperately, to talk through these quantifiable questions with someone. And not because I didn’t ‘feel anything’ like my family did, but because I was more intent on getting answers than revenge.

When another conflict happened recently, it was even more obvious how invariably different my mindset would be.

The thing is, I no longer see reality as black and white stripes, clearly defined lines and the blotting of grey areas to be steadfastly avoided.

I see hundreds of billions of neural pathways, interacting through extremely complex networks; determining our next movement, our next thought, our next mistake. I see an imperfect, undefined, set of rules that are constantly challenged by our environment.

We don’t hurt others because ‘we want to’. We don’t feel sad, angry or upset for no reason. We simply collect data points each millisecond and convert them into our own, profound reality.

Does it help to think this way? Usually. But do I still sometimes act irrationally, allow my emotions to overpower my intelligence, and make assumptions about others I can’t explain? Absolutely.

After all, we’re just human.

B x

 

I'm Bec. Neuroscience enthusiast, passionate writer, and novice meditator. Enjoy the blog!