Emotions Rooted in our Brain

Why is it that there always seems to be that one person who seems to be happy no matter what is happening around them?  It can be refreshing, but at times it can also be down right annoying.

Why can some people see the silver lining 95% of the time? 

According to Forbes new research headed by Dr. Richard Davidson, Ph.D., suggests that our emotions and thoughts do not just happen to us but are predictable and rooted in the structure of our brains.

“This is the first neuroscientific conception of the emotional and social variations among people, based on a modern diagnosis of the brain.”

Dr. Davidson says human emotions are central to the functions of the brain and the life of the mind.   The article goes on to report that the study suggests that the neural pathways that determine our emotions are partly genetic.

However, Davidson points out that how much genes contribute varies from 20% to 60% (versus the 100% heritability of sickle-cell disease and the 0% heritability of religious affiliation).

Does that mean we cannot change who we are?

Dr. Davidson says no, “Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize, is the organ of change.”  Therefore, engaging regularly in positive activities over time will rewire the brain’s neural pathways.

In a related article about Emotional Intelligence (EI ) and deception detection researchers found that having a high EI hinders deception detection.

PsychCentral reported on this study, which found that EI in general was not associated with being better or worse at discriminating between truths and lies, but people with a higher ability to perceive and express emotion — a component of EI — were not so good at spotting when people were telling lies.

Professor Porter, one of the researcher, says:  “Taken together, these findings suggest that features of emotional intelligence, and the decision-making processes they lead to, may have the paradoxical effect of impairing people’s ability to detect deceit.”


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