Amygdala hijacks

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I attended the session today on ‘Neuroscience: investigating the science of effective leadership performance’

So this is a topic of real passion for me. I care a lot about the brain and it’s role in how we learn, behave, feel and act. I also know that there are many myths and misconceptions about the brain. I am fascinated by what is to follow…..

Our speaker Jacqui is from here http://www.neuroleadership.org/index.shtml

We are already talking about things like bias and how we are inately biased and that reminds me of @dds180 recent blog post. Link here.

What I am finding really interesting is how emotional I am getting at the content. Why am I getting emotional about it……. Well it is because:

I think the world of emotion and neuroscience is being restricted to the fear response and in particular the ideas of towards and away from.

That the needs referenced in SCARF are far more complex than that can be limited to one emotion (fear). For example, in the area of ‘relatedness’ you have clear links to sadness in terms of loss. Similarly, in fairness you have links to anger. Just simplifying it down to that one emotion is really offending me.

Now, I need to be reflective about whether:

It may be that my knowledge is better than most and so my expectations are higher in terms of content. 
It may be that to those that are new to neuroscience this is a big step forward, to me it’s just shallow.

I guess I just feel like we are not doing this topic justice. There is a so much more to it than what I am hearing today and that annoys me.

So I keep saying that there is more. Here are some links to content on #emotion that I think give more depth.

http://www.trendhunter.com/keynote/emotional-control-speech
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1696&dat=19850603&id=NwwdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=DJgEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4194,1508419
http://davidmatsumoto.com/content/NG%20Spain%20Article_2_.pdf

I will write a follow up post to this one as I am finding it really hard to articulate well as I continue to listen to this topic and get more #amygdalahijack

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3 responses to “Amygdala hijacks

  1. Pingback: Squished, cheated, grumped, inspire do & biked | e3ctc·

  2. Although I like SCARF (in the toolkit) I get your “reaction” to the dominance of fight/flight or towards/away… even Amygdala Hijack is overly broadcast in my opinion. I think it says something about the way presenters think they need to grab the attention of the audience but also that neuroscience is a very broad and developing area of study. Heck, even SCARF is 6 years old now – what is new that might change/improve that model?!?

    Linking to your work/comments on emotional responses, Prof. Paul Brown has written on Neuroscience & Coaching and in his book he provides a useful representation of emotional states/reactions. (Off the top of my head they are Fear, Anger, Despair, Shame, Sadness, Love, Excitement + a potentiator emotion). Would recommend a read if you get a chance.

    • Hi Mr G. Thank you for the comment and sorry it has taken me a while to reply. What neuroscience studies are showing us is that the amygdala is only part of emotion. There are other parts of the brain involved too (doesn’t that also seem realistic. How likely is it that this amazing thing (the human brain) will house everything to do with the things that save your life (emotions) in one single place.

      I will take your advice on the book, thank you. My reading list is long and I will get to it.

      Hope you are well. It feels like it has been way too long since we caught up.

      Speak soon. Phil

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