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Forget thinking vs. feeling dichotomy. Think/ feel holistic brain functioning

brain teasers cognitive stimulationMen­tal Math and the Fine-Tun­ing of Emo­tions (The Dana Foun­da­tion)

You often hear the word “cal­cu­lat­ing” used to describe some­one who always seems to act delib­er­ate­ly, guid­ed by rea­son rather than emo­tion. The idea behind this char­ac­ter­i­za­tion is that human nature strad­dles a deep divide between think­ing and feel­ing, but cur­rent research sug­gests oth­er­wise. Brain-imag­ing stud­ies, in par­tic­u­lar, reveal an over­lap between the sites in the brain that make it pos­si­ble for us to per­form men­tal arith­metic and those that enable us to reg­u­late our emo­tions. In fact, these two dis­sim­i­lar-seem­ing func­tions are housed in the same neigh­bor­hood of the cere­bral cor­tex. But they don’t just reside near each other—they actu­al­ly work togeth­er. “It’s pos­si­ble that train­ing the brain with men­tal math strength­ens the capac­i­ty for emo­tion­al reap­praisal, or per­haps con­tin­u­al­ly run­ning the process of emo­tion­al reap­praisal increas­es the abil­i­ty for men­tal cal­cu­la­tions of oth­er kinds like men­tal arith­metic.”

To learn more:

Why working memory matters in the knowledge age: study

Do you ever have days when you wake up and every­thing seems wrong with the world? Hope­ful­ly for most of these types of days are not the norm but the excep­tion. How­ev­er, there are some peo­ple who see every­thing as ‘half-emp­ty’ instead of ‘half-full. Using cut­ting-edge psy­cho­log­i­cal research, I am inter­est­ed in find­ing out if it real­ly matters–Does it mat­ter if we see the glass as half-emp­ty?

We are on the cusp of a new rev­o­lu­tion in intel­li­gence that affects every aspect of our lives from work and rela­tion­ships, to our child­hood, edu­ca­tion, and old age. Work­ing Mem­o­ry, the abil­i­ty to remem­ber and men­tal­ly process infor­ma­tion, is so impor­tant that with­out it we could not func­tion as a soci­ety or as indi­vid­u­als. One way to visu­alise work­ing mem­o­ry is as the brain’s “Post-it Note”: we make men­tal scrib­bles of bits of infor­ma­tion we need to remem­ber and work with. For exam­ple, we use work­ing mem­o­ry to remem­ber direc­tions while dri­ving or someone’s name and phone num­ber. With­out it, we would be lit­er­al­ly lost; we wouldn’t know how to get to that impor­tant meet­ing and would for­get impor­tant con­tacts. Work­ing mem­o­ry is crit­i­cal for many activ­i­ties Read the rest of this entry »

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