Oct
4
2010

Neuropsychology: How our brain dictates what we do.

On thursday last week I wanted to write another post for this blog but I couldn’t find the right impulse to actually do it. I felt tired from work and couldn’t really focus on any of the topics. I remembered what I learned from neuropsychology and figuered that it’d be interesting to explain how my tiredness (or hunger or sadness, etc.) actually affected my motivation.

crimeIn this post we’re gonna take a closer look at our control and experience center, the human brain.

The brain consists of three basic parts: The Hindbrain, the Midbrain and the Forebrain.

It is important to understand that these three brain parts are the result of an evolutionary development. Simply put: The hindbrain was there first, then the midbrain evolved and in the end we developed the forebrain.

That also means that the function of these parts are unilaterally dependent. The midbrain does not work properly, if there are disorders in the hinbrain. And the forebrain won’t function fully, if there are disturbances in the hindbrain or the forebrain as a result of evolutionary development.

Hindbrain

The hinbrain, the oldest part of the brain, is also called the reptilian or primitive brain because it is responsible for basic functions such as Instincts, Reflexes, Respiration, Nutrition and Sleep.

Midbrain

crimeThe midbrain if often called limbic system or chemical brain. This is the center of our emotions. It is the control hub for Feelings, Moods or Expression-Behavior.

Forebrain

The newest part of the brain is the forebrain which holds the location for our rationality and memories. The Forebrain controls Thinking, Experiences, Speaking and Voluntary Movements.

How does this Information help us?

As I said earlier, the newer parts of the brain rely on the funcionality of the older parts of the brain.

If we’re trying to accomlish anything that requires our rationality and memories, in my case writing a post, studying for an exam or working on a presentation, we rely on the proper function of the Midbrain and Hindbrain.

Our ability to process and memorize information decreases by 30% if we’re tired.

Similar influences can be found on hungry or thirsty people. The same applies for the Midbrain. If you’re sad or depressed, the midbrain cannot function properly and thereby blocks the functionality of the Forbrain.

Since we’re talking about a functional dependence, it doesn’t make sence to force anything, it won’t work. Don’t force yourself into working harder. It is better to work on the functionality of your brain. Eat and sleep enough. If you’re sad, take a walk, meet some friends and become a little more stable before you’re trying to work on your next project.

There is one more positive aspect about this dependence. It also works the other way around. If you’re Midbrain functions perfectly, you’re Forebrain will work better too.

Therefore it is useful too associate rational contents with emotional aspects.

Emotions are transmitted through images for example. If you’re working on any complicated task, use Visualization techniques wherever you can.

I hope this topic was useful for some of you, I will talk more about our brain and it’s functions in the future.

Any contributions or criticism? Please feel free to comment!

On thursday last week I wanted to write another post for this blog but I just couldn’t find the right impulse to actually do it. I felt tired from work and couldn’t really focus on any of the topics so I decided to watch TV instead. Yesterday I looked into one of my psychology books and figuered that it’d be interesting to explain how my tiredness (or hunger or sadness, etc.) actually affected my motivation.

To do so we need to understand we’re gonna take a closer look at our control and experience center, the human brain.

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12 Comments + Add Comment

  • Hi,

    the practical approaches in this article seem to be a little bit old fashioned at a first glance (connect rational content with emotions, don´t work when you are hungry and so on….) in my perception almost everybody pretends to know sth. about these phenomenons, but rarely anybody (incl. me) applies it properly into daily life. Therefore it´s definitely useful to acknowledge the scientific background in order to increase the motivation to change your habits!!

    Hope to see more stuff like that….

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