Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Frontal Lobes and Feelings

Powerful feelings (that tend to be created in the frontal lobes) tend to suppress activity in those same frontal lobes, which contain executive functions such as planning, paying attention, making decisions, choosing, morality, creating one’s feelings, and so on. This reaction form allows more primitive fight-or flight reactions of the limbic system to dominate. On the other hand, acts of forgiveness stimulate frontal-lobe circuits that are associated with compassionate beliefs, which in turn reduce activity of amygdalae in the limbic system associated with anger and fear. Note: Humans are much more likely to mete out a harsh punishment when angry compared with actions taken when feelings of compassion or sadness predominate. Unfortunately, angry decision makers react instinctually and aggressively, with unrealistic optimism and overconfidence in the rightness of their own actions.

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