Saturday, April 12, 2008

Communication and the Brain

As human beings, even though we are all basically the same, (having a brain, body, set of eyes etc.) we are all wired differently. This is important to realize, as many people too often believe that we should all see things the same way and come to the same conclusions.

First is to understand that our feelings come from our thoughts and our thoughts come from our experiences and our experiences effect the wiring of our brain. This in turn affects how we see, understand, and perceive things in life and our ability to connect and communicate with other people

Due to the way we have been raised, the cultures we are in, as well as the different experiences that we have gone through, our brains physiology is affected. And the more this happens,the more differently we see things in life and on what we choose to focus and concentrate on.

This also affects the way and the ability of our brain to record, store and recall information.

To give you and example of what I mean, there are three main areas of the brain that I want to highlight, which help develop and store memories and which also affects how we perceive things, events and people around us.

They are the amygdala (uh-mig-dah-la), the cortex and the left and right hemispheres. Anything that is highly emotional comes through the amygdala, whether it is from fear or love, anxiety or excitement. These are the memories that you will remember the most.

For example, most people will remember where they were and what they were doing when 9-11 hit. So the more high intensive memories you have had, the more connections you will have in your brain.

Secondly, sensory information comes directly from the brain stem to the hippocampus where memory is stored, but a more select version will come from the cortex.

We filter the information through the cortex to analyze whether or not the information is worth remembering or whether the information is in compliance or contradictory to our own belief systems. If it is in conflict, we will ignore the information that is in front of us. This then affects our communication and understanding.

We have many filtering systems with the eyes and different parts of the brain so it is estimated that we receive only about a very small fraction of the information around us. Several scientists have stated that we receive only about 1 one billionth of the information around us. This is one of the reasons why when witnesses are interviewed; most will give different accounts to what actually happened.

People want to look for information that supports their belief systems. There is a security in feeling right and to hanging on to what we have believed all our lives. So we ignore anything in front of us that is a contradiction to those beliefs.

One other area is the left and right hemispheres of the brain, one being the logical and one being the more creative side. We were designed to use both sides in which we would use the creative side to come up with ideas and then the logical side to implement them. However, there are many people who only use one side and who refuse to use the other. What happens then is that the side you are not using starts to atrophy from lack of use. This then also diminishes the amount of information that you will receive.

The challenge is that when you block information that is around you, you then make uninformed decisions and shut down any growth potential that you have within you to succeed.

You can start to reverse the situation by first being open to learning, and seeing what is around you. Then with practice you can start to notice, learn more and make more informed and productive decisions.

You can then open your self to a world of possibilities and wonders that you never realized existed.

All the Best!

Article by Maria Boomhower is a Master Communicator and holds a Diploma in the Art of Applied Communication. She has won awards for excellence in her field. Her background in communication management has spanned every aspect from supervision and training to productions and running sub-press centres.


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