Τετάρτη, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

How the Body Works Physical Responses to Emotion











Till 1994 we believed —a wild animal, whatever it happens to be—came through to a relay station called the thalamus, the thalamus sends the information to the cortex, or the pre-frontal cortex. What was believed was the cortex initiates an automatic knee-jerk response: Behavioural - we jump back; Physiological - we increase our blood pressure and adrenalin to fight or flight, and then an Immunological response in case the system is damaged in some way.
But in fact, back in 1994, Joseph LeDoux and his team discovered this pathway to this guy called the amygdala. Now the amygdala is a key emotional centre in the brain, and what they discovered was that it was the amygdala that initiates the response, not the cortex.
In fact, even more important than that, the amygdala initiates the response before the information reaches the cortex. Now, because the amygdala is there to keep us alive, it's actually not very accurate, but very high speed, and the cortex is very accurate, but relatively slow. So, we've initiated a response; activated a response before the information even reaches the cortex.
Why does that matter? Well, the cortex is where we learn new things; it's where we learn how to behave. So what we call default behaviours today—and a perfect example of that would be road-rage—so we might get involved in some altercation on the road, we get very frustrated and angry with somebody, then a moment later we realise we perhaps overreacted; because that's when the cortex has kicked in. And that's literally how we're designed to operate. We are hardwired to respond emotionally first, and think a moment later.
Now why does that really matter in the context of performance? Well, because it's getting in the way of performance. Whether its students in the examination hall, golfers out on the course, literally this process of perception is getting in the way of our performance.
Now, if you consider that the amygdala is programmed from birth—primarily during the first 6-8 weeks—and it sets us up as an adult to behave in a particular way. And if you think of the amygdala as the body's alarm bell, it has what's known as a "comparative function", so if it identifies anything at all that's a threat to us—so for a student revising the exam and taking the exam will feel a sense of anxiety, obviously, we've all experienced that, then the system activates.






How the Body Works Physical Responses to Emotion

Fear is one of the most extreme emotional feelings and, like all extreme emotions, is accompanied by physiological changes in the body. This illustration shows how the body prepares itself for "fight or flight" when in a highly emotional state. The initial signal comes from the brain, which spurs the body to release adrenaline into the blood stream. This then triggers off a series of interrelated responses in the body. The mere thought of fear activates the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, which stimulates the hypothalamus into action. The hypothalamus, positioned in the brain, activates the suprarenal medulla. The suprarenal medulla releases adrenaline into the bloodstream and numerous responses in the body ensue. The pupils of the eyes dilate. Hair stands on end. If the skin is broken, blood will readily coagulate to prevent severe loss. The chest expands to increase the volume of inhaled air. The bronchioles relax, allowing a greater volume of oxygen to enter the lungs. The heart dilates, increasing the blood output. Blood pressure rises. Muscles contract. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin contract, causing the skin to pale. Other blood vessels dilate, and the liver releases glucose, which provides fuel for the muscles. And the bladder empties stored urine in cases of extreme fear.





Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: