Previously, I wrote about the many concerns to facets of fear we encounter on many levels from the beginning of our lives until the reality of its end, and it was astounding to engage with thoughtful people about this subject, online or occasionally offline, and regardless to what consequences we approach, or understandings we tailor, each and everyone one of us behave towards fear in the way they see fit, and regardless to what our fears chronicle to connect to, our minds will never stop astonishing us with the way they perceive, function and react.
For example, It may seem like there is no relation between an addiction to gambling and making sure of being present at a certain sporting event, or even as simple as the enthusiasm of investing in the stock market from the comforts of your home, but neurologists determined a relation between all activities composed by human beings in spite of their differences, and according to recent discoveries, researchers believe that most, if not all human behaviors are subject to brain circuits formed in all living creatures and partakes development and progress with the different stages of growth, it is also responsible for appreciating rewards with animals, which in turn guarantees their survival! but for human beings, it includes social rewards and most human behaviors and decisions.
What’s amazes me about this new medical discovery is that, brain and neurological systems that spots, speculates, process’ and appraise those social rewards which consequently controls human decisions are actually functioning entirely away from the system and the conscious mind level.
This discovery comes as an obvious and clear challenge against the conviction and the belief that humans do make their own decisions regularly in their conscious minds, but researchers confirmed that most of the brain functions are in the level of the subconscious mind, and where research has begun tens of years ago in relation to that discovery. Psychologists studied the action of processing information within the subconscious mind in the shape of effects that occurred without realization, sense and conscious, and their role in forming human decisions and behaviors.
Scientists truly started drawing a detailed map for parts of the brain responsible for such process, and they believe that this is the first time in the history of this science to discover how those brain circuits really function.
Dr. Gregory Berns, a psychologist in Emory university, said: “I believe that most human decisions are made in the subconscious mind, with different levels of awareness towards it”. He also said: “I do not exactly recall how I reached to work this morning” indicating that the conscious mind saves more important matters. But how does the mind decide which things it needs to focus the conscious mind on?
The brain begins to thrive from the first days of beholding life depending on what we observe and experience, the brain then, builds an internal model for everything eyes fall on and ears hear, gradually learning how to identify with different matters and predicting the behavior expected out of them. In the case of accepting new information from our surroundings to the brain, it will accordingly begin comparing this new information in alignment with the already existing internal model, if it matches – such as driving a car to work or passing through the daily life trends with no comments – those repeated familiar scenes do not reach the conscious mind.
But in the case of a surprise, such as witnessing a road accident, there will be distinction between what is to be expected and what really happened! Thus immediately adapting to a new state of reality. The brain saves information according to experiences acquired during its life span, those reference information, the brain relies on them for making decisions, but this information on its own is a collection of what eyes have seen and ears have heard, and is lived by humans without realizing we store information in our subconscious mind.
Researchers also discovered a chemical substance that is responsible for controlling the mind circuit called ‘Dopamine’ and in the case of matching an event with what is expected, dopamine produces expected quantities for such events. But in the case of a surprise more than the expected event, dopamine will produce a lot more quantities while sending signals to parts of the brain in order to motivate them to process the information and do the required action in the purpose of creating more of the mentioned substance.
In other cases where events become worse than what is expected, the brain does not produce dopamine, to which results in feelings of frustration and unwillingness, to move or work, due to low dopamine levels in the system.
Dr. Jonathan Cohen a neurologist and brain scientist, studied a part of the frontal cortex called Anterior Cingulate, this part of the brain checks for truth in information and uncovers any contradictions in information flow that enters the brain naturally and by definition. There was even other new brain studies confirming the role of dopamine in the front part of the brain for creating a sudden ecstasy or disappointment and frustration.
Scientists eventually confirmed that the mathematical equations used by economical scientists to study and understand the changes in market economies, is the same mathematical equations used by psychologists and neurologists to study and understand the changes of dopamine substance, Dr. Read Montague from Baylor University confirmed that neurology and brain sciences can offer a new set of factors, totally innovative in offering an understanding to the way economical decisions are made.
All this confirms a known fact which is the role of surrounding environments and their effects in the making of our minds, thoughts and decisions, and so, environments where we live, notice, see, hear and breath, who we mingle with and even what we read, are only factors that assists humans to make their own decision, and functions without perception, sense or realization by the conscious mind. even if we were able to choose what we hear, read and see, or who we associate ourselves with, but to every conscious decision there are consequences and effects that function without the recognition, sense or awareness to form a mental and psychological reference that makes decisions and future behaviors.
And here, I seriously stop to ask some questions, as individual and communities: What is the role of countless studied and researched information, flooded on us day and night, spoon fed by mainstream medias, with plans and calendars, never belonged to our nature? What is the role of all this in making our minds and communities unable to make independent or better yet… unified decisions?