Fear of planning

Slightly East of New

Another post on research into the physiology of orientation.

Planning may start in brain’s amygdala, study says,” reporting on research conducted at Cambridge University.  The amygdala is most commonly associated with emotions like fear and aggression, so its relationship to planning comes as somewhat of a surprise.

Perhaps this neural activity in the amygdala is related to the idea that much of the activity of the frontal lobe — our higher-order thinking apparatus — is justifying and implementing actions that we decided on somewhere else. “The mind follows where the heart leads,” in other words. Perhaps it’s the amygdala and not the heart.

Early in the process, neurons in the amygdala were activated in a pattern that reflected “several trials ahead” whether the monkey would save up towards specific goals, according to the study. “These activity patterns could be used by the frontal lobe to translate goal signals into…

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4 thoughts on “Fear of planning

  1. Interesting study!

    Under intense stress (and that persists in cases like PTSD) the Brain by-passes the frontal lobes and registers stimuli directly through Amygdala. Amygdala is known as primitive brain. The center of “fight or Flight” responce.

    In midst of combat its unlikely the frontal lobes are even in play. Its all primitive brain.

    Or so we think. Brain is mostly unknown.

    • Entire purpose of training is to make normally conscious decisions reflexive, because reflexive reactions are on order of magnitude faster than conscious ones. Problem is that it seems that most of our “rational thinking”, even when there are no threats around, is often nothing more than rationalizing decisions based on emotions.

      • Thats why we can argue all day upon the same facts. Becuase we are both emmotionally tied to our argument.

  2. Arguably ISIS and the Islamic Fundamentalist movement have pulled exactly this off. That’s what makes them so dangerous.

    You could make a case that the rapid growth of the export oriented East Asian model is also an execution of this strategy.

    The issue is the orientation of most organizations today does not facilitate this sort of thinking, rather it discourages it.

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