The Emotional Life Of Your Brain Essay

The Emotional Life Of Your Brain Essay

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I chose to read the book, “The Emotional Life of Your Brain” written my Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D. Over the past 30 years as a researcher at Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison he has made great strides connecting human emotions with brain functions and location. Davidson is also a devout Buddhist who incorporates Buddhist teaching and practice into his work. Throughout this book Davidson refers back to his experiences in India and Sir Lanka meditating and teachings from the Dalai Lama. This book covers longevity of Davidson research and the six emotional continuums that human’s fall into, which he calls our emotional fingerprint.
The six emotional dimensions are as follows, Resilience, Outlook, Social Intuition, Self-Awareness, Sensitivity to conduct, and Attention. Davidson concluded that every person has these traits, and the ability to make them stronger. Through numerous experiments and with convincing data, we now know that a person can improve upon these areas. Our DNA has predetermined who we are going to be, but through practice, exercises, experiences and meditation we can change what was predetermine about us. This book goes into a step-by-step outline of the six dimensions of emotion and how it connects to our brain, targeting the prefrontal cortex. Davidson also goes into great detail how we can recognize our emotional ability and how to improve through non-conventional means.
Point one
Davidson brings to us into a study where an experiment was run to determine why children are shy or outgoing. This type of experiment often referred to nature vs. nurture. According to Davidson and Begley (2012), “Children, in short, seem to come into the world with preexisting temperaments and Emotional Sty...


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...n that you cannot change what has been predetermined for you. This book goes into great detail about how much control you have over the six dimensions of emotion. I also think it is safe to say that we have control over our cognitive ability also. I would consider this book to be an over the top self-help book.
If you are interested in understanding how emotions and behavior is connected to the brain, than this is the book for you. I would recommend this to someone who wants a better understanding why we feel the way we do. The author Richard Davidson is a little full of himself at times. I could not keep count of how many times he mentions his credentials and his prior accomplishments. I would bet he would be considered an elitist in the scientific community, but if you can get past that fluff of the book, you will like this book.







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