Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Being Analytical And Compassionate Edition

The human brain is unquestioningly an amazing thing. But for all its strengths, it can be pretty glitchy at times. And indeed, as new research from Case Western Reserve has revealed, our brains have two very important functions that tend to work quite well — just not simultaneously. It turns out that when we’re being analytical, the empathetic parts of our brain shuts down, and vice versa. The insight may help to explain not just the limits to human cognition, but also what may be going wrong in the brains of people with social disorders.
According to new research by Anthony Jack and his colleagues, the brain contains two different networks that are in constant tension. Normally, when we’re not called upon to think too deeply or consider moral issues, our brains idle and toggle between two cognitive modes, what are called the social network and the analytical network.
So, when we do things like math or our personal accounting, we’re pulling from the analytical network. And when we’re thinking about the needs of others or certain ethical conundrums, we draw from the social network.

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