The historical interpretations of what is really going on in your head (as we saw in yesterday’s Part 2) are now in a completely different league.
All those historical attempts of either digging or relying on a black box (inside your head) that can be manipulated without opening it, are in for a bit of a shock. Everything changes with the coming of these wonderful machines. You lend your head for a few minutes to the Techno guy in a white coat, and you get all these multicolour maps of what is ‘really’ going on inside your head. Welcome to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and all its variants such as Functional MRI (fMRI) and other sophisticated techniques.
Do you want to know what ‘happens’ when you are thinking of something beautiful, or, on the contrary, when you remember anger, or being upset? Sure, we can give you a perfect ‘explanation’ of what bits and pieces in your brain fire, change colours and blip. And this is, ladies and gentlemen, truly fascinating and, why not, a good source of making money as well.
How far can you go? Unlimited. Buddhist nuns have been scanned in meditation to find ‘the spirituality explanation’ in the brain – multicolour. The God Spot has been claimed to be found, and then ‘not-found-really’, because apparently the firing of parts of the brain was more complex than anticipated. But there is even a discipline called Neuro-Theology, and Neuro-Spirituality. Even why we fall in love with a brand, has now its own real Neuro-Explanation.
So, in our camps, we now have new disciplines such as Neuro Marketing and Neuro Leadership which ‘explain’, well, Marketing and Leadership, I suppose.
Knowing that a leader’s decisions under stress fire that particular part of the brain, and that those particular circuits are involved, as one can see on a screen, is today’s equivalent of the old ‘fighting’ between the Ego, the Super Ego and the Id, in the traditional Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis was a silent black and white movie. Neuro-Anything is a Technicolor, IMAX/3D experience. And more ‘credible’, of course, because, it comes from a place called ‘Science’.
The fascination with what we consider the ‘explanation’ (but is really a description) is, well, fascinating. It serves the purpose of providing a ‘why’, and this is a human need, now fulfilled in books, symposium, consulting and any other commercial possibility.
I have a serious problem with this Neuro-revolution applied to Organizations, Business and Management. It is a trap. Why? This is tomorrow.