Or, for that matter, knowing which brain circuits are involve in ‘love’, will it make us better lovers?
I have made clear that I have a problem with the Neuro-explanations of everything. What we are seeing are multi-colour correlations and descriptions of human activity, but we should not confuse them with ‘explanations’. The fact that some parts of the so called paleo-encephalic brain (the old, in evolutionary terms, part of the brain that deals with emotional reactions, defence, attack, aggression etc. – well known for a long, long time) fire and change colours on a fMRI when a leader is thinking of responding to a crisis, or mentally exposed to memories of frustration, maltreatment by his boss, an injustice, or, on a more personal level, the anger following the loss of a child, does not surprise me a bit. What would greatly surprise me is that this would not happen.
But these Neuro-explanations and general Neurobabble are taking over fast. It seems that explaining how the reward and recognition circuits in the brain work, will make leaders better at rewarding and recognising people. No, it won’t! That showing how certain parts of the brain fire when people are collaborating (or recollecting memories of collaboration) in group situations, will makes us more collaborative people. No, it won’t! That showing the anxiety circuits change colours when watching videos of extreme poverty will make people jump and start doing charitable work. No, it won’t! That to ‘demonstrate’ the brain activity in a creative process will make us more creative. No, it won’t!
So, where do we go from here? What do we do with the Neuro-Offerings knocking at our doors? This is next, tomorrow, the final part.