Human Connections Are Deeper Than We Think
> 10/16/2006 1:36:44 PM

In an excerpt from his latest book, social neuroscience specialist Daniel Goleman reveals what may seem to be a no brainer: the daily interactions we have with others, particularly those whom we care about, affect us far beyond the surface responses we experience after every independent stimuli or conversation.

Thanks to advanced imaging technology and other developments, we can now measure the brain's response to external and internal events more completely than ever before, and the results confirm some of our long held common sense beliefs: agreement brings about similar chemical responses in the brains of all involved, rejection spurs activity in the same area of the brain that regulates physical pain, and people in power elicit the strongest responses from others. Goleman's book, "Social Intelligence," lays out the foundation of what he calls neural bridges - brain-to-brain links that occur anytime we engage another person. Even our most mundane interactions, however brief, create this connection.

Social neuroscience is not a new field, but it has grown to greater prominence as recording techniques reveal the significance of its principles. More than a century ago, doctors already held unverifiable beliefs about the endless complexity of our brain processes, believing that communication between the different areas of our brains results in our social and emotional makeup. Certain interactions are instinctual, where others are more carefully thought out, but the brain functions differently when involved in this bridge between two or more people. The concept holds great potential in fields like political science, advertising, and psychotherapy - helping us better find out how to bring about certain reactions in target audiences, discover what processes bring about certain emotional states and how best to respond to them. In a recently published Newsweek article, Goleman states that:

"When you realize that trivial interactions can affect a person's physiology, somehow you have to take them more seriously."

As this fledgling science develops further, it may give us increasingly clinical reasons to be kind and considerate toward each other, which would be a welcome development on all fronts.

No comments yet.

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy