🔥🔥🔥 Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis
The arms have learned to reach out determinedly and the hands to grasp firmly. The production used Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis actors who engaged Team Work In Health Care the audience as Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis each other, performing not Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis a traditional script but a Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis developed by the Mudlark production team and writers Tim Wright and Bethan Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis. Take, for Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis, a young Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis Abel Fields Essay drove two hours to Boston to have Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis and spend the day with her Giraffe And Giraff Differences. Board of Education decision. Many a mother Argumentative Analysis: Aaron Hernandezs Guilty deeply Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis when she notices, at her Portrait Of Dorian Gray from a sudden Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis not so lengthy absence, that her small child has blandly "forgotten" her. Couldn't be better. In Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis view, when Juliet Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis "
Love and Friendship in Hamlet: David Bevington Harper Lecture
Therefore, it is outside the body of the protagonist. A platform before Elsinore castle. Get free homework help on William Shakespeare's Hamlet: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, character analysis, and filmography courtesy of CliffsNotes. Nature Vs. Reality appears in each scene of Hamlet. Self conflict throughout much of the famous Shakespearian play. Hamlet reveals human nature to become greedy, self-involved and vengeful. Human nature is intriquitely defined by its owner. Self, down to earth through "comic-strip" style illustrations and captions. There are thousands of nature and landscape poems to read through the changing seasons; here is just a small sampling: " February: The Boy Breughel " by Norman Dubie.
Shakespeare illustrates throughout his writing the idea of the garden which presumably represents Hamlet's own paradise, and the rotting destruction of the garden is meant to vividly Man versus nature: In this type of conflict, a character is tormented by natural forces such as storms or animals. Many literary works use revenge as a main theme for the plot. Last updated Internal conflict-- also called man vs. But, you must know, your father lost a father;. Hamlet is arguably the greatest dramatic character ever created. Through most of the play, particularly his introduction, Hamlet is a very sad young man. Hamlet is probably the most well-known literary character experiencing Man vs.
A play within a play, madness, justice, murder, suicide, a Ghost and Horatio. It is not Hamlet was raised to be a man of action because we know in fact that he grew up to be a man of intellect, but the circumstances force him to evolve into a man of action. Man Of Hamlet's many theories and subjects, perhaps one of the most prevailing ideas in William Shakespeare's most riveting play is in fact the "garden" motif. The distinction is unimportant for the present analysis, except as it bears on the defensibility of the community protected.
Added in the update of the same name they are classified by difficulty in five levels, namely Normal, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, and Nightmare. In this quote, Hamlet is describing his Uncle Claudius. They are not near my conscience. In movies or TV shows, this might be shown as the good angel on one shoulder and the evil demon on the other. Every time, he delays taking action. The term "nature vs. The plot sets events in motion, arranging them in a sequential manner. The three monsters are not human and represent the fears that the Anglo-Saxons had about the natural world and its ability to destroy humanity.
Conclusion The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is certainly one of the most tragic aspects of the play and full of bitter irony. Man vs. Lord Voldemort 9. Whether you're reading a dramatic family saga, an action-packed epic or a creepy horror story, conflict is the source of tension that drives all works of literature. Hamlet a play that tells the story of a young prince who's father recently died. And Hamlet is even more surprised when his father's ghost appears and declares that he was murdered.
Gladiator The idea of revenge has existed in human nature since the dawn of man. This has a deep contrast with Othello who from the first instances of the play sees Iago as a trustworthy friend. Hamlet was set in the mid to late s, after the protestant reformation of Human Nature Quotes - BrainyQuote. He is a man of morals and his moral idealism receives a shock when his mother remarries Claudius after his father's death. Hamlet is not, as Olivier posited in his version, merely "a man who could not make up his mind.
For example, the primary conflict in "Hamlet" is between Hamlet and his uncle, King Claudius, who wants to have him killed. They are presented as cold and evil. Choose interesting man vs nature conflicts. The part played by fool in Kinglear, porter in Macbeth is the same as the apart played by the grave diggers in Hamlet. One of the aspects of the fourth act that I really enjoyed reading was the contrast between Laertes and Prince Hamlet. Hamlet says that only the beggars are real, and heroes and monarchs figments of the beggars' imaginations.
Sign up for free. Both Scar and Claudius have an unpleasant image of the uncle. Niles Hamlet utilizes his own thinly-veiled rants in accordance with the first, second, and fourth functions and Our Literary Conflict storyboard for The Tragedy of Hamlet was created with our T-Chart layout. Amleth, Prince of Denmark. New York: Wm. The man vs xxxx plots above would all be summarised as "overcoming the monster". By nature, Hamlet is deeply contemplative, moody, and cynical. He hypocritically accepts Hamlet's apology in terms of "nature" but will consult with the experts on such matters to see if his honor will allow him to forgive Hamlet formally. He wants revenge but hesitates at the same time. He indicates that the world is a garden reference to garden of Eden and that due to its neglection it has gone wild, repugnant, and in disarray.
Rebecca Smith. In this age few tragedies are written. Man as a species has survived by being divided into what I have called pseudospecies. One never quite knew how all the other tribes came to be, but since they did exist, they were at least useful as a screen of projection for the negative identities which were the necessary, if most uncomfortable, counterpart of the positive ones. If, then, identity can be said to be a "good thing" in human evolution-because good things are those which seem to have been necessary for what, indeed, has survived-we should not overlook the fact that this system of mortal divisions has been vastly overburdened with the function of reaffirming for each pseudospecies its superiority over all others.
But this places all older identities in deadly danger. The pseudospecies, then, is one of the more sinister aspects of all group identity. For man's development does not begin or end with identity; and identity, too, must become relative for the mature person. Psychosocial identity is necessary as the anchoring of man's transient existence in the here and the now.
That it is transient does not make it expendable. If, to those who seek an identity, Norman Brown advocates "Get lost" and Timothy Leary "Drop out," I would suggest that to get lost one must have found oneself, and to drop out one must have been in. And this alone permits the individual to transcend his identity-to become as truly individual as he will ever be, and as truly beyond all individuality.
We realize, then, the widening context of the problem of identity. Beginning with veterans of war and severely disturbed young people, we have come to formulate a normative crisis in individual development. In what follows we will review these steps in all the fragmentary details of our original observations, so that we may at least know where we came from when we started to use the term and, maybe, see where it may yet lead us. And even as we do so, the data and the conclusions change before our eyes. The essence of the inner dynamics of a case, it is judged, is thereby left intact. Such mobs exist; their definition stands. If Kant gave as the co-ordinates of the moral burgher "the stars above him" and "the moral law within him," the early Freud placed his fearful ego between the id within him and the mob around him.
To safeguard the encircled individual's precarious morality, Freud instituted within the ego the superego. The superego, as Freud pointed out, is the internalization of all the restrictions to which the ego must bow. From the study of the ego's dissipation in an amorphous multitude of others, we must turn to the problem of the infantile ego's very origin in social life. Let me first illustrate the concept of group identity by a brief reference to anthropological observations made by H. Mekeel and myself in In the remnants of the Sioux Indians' identity, the prehistoric past is a powerful psychological reality. The road to this future is not outer restoration but inner reform. Their tools are extensions of the human body. The inventory of social prototypes is small and static.
The expansiveness of civilization, together with its stratification and specialization, demanded that children base their ego models on shifting, sectional, and contradictory prototypes. No wonder that Indian children, forced to live by both these plans, often seem blocked in their expectations and paralyzed in their ambitions. For the growing child must derive a vitalizing sense of reality from the awareness that his individual way of mastering experience, his ego synthesis, is a successful variant of a group identity and is in accord with its space-time and life plan. By no means only a narcissistic extension of infantile omnipotence, this self-esteem gradually grows into a conviction that the ego is capable of integrating effective steps toward a tangible collective future, that it is developing into a well-organized ego within a social reality.
What I have called ego identity, however, concerns more than the mere fact of existence; it is, as it were, the ego quality of this existence. We must find the nexus of social images and of organismic forces-and this not merely in the sense that here images and forces are, as the saying goes, "interrelated. Such an experience may be the loss of the mother's breast. The children are said to react to this uniformly with rage. The tribe's ' ontogenetic "expulsion from paradise," then, causes a "fixation" which we found to be of decisive relevance in the Sioux's group identity and in his individual development. When the hero of the Sioux sun dance, at the height of the religious ceremonial, drives little sticks through his breast, ties the sticks to a rope, the rope to a pole, and in a peculiar trance dances backward until the rope tightens and the sticks split his breast so that the gushing blood runs freely down his body, we find both instinctual and social meaning in his extreme behavior.
He is manfully atoning for the sin which cost him the paradise of habitual closeness to the mother's breast, but as a ceremonial hero he is also dramatizing a tragic involvement common to all. It makes similar sense when a Yurok man, having been with a woman, proceeds to heat himself by the fire of the sweathouse until he is supple and wet enough to squeeze through a very small oval opening in the wall, and then jumps into the cold river.
Having thus given rebirth to himself, he is free from the dangerous bondage of women and pure and strong enough to net the sacred salmon. The same Indians, on the other hand, after having achieved the yearly engineering feat of bridging the river with a dam that collects a whole winter's supply of salmon, will indulge in promiscuous intercourse and experience the manic relief of orgiastic excess, which, once a year, throws atonement to the winds. In all these ritual acts we see "id" and "superego" put into conflictful oppositions such as those we have learned to recognize in the "private rituals," i. I had an opportunity to make a few observations on one of the more extreme milieus of human endeavor, namely, life on submarines.
The extreme interdependence with the crew and the mutual responsibility for comfort and life under prolonged conditions of extreme hardship soon supersede the original fantasies. Crew and captain establish a symbiosis not governed by official regulations alone. We are in need, then, of concepts which throw light on the mutual complementation of ego synthesis and social organization, the cultivation of which on ever higher levels is the aim of all therapeutic endeavor, social and individual. Certain crises force him to make radical selections. We therefore can expect our young patients to respond only to therapeutic measures which will help them to complete or to rearrange the prerequisites for an identity already under formation. His little son had hardly had time to absorb Nazi indoctrination before he came to this country, where, like most children, he took to Americanization like a duck to water.
Gradually, however, he developed a neurotic rebellion against all authority. What he said about the "older generation," and how he said it, was clearly taken from Nazi writings which he had never read and his behavior was an unconscious one-boy Hitler youth rebellion. A superficial analysis indicated that the boy in identifying with the slogans of Hider youth identified himself with his father's aggressors. I expected him to rebel violently. Instead, a marked change came over him the moment he was handed a uniform with the promise of gold bars, stars, and rank. It was as if these military symbols effected a sudden and decisive change in his inner economy. The boy was now an unconscious Hider youth wrapped up in an American prototype: the military schoolboy. As a historical focus of many part-identifications the military identity thus continues to be dominant unconsciously even in those who are excluded from its consummation by political developments.
Equally elusive are the minute socioeconomic and cultural panics which involve the family, causing individual regressions to infantile atonements and a reactionary return to more primitive moral codes. When such panics coincide in time and dynamic quality with one of the child's psychosexual crises, they play a significant role in the "choice" of symptoms, for every neurosis reflects shared panic, isolated anxiety, and somatic tension all at once.
Where a group's socioeconomic status is in danger, the implicit moral code becomes more restricted, more magic, more exclusive, and more intolerant, as though an outer danger had to be treated as an inner one. In the case of a five-year-old boy who produced convulsions after a number of coincidental experiences of violent aggression and sudden death, the very idea of violence had received its problematic meaning from the family history.
Instead, he pleadingly and threateningly tried to impress on his now cocky and inquisitive little boy the fact that a shopkeeper's son must treat the gentiles gently. The family panic "Let's be gentle or else we will lose ground" , the individual anxiety "How can I be gentle when I must be tough to feel safe? His espileptic reaction became manifest. This inequality of treatment reinforced the patient's wish to compete with her brothers and to exhibit an "improved" posture in her dancing which became a caricature of Prussian ancestors whom she had never seen. The historical meaning of such a sympton is clarified by the analysis of the resistances with which it is defended. The patient, who in her conscious and "positive" thoughts always drew a parallel between the father's and the analyst's tall, "Nordic" physiques, to her great dismay found herself dreaming of the analyst as a small, dirty, crumpled-up Jew.
But it also illuminated the danger to her fragile ego identity of an unruly pair of historical prototypes-an ideal prototype German, tall, phallic and an evil prototype Jewish, dwarfish, castrated. Although it manifests itself in a great variety of syndromes, this association is all-pervasive, in men and women, in majorities and minorities, and in all classes of a given national or cultural unit. The unconscious associations of ethnic prototypes of good and evil with moral and sexual ones are, we may add, a necessary part of any group formation. Jung, it seems, could find a sense of identity in psychoanalytic work only by a justaposition of his ancestors' religious and mystical space-time with whatever he sensed in Freud's Jewish ancestry.
As though in fear of endangering a common group identity based on an identification with Freud's personal greatness, psychoanalytic observers chose to ignore not only Jung's excesses but also the kind of universal fact he had, indeed, observed. Such concepts as the "anima" and the "animus," i. In Jung's "persona" a weak ego seems to sell out to a compelling social prototype. This may leave much of his receptive and maternal propensity dissimulated, undeveloped, and guilt-ridden, making a shell of mannishness out of what is left. I once had as a patient a tall, intelligent ranch owner who was influential in western agriculture.
This man's analysis provided a sad commentary on the fact that Streicher's presentation of an evil Jewish identity is no worse than that harbored by many a Jew who-with paradoxical results-may still be trying to live it down in an area where his past could be relatively unimportant in view of what he is. The patient in question sincerely felt that the only true savior for the Jews would be a plastic surgeon. The body part in question has a different ego tonus; it is felt to be larger and heavier, or smaller and disembodied, and in both cases it feels dissociated from the whole body, while seeming to dominate the attention of others.
His will demanded that the mansion should stand and remain the family's castle even though skyscrapers and apartment houses mushroomed all around it. The grandfather's picture still hangs over the fireplace, a little bulb eternally lighting the rosiness of the cheeks in his generally powerful and contented countenance. The grandsons of such men know that in order to find an identity of their own they have to break out of the mansion and join the mad striving which has engulfed the neighborhood.
The father image, and with it the transference, appears to be split up. The image of the weak, mild faher of the present is isolated from the Oedipal father image, which is fused with that of the powerful grandfather. These men, of the once highest strata, join those from the very lowest in being the truly disinherited in American life. From where they are there is no admission to free competition unless they have the strength to start all over again.
This very identification, however, did not permit her to take a husband equal to her strong father. She married a weak man and settled down. He became reckless and shifting at times, depressed at others; at times an overgrown juvenile delinquent, at others a more enjoyable westerner with convivial alcoholic moods. Idealizing the grandfather's exploits, she had yet also reacted with panicky punitiveness to any display of adventurous friskiness in the boy which might disturb the now well-defined neighborhood. Or let us consider a problem from another region. During an exploratory analysis she seems almost lifeless. After some weeks, she occasionally produces a sudden flood of associations, all concerning horrid impressions of sex or death. Identity She felt attracted but at the same time inhibited; her imagination was vividly provoked but restrained by anxiety.
The patient's dreams gradually revealed a hidden source of untapped freedom. These dreams helped to unearth and highlight an isolated part of her childhood, namely, the gentle warmth awarded her by her grandfather, a Confederate veteran whose world was a fairy tale of the past. There is, first, a pseudoparanoid suspicion that life is a series of critical tests in which vicious gossips attempt to stack up minor weaknesses and blemishes against the southern woman toward an inexorable final judgment, namely, to be-or not to be-a lady. But there is also the equally ambivalent implication that any man who does not proceed to shed his gentleman's inhibitions when the opportunity of sexual conquest offers itself is a weakling who only deserves to be mercilessly provoked.
In all this there is a basic inability to conceive of any area in life where the standards and the words of a man and a woman could honestly coincide and be lifted above a certain primeval antagonism. Psychoanalysts, of course, are consulted primarily by those who cannot stand the tension between alternatives, contrasts, and polarities which governs the American style of today: the unceasing necessity to remain tentative in order to be free for bigger and better opportunities. The analyst is woven into the patient's unconscious life plan. Many of these men, indeed, regressed to the "stage of unlearned function.
Anxiety and anger were provoked by anything too sudden or too intense, a sudden sensory impression from outside, an impulse, or a memory. A constantly "startled" sensory system was attacked by external stimuli as well as by somatic sensations: heat flashes, palpitation, cutting headaches. Insomnia hindered the nightly restoration of sensory screening by sleep and that of emotional rebinding by dreaming.
Amnesia, neurotic pseudologia, and confusion showed the partial loss of time-binding and of spatial orientation. Obviously the men were worn out by too many changes, in too many respects at once. The sense of sameness and continuity and the belief in one's social role were gone. A sense of identity was most enhanced in the armed forces among the recipients of promising commissions and members of teams in highly mechanized units. To quite a few soldiers, then, the military identity represented the despicable prototype of the sucker, of one who lets himself be sidetracked and stalled while others are free to pursue what could have been his chance and his girl.
If you are a sucker, not even a mother's pity will be with you. The fact, however, that these men, their physicians, and their contemporaries in increasing numbers turned to the bitter truths of psychoanalytic psychiatry is in itself a historical development which calls for critical appraisal. The difficulties met in the attempt to integrate this old image of insulated spaciousness with the new image of explosive global closeness are deeply disquieting. The psychotherapist, in disregarding the contribution of such developments to neurotic discomfort, is apt not only to miss much of the specific dynamics in contemporary life cycles; he is apt also to deflect individual energy from the collective tasks at hand.
Bolstering, bantering, boisterousness, and other "ego-inflating" behavior is, of course, part of the American folkways. As such, it pervades speech and gesture and enters into all interpersonal relations. Its tendency is toward the testing of what feels real, the mastery of that which works, the understanding of that which proves necessary, the enjoyment of the vital, and the overcoming of the morbid. At the same time it tends toward the creation of a strong mutual reinforcement with others in a group ego, which will transmit its purpose to the next generation.
Ideological connotation is the inevitable historical equation in the use of conceptual tools which concern the ego, man's organ of reality testing. If experience is to corroborate a sound part of the infantile sense of omnipotence, then child-training methods must not only foster sensual health and progressive mastery, but also offer tangible social recognition as the fruits of health and mastery.
If the ego identity of lovers and mates is complementary in some essentials, it can be fused in marriage to the benefit of the offspring's ego development. From the point of view of such joint identities the "incestuous" attachment to parent images cannot be considered as necessarily pathogenic, as writers in psychopathology seem to infer. It thus perpetuates tradition, i. However, as has been pointed out, many of the mechanisms of adjustment which once made for psychosocial evolution, tribal integration, and national or class coherence are at loose ends in a world of universally expanding identities.
For whoever wants to cure or guide must understand, conceptualize, and use spontaneous trends of identity formation. Foundations m Obse rvation 73 b In studying his subject, the psychoanalyst, so Anna Freud points out, should occupy an observation point "equidistant from the id, the ego, and the superego"-so that he may be aware of their functional interdependence and so that as he observes a change in one of these sections of the mind he may not lose sight of related changes in the others. In conclusion, then, we may reformulate the ego's task and, maybe, the ego by recognizing it as one of three indispensable and ceaseless processes by which man's existence becomes and remains continuous in time and organized in form.
The first of these-first because studied originally through Freud's transfer of biological and physiological modes of thought to psychology -is the biological process, by which an organism comes to be a hierarchic organization of organ systems living out its life cycle. The second is the social process, by which organisms come to be organized in groups which are geographically, historically, and culturally defined. This means that any changes observed in one will cause and again be influenced by changes in the others. True, each of these processes has its own warning signals: pain, anxiety, and panic.
They warn of the danger of organic dysfunction, of impairment of ego mastery, and of loss of group identity; but each signal announces a threat to all. Thus psychoanalysis first studied, as if it could be isolated, man's enslavement by the id, i. Perhaps psychoanalysis will complete its basic studies of neurosis by investigating more explicitly man's enslavement by historical conditions which claim autonomy by precedent and exploit archaic mechanisms within him, to deny him physical vitality and ego strength.
For the individual's mastery over his neurosis begins where he is put in a position to accept the historical necessity which made him what he is. Only thus can he derive ego strength for his generation and the next from the coincidence of his one and only life cycle with a particular segment of human history. This is difficult, as are all tasks not facilitated or sanctioned by methodological tradition. And works on history, society, and morality usually contain little reference in the text, and none in the index, to the simple fact that all individuals were once children. To most scholars, childhood seems to belong to the field of social work rather than to that of social science, to the solicitudes of do-gooders rather than to those of thinkers.
The contribution of man's extended childhood to the development of his technical capabilities and to his capacity for sympathy and faith is well known, but often too exclusively known. It is therefore necessary to acquire deeper insight into the earliest consequences of the psychological exploitation of childhood. By this I mean the misuse of a divided function in such a way that one of the partners is impaired in the development of his potentialities, with the result that impotent rage is stored up where energy should be free for productive development. Yet it must be said that this oversight does not seem to be an accidental one, and therefore cannot be so easily corrected.
Psychoanalysis has amply demonstrated the fact that all men develop an amnesia concerning crucial childhood experiences. It is as if this refusal reflected a deep-seated superstition that rational and practical man would lose his single-minded stamina if he ever turned back to meet the Medusa of childhood anxiety face to face again. Here a formidable "equation" imposes itself on all attempts to put the fact of childhood in its proper perspective.
What follows, then, is not an attempt at fixing the origin or cause of totalitarianism in the fact of childhood or in particular forms of childhood training. As a clinician, however, I must start elsewhere: from examples of total inner change. A young woman spoke, in the same vein, of her "right to oneliness. Many a mother is deeply disturbed when she notices, at her return from a sudden but not so lengthy absence, that her small child has blandly "forgotten" her.
Finally we may point to a well-known example of a sudden total split of what was once wholly united : the change that comes over married couples who have decided on a divorce. While such realignments may seem to appear suddenly, they develop slowly. Only uncommonly aware and brave people know about themselves what psychoanalysis reveals in others, and particularly in patients-namely, how strong and systematic are man's proclivities and potentialities for total realignments, often barely hidden behind exaggerated likes, predilections, and convictions, and how much energy is employed in inner defenses against a threatening total reorientation in which white may turn into black and vice versa.
Only the affect released in sudden commitments and conversions and in sudden aversions testifies to the quantity of energy "bound" in such defenses. In giving these examples, I have used the terms "wholeness" and "totality. Totality, on the contrary, evokes a Gestalt in which an absolute boundry is emphasized: given a certain arbitrary delineation, nothing that belongs inside must be left outside, nothing that must be outside can be tolerated inside. As pointed out, it would be wise to abstain from considering tills a merely regressive or infantile mechanism. It is an alternate, if more primitive, way of dealing with experience, and thus has, at least in transitory states, certain adjustment and survival value.
It belongs to normal psychology. Can totalism reverse itself when the emergency is over? Here I can do no more than point to this field of study. She, in turn, must feel a certain wholesome relation between her biological role and the values of her community. Only thus can she communicate to the baby, in the unmistakable language of somatic interchange, that the baby may trust her, the world, and-himself. In fact, every basic conflict of childhood lives on, in some form, in the adult. The earliest steps are preserved in the deepest layers.
In prayer man assures a superhuman power that, in spite of everything, he has remained trustworthy, and asks for a sign that he now may also continue to trust his deity. Much cruel, cold, and exclusive totalness has dominated some phases of the history of organized religion. How deeply worried self-made man is in his need to feel safe in his man-made world can be seen from the deep inroad which an unconscious identification with the machine-comparable to the magic identification of primitive man with his principal prey -has made on the Western concept of human nature in general and on a kind of automatized and depersonalized child training in particular.
It must be remembered here, however, that at least one of the systems which we call totalitarianism, Soviet communism, was born from an ideology which envisages beyond all revolutions a final wholeness of society, freed from the interference of an armed state and of the class structure which necessitated it. In this vision, the total revolution and the totalitarian superstate is only a state-to-end-all states: it will abolish itself by "becoming dormant," leaving in the final wholeness of a stateless democracy nothing to be administered except "things. In the meantime, however, we must not lose sight of those newly emerging peoples and their young people on the periphery of both the Soviet world and ours who are in need of a total system of beliefs in this period of common technological change.
I shall not outline here the implications of each of the successive childhood stages for the ideology of totalitarianism. One could develop this analogy. The superego thus comes to reflect not only the sternness of the demands and limitations originally imposed by the parents, but also the relative crudeness of the infantile stage during which they were imposed. Thus human conscience, even while serving conscious ideals, retains a certain unconscious and infantile primitiveness. Only a combination in parents of true tolerance and firmness can guide an infantile process which otherwise falls prey to the cruelly "categoric" attitude employed by a strict conscience which first turns against the self, but in one way or another later focuses on the supression of others.
Young people must become whole people in their own right, and this during a developmental stage characterized by a diversity of changes in physical growth, genital maturation, and social awareness. The wholeness to be achieved at this stage I have called a sense of inner identity. Identity is a unique product, which now meets a crisis to be solved only in new identifications with age mates and with leader figures outside of the family.
Here society has the function of guiding and narrowing the individual's choices. Primitive societies have always taken this function most seriously; their puberty rites replace a horror of undefinedness, dramatized by rituals, with a defined sacrifice and a sacred badge. Advancing civilization has found other more spiritual means of "confirming" the right life plan. Let me once more refer to individual pathology. Even in individual disturbances usually called prepsychotic or psychopathic or otherwise diagnosed in line with adult psychopathology, an almost willful Umschaltung to a negative identity and its roots in past and present can be studied.
On a somewhat larger scale, an analogous turn toward a negative identity prevails in the. If such "negative identities" are accepted as a youth's "natural" and final identity by teachers, judges, and psychiatrists, he not infrequently invests his pride as well as his need for total orientation in becoming exactly what the careless community expects him to become. Such identity, however, depends on the support which the young individual receives from the collective sense of identity characterizing the social groups significant to him: his class, his nation, his culture.
To have the courage of one's diversity is a sign of wholeness in individuals and in civilization. But wholeness, too, must have defined boundaries. We may, in fact, speak of the identity crisis as the psychosocial aspect of adolescing. Nor could this stage be passed without identity having found a form which will decisively determine later life. The use of the words "to do well" of course points up the whole question of cultural relativity. Those who are significant to a man may think he is doing well when he "does some good" or when he "does well" in the sense of acquiring possessions; when he is doing well in the sense of learning new skills and new knowledge or when he is not much more than just getting along; when he learns to conform all around or to rebel significandy; when he is merely free from neurotic symptoms or manages to contain within his vitality all manner of profound conflict.
There are many formulations of what constitutes a "healthy" personality in an adult. Somewhat generalized, this principle states that anything that grows has a ground plan, and that out of this ground plan the parts arise, each part having its time of special ascendancy, until all parts have arisen to form a functioning whole. This, obviously, is true for fetal development where each part of the organism has its critical time of ascendance or. But here, too, it is important to realize that in the sequence of his most personal experiences the healthy child, given a reasonable amount of proper guidance, can be trusted to obey inner laws of development, laws which create a succession of potentialities for significant interaction with those persons who tend and respond to him and those institutions which are ready for him.
Personality, therefore, can be said to develop according to steps predetermined in the human organism's readiness to be driven toward, to be aware of, and to interact with a widening radius of significant individuals and institutions. The diagram is presented on p. Perspective Certainty ship Polarization Followership Commitment vr All of them exist in the beginning in some form, although we do not make a point of this fact, and we shall not confuse things by calling these components different names at earlier or later stages. The environment, in tum, now feels called upon to convey to him its particular ideas and concepts of autonomy in ways decisively contributing to his personal character, his relative efficiency, and the strength of his vitality.
It is this encounter, together with the resulting crisis, which is to be described for each stage. Perhaps it would be best to say that he is always vulnerable in some respects and completely oblivious and insensitive in others, but that at the same time he is unbelievably persistent in the same respects in which he is vulnerable. A baby's presence exerts a consistent and persistent domination over the outer and inner lives of every member of a household.
It is as true to say that babies control and bring up their families as it is to say the converse. A family can bring up a baby only by being brought up by him. With them, the interpersonal perspective also changes rapidly and often radically, as is testified by the proximity in time of such opposites as "not letting mother out of sight" and "wanting to be independent. By "trust" I mean an essential trustfulness of others as well as a fundamental sense of one's own trustworthiness.
In adults a radical impairment of basic trust and a prevalence of basic mistrust is expressed in a particular form of severe estrangement which characterizes individuals who withdraw into themselves when at odds with themselves and with others. Let us see what justifies our placing the crisis and the ascendancy of this component at the beginning of life. To him the mouth is the focus of a general first approach to life-the incorporative approach. In psychoanalysis this stage is usually referred to as the oral stage. Yet it is clear that in addition to the overwhelming need for food, a baby is, or soon becomes, receptive in many other respects. As he is willing and able to suck on appropriate objects and to swallow whatever appropriate fluids they emit, he is soon also willing and able to "take in" with his eyes whatever enters his visual field.
His senses, too, seem to "take in" what feels good. In this sense, then, one can speak of an incorporative stage, in which he is, relatively speaking, receptive to what he is being offered. Yet babies are sensitive and vulnerable too. Others think that he should feel the freedom of his kicking limbs as early as possible, but also that, as a matter of course, he should be forced to cry "please" for his meals until he literally gets blue in the face.
All of this, more or less consciously, seems related to the culture's general aim and system. But there is also a logic-however instinctive and prescientific-in the assumption that what is "good for the child," what may happen to him, depends on what he is supposed to become and where. The simplest and the earliest modality is to get, not in the sense of "go and get" but in that of receiving and accepting what is given.
The groping and unstable newborn's organism learns this modality only as he learns to regulate his readiness to "get" with the methods of a mother who, in turn, will permit him to co-ordinate his means of getting as she develops and co-ordinates her means of giving. But in thus getting what is given, and in learning to get somebody to do for him what he wishes to have done, the baby also develops the necessary groundwork "to get to be" the giver-that is, to identify with her and eventually to become a giving person.
Besides such "horizontal" compensation compensation during the same stage of development there are many "longitudinal" compensations in life which emerge from later stages of the life cycle. Teeth develop and with them the pleasure of biting on hard things, biting through things, and biting off things. This active-incorporative mode characterizes a variety of other activities, as did the first incorporative mode. The eyes, first seemingly passive in accepting impressions as they come along, have now learned to focus on, isolate, and "grasp" objectS from the vaguer background and follow them.
The arms have learned to reach out determinedly and the hands to grasp firmly. How you doing? Each passenger was as startled as I, and, locked into the morose mood of the day, few returned his greeting. But as the bus crawled uptown through the gridlock, a slow, rather magical transformation occurred. The driver gave a running monologue for our benefit, a lively commentary on the passing scene around us: there was a terrific sale at that store, a wonderful exhibit at this museum, did you hear about the new movie that just opened at that cinema down the block?
His delight in the rich possibilities the city offered was infectious. By the time people got off the bus, each in turn had shaken off the sullen shell they had entered with, and when the driver shouted out a "So long, have a great day! The memory of that encounter has stayed with me for close to twenty years. When I rode that Madison Avenue bus, I had just finished my own doctorate in psychology—but there was scant attention paid in the psychology of the day to just how such a transformation could happen. Psychological science knew little or nothing of the mechanics of emotion. And yet, imagining the spreading virus of good feeling that must have rippled through the city, starting from passengers on his bus, I saw that this bus driver was an urban peacemaker of sorts, wizardlike in his power to transmute the sullen irritability that seethed in his passengers, to soften and open their hearts a bit.
The reason: some third-grade classmates called him a "baby" and he wanted to impress them. The report notes that such shootings over seemingly minor slights, which are perceived as acts of disrespect, have become increasingly common around the country in recent years. In almost half the cases, the parents say they were "merely trying to discipline the child. Part of a neo-Nazi group, he tells of failing to hold jobs, of drinking, of blaming his hard luck on foreigners. In a barely audible voice, he pleads, "I can't stop being sorry for what we've done, and I am infinitely ashamed. But the news simply reflects back to us on a larger scale a creeping sense of emotions out of control in our own lives and in those of the people around us. No one is insulated from this erratic tide of outburst and regret; it reaches into all of our lives in one way or another.
The last decade has seen a steady drumroll of reports like these, portraying an uptick in emotional ineptitude, desperation, and recklessness in our families, our communities, and our collective lives. These years have chronicled surging rage and despair, whether in the quiet loneliness of latchkey kids left with a TV for a babysitter, or in the pain of children abandoned, neglected, or abused, or in the ugly intimacy of marital violence. A spreading emotional malaise can be read in numbers showing a jump in depression around the world, and in the reminders of a surging tide of aggression—teens with guns in schools, freeway mishaps ending in shootings, disgruntled ex-employees massacring former fellow workers.
Emotional abuse, drive-by shooting, and post-traumatic stress all entered the common lexicon over the last decade, as the slogan of the hour shifted from the cheery "Have a nice day" to the testiness of "Make my day. As a psychologist, and for the last decade as a journalist for The New York Times, I have been tracking the progress of our scientific understanding of the realm of the irrational. From that perch I have been struck by two opposing trends, one portraying a growing calamity in our shared emotional life, the other offering some hopeful remedies.
Most dramatic are the glimpses of the brain at work, made possible by innovative methods such as new brain-imaging technologies. They have made visible for the first time in human history what has always been a source of deep mystery: exactly how this intricate mass of cells operates while we think and feel, imagine and dream. This flood of neurobiological data lets us understand more clearly than ever how the brain's centers for emotion move us to rage or to tears, and how more ancient parts of the brain, which stir us to make war as well as love, are channeled for better or worse. This unprecedented clarity on the workings of emotions and their failings brings into focus some fresh remedies for our collective emotional crisis.
I have had to wait till now before the scientific harvest was full enough to write this book. These insights are so late in coming largely because the place of feeling in mental life has been surprisingly slighted by research over the years, leaving the emotions a largely unexplored continent for scientific psychology. Into this void has rushed a welter of self-help books, well-intentioned advice based at best on clinical opinion but lacking much, if any, scientific basis. Now science is finally able to speak with authority to these urgent and perplexing questions of the psyche at its most irrational, to map with some precision the human heart.
This mapping offers a challenge to those who subscribe to a narrow view of intelligence, arguing that IQ is a genetic given that cannot be changed by life experience, and that our destiny in life is largely fixed by these aptitudes. That argument ignores the more challenging question: What can we change that will help our children fare better in life? What factors are at play, for example, when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well? I would argue that the difference quite often lies in the abilities called here emotional intelligence, which include self-control, zeal and persistence, and the ability to motivate oneself.
And these skills, as we shall see, can be taught to children, giving them a better chance to use whatever intellectual potential the genetic lottery may have given them. Beyond this possibility looms a pressing moral imperative. These are times when the fabric of society seems to unravel at ever-greater speed, when selfishness, violence, and a meanness of spirit seem to be rotting the goodness of our communal lives. Here the argument for the importance of emotional intelligence hinges on the link between sentiment, character, and moral instincts. There is growing evidence that fundamental ethical stances in life stem from underlying emotional capacities. For one, impulse is the medium of emotion; the seed of all impulse is a feeling bursting to express itself in action.
Those who are at the mercy of impulse—who lack self-control—suffer a moral deficiency: The ability to control impulse is the base of will and character. And if there are any two moral stances that our times call for, they are precisely these, self-restraint and compassion. OUR JOURNEY In this book I serve as a guide in a journey through these scientific insights into the emotions, a voyage aimed at bringing greater understanding to some of the most perplexing moments in our own lives and in the world around us.
The journey's end is to understand what it means—and how—to bring intelligence to emotion. This understanding itself can help to some degree; bringing cognizance to the realm of feeling has an effect something like the impact of an observer at the quantum level in physics, altering what is being observed. Our journey begins in Part One with new discoveries about the brain's emotional architecture that offer an explanation of those most baffling moments in our lives when feeling overwhelms all rationality. Understanding the interplay of brain structures that rule our moments of rage and fear—or passion and joy—reveals much about how we learn the emotional habits that can undermine our best intentions, as well as what we can do to subdue our more destructive or self-defeating emotional impulses.
Most important, the neurological data suggest an opportunity for shaping our children's emotional habits. The next major stop on our journey, Part Two of this book, is in seeing how neurological givens play out in the basic flair for living called emotional intelligence: being able, for example, to rein in emotional impulse; to read another's innermost feelings; to handle relationships smoothly—as Aristotle put it, the rare skill "to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way.
This expanded model of what it means to be "intelligent" puts emotions at the center of aptitudes for living. Part Three examines some key differences this aptitude makes: how these abilities can preserve our most prized relationships, or their lack corrode them; how the market forces that are reshaping our work life are putting an unprecedented premium on emotional intelligence for on-the-job success; and how toxic emotions put our physical health at as much risk as does chain-smoking, even as emotional balance can help protect our health and well-being.
Our genetic heritage endows each of us with a series of emotional set-points that determines our temperament. But the brain circuitry involved is extraordinarily malleable; temperament is not destiny. As Part Four shows, the emotional lessons we learn as children at home and at school shape the emotional circuits, making us more adept—or inept—at the basics of emotional intelligence.
Part Five explores what hazards await those who, in growing to maturity, fail to master the emotional realm—how deficiencies in emotional intelligence heighten a spectrum of risks, from depression or a life of violence to eating disorders and drug abuse. And it documents how pioneering schools are teaching children the emotional and social skills they need to keep their lives on track. Perhaps the most disturbing single piece of data in this book comes from a massive survey of parents and teachers and shows a worldwide trend for the present generation of children to be more troubled emotionally than the last: more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.
If there is a remedy, I feel it must lie in how we prepare our young for life. At present we leave the emotional education of our children to chance, with ever more disastrous results. One solution is a new vision of what schools can do to educate the whole student, bringing together mind and heart in the classroom. Our journey ends with visits to innovative classes that aim to give children a grounding in the basics of emotional intelligence. I can foresee a day when education will routinely include inculcating essential human competencies such as self-awareness, self-control, and empathy, and the arts of listening, resolving conflicts, and cooperation.
In The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle's philosophical enquiry into virtue, character, and the good life, his challenge is to manage our emotional life with intelligence. Our passions, when well exercised, have wisdom; they guide our thinking, our values, our survival. But they can easily go awry, and do so all too often. As Aristotle saw, the problem is not with emotionality, but with the appropriateness of emotion and its expression. The question is, how can we bring intelligence to our emotions—and civility to our streets and caring to our communal life? It is with the heart that one sees rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
The Chauncey family were passengers on an Amtrak train that crashed into a river after a barge hit and weakened a railroad bridge in Louisiana's bayou country. Thinking first of their daughter, the couple tried their best to save Andrea as water rushed into the sinking train; somehow they managed to push Andrea through a window to rescuers. Then, as the car sank beneath the water, they perished.
Without doubt such incidents of parental sacrifice for their progeny have been repeated countless times in human history and prehistory, and countless more in the larger course of evolution of our species. But from the perspective of a parent making a desperate decision in a moment of crisis, it is about nothing other than love. As an insight into the purpose and potency of emotions, this exemplary act of parental heroism testifies to the role of altruistic love—and every other emotion we feel—in human life. That power is extraordinary: Only a potent love—the urgency of saving a cherished child—could lead a parent to override the impulse for personal survival.
Seen from the intellect, their self-sacrifice was arguably irrational; seen from the heart, it was the only choice to make. Sociobiologists point to the preeminence of heart over head at such crucial moments when they conjecture about why evolution has given emotion such a central role in the human psyche. Each emotion offers a distinctive readiness to act; each points us in a direction that has worked well to handle the recurring challenges of human life. A view of human nature that ignores the power of emotions is sadly shortsighted.
The very name Homo sapiens, the thinking species, is misleading in light of the new appreciation and vision of the place of emotions in our lives that science now offers. As we all know from experience, when it comes to shaping our decisions and our actions, feeling counts every bit as much—and often more—than thought. We have gone too far in emphasizing the value and import of the purely rational—of what IQ measures—in human life.
Intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway. Fourteen-year-old Matilda Crabtree was just playing a practical joke on her father: she jumped out of a closet and yelled "Boo! But Bobby Crabtree and his wife thought Matilda was staying with friends that night. Hearing noises as he entered the house, Crabtree reached for his. When his daughter jumped from the closet, Crabtree shot her in the neck. Matilda Crabtree died twelve hours later. Fear primed Crabtree to shoot before he could fully register what he was shooting at, even before he could recognize his daughter's voice.
Automatic reactions of this sort have become etched in our nervous system, evolutionary biologists presume, because for a long and crucial period in human prehistory they made the difference between survival and death. Even more important, they mattered for the main task of evolution: being able to bear progeny who would carry on these very genetic predispositions—a sad irony, given the tragedy at the Crabtree household. But while our emotions have been wise guides in the evolutionary long run, the new realities civilization presents have arisen with such rapidity that the slow march of evolution cannot keep up.
Indeed, the first laws and proclamations of ethics—the Code of Hammurabi, the Ten Commandments of the Hebrews, the Edicts of Emperor Ashoka —can be read as attempts to harness, subdue, and domesticate emotional life. Despite these social constraints, passions overwhelm reason time and again. This given of human nature arises from the basic architecture of mental life. In terms of biological design for the basic neural circuitry of emotion, what we are born with is what worked best for the last 50, human generations, not the last generations— and certainly not the last five. The slow, deliberate forces of evolution that have shaped our emotions have done their work over the course of a million years; the last 10, years—despite having witnessed the rapid rise of human civilization and the explosion of the human population from five million to five billion—have left little imprint on our biological templates for emotional life.
For better or for worse, our appraisal of every personal encounter and our responses to it are shaped not just by our rational judgments or our personal history, but also by our distant ancestral past. This leaves us with sometimes tragic propensities, as witness the sad events at the Crabtree household. In short, we too often confront postmodern dilemmas with an emotional repertoire tailored to the urgencies of the Pleistocene. That predicament is at the heart of my subject. Impulses to Action One early spring day I was driving along a highway over a mountain pass in Colorado, when a snow flurry suddenly blotted out the car a few lengths ahead of me.
As I peered ahead I couldn't make out anything; the swirling snow was now a blinding whiteness. Pressing my foot on the brake, I could feel anxiety flood my body and hear the thumping of my heart. The anxiety built to full fear: I pulled over to the side of the road, waiting for the flurry to pass. A half hour later the snow stopped, visibility returned, and I continued on my way—only to be stopped a few hundred yards down the road, where an ambulance crew was helping a passenger in a car that had rear-ended a slower car in front; the collision blocked the highway.
If I had continued driving in the blinding snow, I probably would have hit them. The caution fear forced on me that day may have saved my life. Like a rabbit frozen in terror at the hint of a passing fox—or a protomammal hiding from a marauding dinosaur —I was overtaken by an internal state that compelled me to stop, pay attention, and take heed of a coming clanger. All emotions are, in essence, impulses to act, the instant plans for handling life that evolution has instilled in us.
The very root of the word emotion is motere, the Latin verb "to move," plus the prefix "e-" to connote "move away," suggesting that a tendency to act is implicit in every emotion. At the same time, the body freezes, if only for a moment, perhaps allowing time to gauge whether hiding might be a better reaction. Circuits in the brain's emotional centers trigger a flood of hormones that put the body on general alert, making it edgy and ready for action, and attention fixates on the threat at hand, the better to evaluate what response to make.
But there is no particular shift in physiology save a quiescence, which makes the body recover more quickly from the biological arousal of upsetting emotions. This configuration offers the body a general rest, as well as readiness and enthusiasm for whatever task is at hand and for striving toward a great variety of goals. The parasympathetic pattern, dubbed the "relaxation response," is a body wide set of reactions that generates a general state of calm and contentment, facilitating cooperation. This offers more information about the unexpected event, making it easier to figure out exactly what is going on and concoct the best plan for action. The facial expression of disgust—the upper lip curled to the side as the nose wrinkles slightly— suggests a primordial attempt, as Darwin observed, to close the nostrils against a noxious odor or to spit out a poisonous food.
Sadness brings a drop in energy and enthusiasm for life's activities, particularly diversions and pleasures, and, as it deepens and approaches depression, slows the body's metabolism. This introspective withdrawal creates the opportunity to mourn a loss or frustrated hope, grasp its consequences for one's life, and, as energy returns, plan new beginnings. This loss of energy may well have kept saddened—and vulnerable—early humans close to home, where they were safer. These biological propensities to act are shaped further by our life experience and our culture. For instance, universally the loss of a loved one elicits sadness and grief.
But how we show our grieving—how emotions are displayed or held back for private moments—is molded by culture, as are which particular people in our lives fall into the category of "loved ones" to be mourned. The protracted period of evolution when these emotional responses were hammered into shape was certainly a harsher reality than most humans endured as a species after the dawn of recorded history. It was a time when few infants survived to childhood and few adults to thirty years, when predators could strike at any moment, when the vagaries of droughts and floods meant the difference between starvation and survival.
But with the coming of agriculture and even the most rudimentary human societies, the odds for survival began to change dramatically. In the last ten thousand years, when these advances took hold throughout the world, the ferocious pressures that had held the human population in check eased steadily. Those same pressures had made our emotional responses so valuable for survival; as they waned, so did the goodness of fit of parts of our emotional repertoire.
While in the ancient past a hair-trigger anger may have offered a crucial edge for survival, the availability of automatic weaponry to thirteen-year-olds has made it too often a disastrous reaction. Her husband had fallen in love with a younger woman at work, and suddenly announced he was leaving to live with the other woman. Months of bitter wrangling over house, money, and custody of the children followed. Now, some months later, she was saying that her independence was appealing to her, that she was happy to be on her own. But as she said it, her eyes momentarily welled up with tears.
That moment of teary eyes could easily pass unnoted. But the empathic understanding that someone's watering eyes means she is sad despite her words to the contrary is an act of comprehending just as surely as is distilling meaning from words on a printed page. One is an act of the emotional mind, the other of the rational mind. In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels. These two fundamentally different ways of knowing interact to construct our mental life.
One, the rational mind, is the mode of comprehension we are typically conscious of: more prominent in awareness, thoughtful, able to ponder and reflect. But alongside that there is another system of knowing: impulsive and powerful, if sometimes illogical —the emotional mind. For a more detailed description of the characteristics of the emotional mind, see Appendix B. There is a steady gradient in the ratio of rational-to-emotional control over the mind; the more intense the feeling, the more dominant the emotional mind becomes—and the more ineffectual the rational. This is an arrangement that seems to stem from eons of evolutionary advantage to having emotions and intuitions guide our instantaneous response in situations where our lives are in peril—and where pausing to think over what to do could cost us our lives.
These two minds, the emotional and the rational, operate in tight harmony for the most part, intertwining their very different ways of knowing to guide us through the world. Ordinarily there is a balance between emotional and rational minds, with emotion feeding into and informing the operations of the rational mind, and the rational mind refining and sometimes vetoing the inputs of the emotions. Still, the emotional and rational minds are semi-independent faculties, each, as we shall see, reflecting the operation of distinct, but interconnected, circuitry in the brain.
In many or most moments these minds are exquisitely coordinated; feelings are essential to thought, thought to feeling. But when passions surge the balance tips: it is the emotional mind that captures the upper hand, swamping the rational mind. The sixteenth- century humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote in a satirical vein of this perennial tension between reason and emotion:9 Jupiter has bestowed far more passion than reason—you could calculate the ratio as 24 to one.
He set up two raging tyrants in opposition to Reason's solitary power: anger and lust. How far Reason can prevail against the combined forces of these two the common life of man makes quite clear. Human brains, with their three pounds or so of cells and neural juices, are about triple the size of those in our nearest cousins in evolution, the nonhuman primates.
Over millions of years of evolution, the brain has grown from the bottom up, with its higher centers developing as elaborations of lower, more ancient parts. The growth of the brain in the human embryo roughly retraces this evolutionary course. The most primitive part of the brain, shared with all species that have more than a minimal nervous system, is the brainstem surrounding the top of the spinal cord.
This root brain regulates basic life functions like breathing and the metabolism of the body's other organs, as well as controlling stereotyped reactions and movements. This primitive brain cannot be said to think or learn; rather it is a set of preprogrammed regulators that keep the body running as it should and reacting in a way that ensures survival. This brain reigned supreme in the Age of the Reptiles: Picture a snake hissing to signal the threat of an attack. From the most primitive root, the brainstem, emerged the emotional centers. Millions of years later in evolution, from these emotional areas evolved the thinking brain or "neocortex," the great bulb of convoluted tissues that make up the top layers. The fact that the thinking brain grew from the emotional reveals much about the relationship of thought to feeling; there was an emotional brain long before there was a rational one.
The most ancient root of our emotional life is in the sense of smell, or, more precisely, in the olfactory lobe, the cells that take in and analyze smell. Every living entity, be it nutritious, poisonous, sexual partner, predator or prey, has a distinctive molecular signature that can be carried in the wind. In those primitive times smell commended itself as a paramount sense for survival. From the olfactory lobe the ancient centers for emotion began to evolve, eventually growing large enough to encircle the top of the brainstem.
In its rudimentary stages, the olfactory center was composed of little more than thin layers of neurons gathered to analyze smell. One layer of cells took in what was smelled and sorted it out into the relevant categories: edible or toxic, sexually available, enemy or meal. A second layer of cells sent reflexive messages throughout the nervous system telling the body what to do: bite, spit, approach, flee, chase.
Because this part of the brain rings and borders the brainstem, it was called the "limbic" system, from "limbus," the Latin word for "ring. As it evolved, the limbic system refined two powerful tools: learning and memory. These revolutionary advances allowed an animal to be much smarter in its choices for survival, and to fine-tune its responses to adapt to changing demands rather than having invariable and automatic reactions. If a food led to sickness, it could be avoided next time.
Decisions like knowing what to eat and what to spurn were still determined largely through smell; the connections between the olfactory bulb and the limbic system now took on the tasks of making distinctions among smells and recognizing them, comparing a present smell with past ones, and so discriminating good from bad. This was done by the "rhinencephalon," literally, the "nose brain," a part of the limbic wiring, and the rudimentary basis of the neocortex, the thinking brain.
About million years ago the brain in mammals took a great growth spurt. Piled on top of the thin two-layered cortex—the regions that plan, comprehend what is sensed, coordinate movement—several new layers of brain cells were added to form the neocortex. In contrast to the ancient brain's two-layered cortex, the neocortex offered an extraordinary intellectual edge. The Homo sapiens neocortex, so much larger than in any other species, has added all that is distinctly human. The neocortex is the seat of thought; it contains the centers that put together and comprehend what the senses perceive. It adds to a feeling what we think about it—and allows us to have feelings about ideas, art, symbols, imaginings.
In evolution the neocortex allowed a judicious fine-tuning that no doubt has made enormous advantages in an organism's ability to survive adversity, making it more likely that its progeny would in turn pass on the genes that contain that same neural circuitry. The survival edge is due to the neocortex's talent for strategizing, long-term planning, and other mental wiles. Beyond that, the triumphs of art, of civilization and culture, are all fruits of the neocortex. This new addition to the brain allowed the addition of nuance to emotional life.
Take love. Limbic structures generate feelings of pleasure and sexual desire—the emotions that feed sexual passion. But the addition of the neocortex and its connections to the limbic system allowed for the mother-child bond that is the basis of the family unit and the long-term commitment to childrearing that makes human development possible. Species that have no neocortex, such as reptiles, lack maternal affection; when their young hatch, the newborns must hide to avoid being cannibalized. As we proceed up the phylogenetic scale from reptile to rhesus to human, the sheer mass of the neocortex increases; with that increase comes a geometric rise in the interconnections in brain circuitry. The larger the number of such connections, the greater the range of possible responses.
The neocortex allows for the subtlety and complexity of emotional life, such as the ability to have feelings about our feelings. There is more neocortex-to-limbic system in primates than in other species—and vastly more in humans—suggesting why we are able to display a far greater range of reactions to our emotions, and more nuance. While a rabbit or rhesus has a restricted set of typical responses to fear, the larger human neocortex allows a far more nimble repertoire—including calling The more complex the social system, the more essential is such flexibility—and there is no more complex social world than our own. Because so many of the brain's higher centers sprouted from or extended the scope of the limbic area, the emotional brain plays a crucial role in neural architecture.
As the root from which the newer brain grew, the emotional areas are intertwined via myriad connecting circuits to all parts of the neocortex. This gives the emotional centers immense power to influence the functioning of the rest of the brain— including its centers for thought. Martin Luther King, Jr. On that day Richard Robles, a seasoned burglar who had just been paroled from a three-year sentence for the more than one hundred break-ins he had pulled to support a heroin habit, decided to do one more. He wanted to renounce crime, Robles later claimed, but he desperately needed money for his girlfriend and their three-year-old daughter.
The apartment he broke into that day belonged to two young women, twenty-one-year- old Janice Wylie, a researcher at Newsweek magazine, and twenty-three-year-old Emily Hoffert, a grade-school teacher. Though Robles chose the apartment on New York's swanky Upper East Side to burglarize because he thought no one would be there, Wylie was home. Threatening her with a knife, Robles tied her up. As he was leaving, Hoffert came home. To make good his escape, Robles began to tie her up, too. As Robles tells the tale years later, while he was tying up Hoffert, Janice Wylie warned him he would not get away with this crime: She would remember his face and help the police track him down. Robles, who had promised himself this was to have been his last burglary, panicked at that, completely losing control.
In a frenzy, he grabbed a soda bottle and clubbed the women until they were unconscious, then, awash in rage and fear, he slashed and stabbed them over and over with a kitchen knife. Looking back on that moment some twenty-five years later, Robles lamented, "I just went bananas. My head just exploded. At this writing he is still in prison, some three decades later, for what became known as the "Career Girl Murders.
At those moments, evidence suggests, a center in the limbic brain proclaims an emergency, recruiting the rest of the brain to its urgent agenda. The hijacking occurs in an instant, triggering this reaction crucial moments before the neocortex, the thinking brain, has had a chance to glimpse fully what is happening, let alone decide if it is a good idea.
The hallmark of such a hijack is that once the moment passes, those so possessed have the sense of not knowing what came over them. These hijacks are by no means isolated, horrific incidents that lead to brutal crimes like the Career Girl Murders. In less catastrophic form—but not necessarily less intense —they happen to us with fair frequency. Think back to the last time you "lost it," blowing up at someone—your spouse or child, or perhaps the driver of another car—to a degree that later, with some reflection and hindsight, seemed uncalled for. In all probability, that, too, was such a hijacking, a neural takeover which, as we shall see, originates in the amygdala, a center in the limbic brain.
Not all limbic hijackings are distressing. When a joke strikes someone as so uproarious that their laughter is almost explosive, that, too, is a limbic response. It is at work also in moments of intense joy: When Dan Jansen, after several heartbreaking failures to capture an Olympic Gold Medal for speed skating which he had vowed to do for his dying sister , finally won the Gold in the 1,meter race in the Winter Olympics in Norway, his wife was so overcome by the excitement and happiness that she had to be rushed to emergency physicians at rinkside. There are two amygdalas, one on each side of the brain, nestled toward the side of the head. The human amygdala is relatively large compared to that in any of our closest evolutionary cousins, the primates.
The hippocampus and the amygdala were the two key parts of the primitive "nose brain" that, in evolution, gave rise to the cortex and then the neocortex. To this day these limbic structures do much or most of the brain's learning and remembering; the amygdala is the specialist for emotional matters. If the amygdala is severed from the rest of the brain, the result is a striking inability to gauge the emotional significance of events; this condition is sometimes called "affective blindness.
One young man whose amygdala had been surgically removed to control severe seizures became completely uninterested in people, preferring to sit in isolation with no human contact.Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis Financial Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis. Summary: The Life Of Bill Clinton il vantaggio di essere riutilizzabili: la cera poteva essere fusa e Hamlet Impulsiveness Analysis una "pagina bianca". Zecharia Sitchin - The 12th Planet.