Deep Word #16: The Amygdala Fired Only for the Positive Images`

Deep Word Writing Project Template
Title: The Amygdala Fired Only for the Positive Images

Quote: Scientists can watch this effect in action all the way down to the neurological level. Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen, to name one such example, used an fMRI scanner to study the brain behavior of subjects presented with both positive and negative imagery. She found that for young people, their amygdala (a center of emotion) fired with activity at both types of imagery. When she instead scanned the elderly, the amygdala fired only for the positive images. Carstensen hypothesizes that the elderly subjects had trained the prefrontal cortex to inhibit the amygdala in the presence of negative stimuli. These elderly subjects were not happier because their life circumstances were better than those of the young subjects; they were instead happier because they had rewired their brains to ignore the negative and savor the positive. By skillfully managing their attention, they improved their world without changing anything concrete about it. We can now step back and use Gallagher’s grand theory to better understand the role of deep work in cultivating a good life. This theory tells us that your world is the outcome of what you pay attention to, so consider for a moment the type of mental world constructed when you dedicate significant time to deep endeavors. There’s a gravity and sense of importance inherent in deep work … [1]

Note: [ under construction! ]

DISCERNMENT QUESTIONS
What gets your attention?
What human needs or problems are addressed?
What questions do you have?
What solution or hope does it offer?

What does it say that we need to obey?
What would a camera see if this happened?
Who needs to hear this?
What are the actual steps that I would take?

SOURCE – Footnotes:

[1]  Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2016),

[2]  

This post, and others in this series, are based on the book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2016), and as a group are a review of the important ideas and of the entire book. I was also privileged to take the online course Life of Focus Standard Edition [CN040]taught by Cal Newport and Scott Young and presented through https://www.scotthyoung.com, which enhanced my understanding of the subject which I am now applying to my own profession, the work of the local church pastor.

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Key: Deep_Word_#16  Last Revision: 10/06/2020

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