How the Brain Shapes Relationships—and our organizations
This session was more grounded on scientific data than its theoretical cousins. The presenter is not a scientist but claims personal reasons for studying the biology and chemistry of the brain for the past 20 years.
Factoids about the brain and its development provided a scientific background for the need, physiologically speaking, of the brain to establish positive experiences. Positive and negative experiences and your physical environment affect the chemistry of the brain, its ability to process information, its plasticity (the brain is a modifiable as a consequence of its experiences to outside stimulus), and its ability to re-wire itself.
The brain is a social organ, and it “likes to be with other brains.” In fact, the brain demands socializing and needs it in a multitude of ways. Similarly, negative or constant feedback, particularly in an organization, can “scar” the brain and wire it to encourage and act out that negative feedback. This is the dangerous aspect of poor relationships, what the speaker called “relational poverty.”
All in all this was an enlightening presentation as it was founded on scientific research. Other topics covered included the brain’s memory capacity. emotions and reason, past brain research study, and neuron development. I can’t go much on the research aspect, but this presentation was a nice balance to the open emotional connections being made throughout this conference—but to find out that the brain actually “likes to be with other brains” (chemically and physiologically speaking) in a positive, conscious level, well…it just makes sense.