Behave : The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M Sapolsky

Are we better than our biology ?

Our cognitive load after making numerous decision , immediately afterward performance on a difference frontal dependent task  – decline.

Honesty is always come more easily thanks to automatically.

Once our reward contingents are learned, dopamine is less about the reward than about its anticipation. Dopamine is not about happiness of reward. Its about happiness of pursuit of reward that has decent chance of occurring.

Ethology : What objectively is the behavior , what trigger it ? Did it have to be learned ? How did it evolve ? What is the behavior’s adaptive value ?

In 40Mil second, subject can accurately distinguish high to low social status presentation. Merely a convicted and a shatter sentence can do the trick.

You decide what you feel based on signal from your body. Unconscious priming with words influence pro/anti social behavior. Eye carry lots of information about emotional status. It turn out the brain biased us towards perpetually looking at eyes.

Testosterone increase confidence and optimism while decrease fear and anxiety. Winning effect worked because winning stimulate testosterone secretion, increase glucose delivery and metabolism in animal muscle and wake his smell sciatica. However, testosterone make people cocky, ego central and narcissistic. Testosterone did not create new social pattern of aggression, it triggered per-existing one. The rise in testosterone after a challenge make aggression more likely.

In state of homeostasis, it create the same response of being a lion or a zebra. Both need energy for muscle, heart rate and blood pressure increase. During stress, long term building project, growth / repair / reproductive are postponed.

Its a rare human when sicken because they cant activate stress response too often, too long and for purely psychological reason. What is optimal amount of stress ? Being engaged , engrossed and challenged. Being stimulated, playing. Core of psychological stress is less of control and predictability.

Complete absence of stress is boring, moderate, a nice amount of stress is wonderful. Stress make it easier to learn a fear associate and to consolidate into long term memory. Stress also make it harder to unlearn fear, stress weaken the pfc hold over the amygdala.

Human excel at stress displacement aggression, therefore economic downturn increase domestic violence.

Forming new memory doesn’t require new synapse, it require strength of per-existing synapses. Repeating firing across a synapse “Strength” it. Repeated enough time, then the light bub goes on and you get it.

Fear conditioning involve synapses LTP-ing in the basoleteral amygdala. Sustained stress increase BDNF level and expand , persistently increased anxiety and fear conditioning.

Size of brain region change with experience concern back party of hippocampus, which play in memory of spital map.

The later particular brain region matures, the less its shaped by genes and the more by environment.

Attachment to the caretakers has to ensure that the infant forms a bond to that caregiver regardless of quality of care received. Kids born in LSE family, the odd of your succeeding life already against you.

There are 2 types of childhood adversity

  1. Observing violence, exposure to childhood ‘s violence increase adult aggression
  2. Bullying

Our environment can be divided as the inside world and the outside world.

Gene doesn’t make sense outside the context of environment. Genetic influence work through very indirect route ( Being tall > Being treat better > More confident). Its not meaningful to ask what a gene does, just what it does in a particular environment.

The root of collection is like rice plant in China.

In Evolution, certain biological traits are inhibited, mutation/gene recombination and some of those variants cause more fitness than others.

Evolution is about reproduction, not survival of fitness. Natural selection for trait persist to the present.

Behavior evolve, its optimized by selection into being adaptive. Animal dont behave for the good for the species, they behave to maximize the number of copy of the gene passed into next generation.

Why there is hierarchy ? A species benefit from a stable social system in which everyone know his place . 40Mil Seconds make a difference between direct gaze vs over-ted gaze. The attaining high rank drive our enlargement of brain.

Human show obedience to authority that transcend any given occupant of a throne. Obedience is closely intertwined with conformity, from with the group, later with authority.  Animal conformity is type of social learning.

A chimp is more likely to copy an action after 3 individual do it once than one other individual do 3 times. Animal will perform one version of behavior not because its better but simply because everyone else does.

Average people will go along with absurdly incorrect assertions in the name of conformity.  Bad barrel theory – how a bad barrel can turn any apple bad.

Any deed, for good or evil, that any human being has ever done. Yes and i could also do -given same situational force include

  1. Persuasive power of incremental
  2. Responsibility – you wont be held responsible – The power of misdirecting responsibility.

Compliance increased when guilt diffused, even you haven’t done it it would still happen.  People are more likely to conform / obey at time of stress.

Always re-frame / re-appraise a situation , perspective, question.

We use different brain circuit when contemplating our own moral failing vs others. Moral decision can be affected by

  1. Identities primed
  2. Language used
  3. Step the intentonality
  4. Level of stress haromone
  5. Fullness of stomach
  6. Smell of environment

Shame require an audience, is about honor. Guilt is for culture that treasure privacy and about consonance. Efficient shaming require a conformist population.

Until next time

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