2013 – The Year We Discovered the Brain

  • December 24, 2013 at 10:30 am


Every job is unique. I think mine is too.

And in doing my job, I am called upon to ponder why people do things. Why people will believe something. Why people will do something.

Then I get to see the results of the work I do. Increasingly they align – my thoughts and the results. Sometimes, and it hurts like hell, they don’t align.

Anyways, that was is not I want to write about.

I want to write something to mark the year we discovered the brain. The year we truly started to understand this thing called a brain.

The invention and continual improvement of medical imaging technology has allowed us to peer into the human brain and watch the levels and movement of chemicals in the brain.

It’s magnificent stuff. If I did not have the best job in the world, I would be keen to study it.

This revolution has been supported by a treasure trove of documentation in books, videos, academic papers, and some mainstream media.

In the latter, the final conclusion that the left-brain and right-brain theory is wrong got the lion’s share of mainstream attention.

But hidden away, only known about by people in the field, certain types of medical professionals, and marketing folks, is an almost overwhelming year of discovery.

I could write for days on the things that have started to emerge about how we think. Or better put, the why behind our thinking.

For example, we now know exactly how long it takes to reject an idea. It is a long time before our conscious mind knows it has.

But that is small beer.

We have an increasing kit bag of insights that can be used for good or evil. I would like to do good with the little I have learned.

Of all the things I have learned from MRI discoveries, one stands out.

It’s about how patterns rule us.

Most people that I work with will have got mightily bored with my constant rants about patterns. In the advertising and marketing context, that is.

But in my travels across 2013, across countless words read, this pattern thing has become bigger to me. It has revealed much about how we behave and act with each other. And how much patterns from our childhood and early adult-hood impact on what we do now and how we behave.

In my work context, I talk too much about interrupting the pattern.

In the wider context, it has become more of a religious matter.

In the past few months I have been quicker to think through patterns in my life and seek out those that reap benefit and do away with those that don’t.

With those that don’t do me good, I am going about changing them … interrupting them. The effects, I can already report, are quite good.

Beside the pattern thing, I have come to understand a little about the importance of key chemicals in the brain. Dopamine is the biggie.

I think it is like a God Chemical.

So, I am interested in increasing the dopamine running around in my brain.

2013 is definitely the year that humanity took a giant leap into the endless world of the human brain.

And, to a much lesser degree, it’s the year I started to discover my brain.