Serotonin and Conflict

Serotonin and Conflict

Serotonin may seem like the opposite of conflict since it produces a pleasant feeling. But animal studies show that this pleasantness is the expectation of social dominance. Citations A landmark serotonin study put a one-way mirror between an alpha monkey and his...
The Exciting History of Psychology

The Exciting History of Psychology

I find inspiration in the history of psychology. A hundred years ago, the fight-or-flight response was explained by the research of Walter B. Canon. I saw this discovery through his eyes in his autobiography, “The Way of an Investigator: A scientist’s...
Anxiety Caused by Flawed Expectations

Anxiety Caused by Flawed Expectations

The expectation of harm Anxiety is the expectation of harm- not a conscious expectation but the flow of electricity into an old circuit that prepares it for action. We can relieve anxiety by learning to re-route that flow into a new circuit. Expectations are the core...
Neuroplasticity: The Inconvenient Truth

Neuroplasticity: The Inconvenient Truth

Neuroplasticity drops after puberty. We can add new leaves to our neural trees after that, but new branches are rare. That’s why we often find ourselves using neural pathways built in youth despite our best intentions. We don’t consciously rely on old pathways, and...