ALPHABETICAL BRAIN™ VOCABULARY
HUMANIST SECULAR THINKERS
May 29, 2021
EMOTIONAL LIFE OF YOUR BRAIN:
How its unique patterns affect the way
you think, feel, and live
and how you can change them.
by Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley.
Hudson Street Press, 2012 (i-xviii, 279 pages)
note = Numbers in parentheses refer to pages
Quote = "Perhaps most fundamentally, how does the brain produce the different Emotional Styles — and are they hardwired into our neural circuitry, or is there anything we can do to change them and thus alter how we deal with and respond to the pleasures and vicissitudes of life? And if we are able to somehow change our Emotional Style [in chapter 2, I will suggest some methods for doing so], does it also produce measurable changes in the brain?" by author, Richard Davidson. (4)
"Neither conventional aspects of personality nor simple emotional traits or moods, let alone diagnostic criteria for mental illness, these six dimensions reflect the discoveries of modern neuroscientific research:" by author, Richard Davidson. (xii)
Quote = "So as not to leave you in suspense --- and to make specific what I mean by Emotional Style --- let me lay out its bare bones. There are six dimensions of Emotional Style. The existence of the six did not just suddenly occur to me, nor did they emerge early on in my research, let alone result from a command decision that six would be a nice number. Instead, they arose from systematic studies of the neural bases of emotion. Each of the six dimensions has a specific identifiable neural signature — a good indication that they are real and not merely a theoretical construct. It is conceivable that there are more than six dimensions, but it is unlikely: The major emotion circuits in the brain are:" by author, Richard Davidson. (4)
Emotional Style Comprises Six Dimensions (xii)
 Resilience: how slowly or quickly you recover from adversity.
 Outlook: how long you are able to sustain positive emotion.
 Social Intuition: how adept you are at picking up social signals from the people around you.
 Self-Awareness: how well you perceive bodily feelings that reflect emotions.
 Sensitivity to Context: how good you are at regulating your emotional responses to take into account the context you find yourself in.
 Attention: how sharp and clear your focus is.
INTRODUCTION — A scientific quest (ix-xviii)
1) ONE BRAIN DOES NOT FIT ALL (1-12)
2) THE DISCOVERY OF EMOTIONAL STYLE (13-41)
3) ASSESSING YOUR EMOTIONAL STYLE (43-65)
4) THE BRAIN BASIS OF EMOTIONAL STYLE (67-90)
5) HOW EMOTIONAL STYLE DEVELOPS (91-112)
6) THE MIND-BRAIN-BODY CONNECTION, OR HOW EMOTIONAL STYLE INFLUENCES HEALTH (113-136)
7) NORMAL AND ABNORMAL, AND WHEN "DIFFERENT" BECOMES PATHOLOGICAL (137-160)
8) THE PLASTIC BRAIN (161-175)
9) COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET (177-197)
10) THE MONK IN THE MACHINE (199-224)
11) REWIRED, OR NEURALLY INSPIRED EXERCISES TO CHANGE YOUR EMOTIONAL STYLE (225-252)
Changing Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind
note = "All the exercises in this chapter work through the mind to change your brain. Whether inspired by millennia-old contemplative traditions or 21st century psychiatric techniques.They have the power to alter the neural systems that underlie each of the six dimensions of Emotional Style."
note = "Any decision to shift your set point on any of these dimensions should be based on thoughtful introspection about whether it is keeping you from being the person you wish to be and living the life you aspire to. This, of course, requires awareness, something that, when it comes to understanding how we respond to emotional challenges, is in short supply. I hope the questionnaires in chapter 3 helped with that."
note = "I hope, too, that with this awareness you have seen that who you are today does not need to be who you are tomorrow, but that our Emotional Style is ours for the creating."
note = "Emotions help us appreciate others and the world around us; they make life meaningful and fulfilling. May each and every one of you flourish in your well-being and help others to do the same." (252)
AUTHOR NOTES, SUMMARY,
AND BOOK DESCRIPTION
AUTHOR NOTES = Richard J. Davidson is a professor and director of the W. M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Sharon Begley is the senior health and science correspondent at Reuters. She is the bestselling author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain. She had been the science editor and science columnist at Newsweek as well as science columnist at The Wall Street Journal.
SUMMARY = What is your emotional fingerprint? Why are some people so quick to recover from setbacks? Why are some so attuned to others that they seem psychic? Why are some people always up and others always down?
BOOK DESCRIPTION = In his 30-year quest to answer these questions, pioneering neuroscientist Richard J. Davidson discovered that each of us has an Emotional Style, composed of Resilience, Outlook, Social Intuition, Self-Awareness, Sensitivity to Context, and Attention. Where we fall on these six continuums determines our own "emotional fingerprint." The fascinating case histories and experiments have been described with the help of Sharon Begley, who is a leading science journalist. The book offers a new model for treating conditions like autism and depression as it empowers us all to better understand ourselves — and live more meaningful lives.
PROFESSIONAL BOOK REVIEWS
 This book is an eye-opener, replete with breakthrough research that will change the way you see yourself and everyone you know. Richard Davidson and Sharon Begley make a star team: cutting-edge findings formulated in a delightful, can't-put-it-down read. I loved this book. -- Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., bestselling author of the book, Emotional Intelligence.
 Whether he is measuring neural activity in the laboratory or climbing the Himalayas to meet the Dalai Lama, Davidson is an inveterate explorer who has spent a lifetime probing the deep mystery of human feeling. Don't miss this smart and lively book by the world's foremost expert on emotion and the brain. -- Daniel Gilbert, Ph.D., author of the book, Stumbling on Happiness.
 This superb book is many things --- a crystal clear tour of the neuroscience of emotion; a primer about how the scientific process works; a personal story by a really likable guy; and the promise of a better world. This is a wonderful book." -- Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D., author of the books, Why Zebras Don 't Get Ulcers and Monkeyluv.
 What a gift from the world's leading neuroscientist who works on what makes life worth living. This is a must-read for everyone who is interested in positive psychology. -- Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., author of the books, Learned Optimism and Flourish.
 The best book l know on how to use the exciting discoveries of neuroscience to change your life. A fabulous read --- a scientific adventure story like Sherlock Holmes meeting Watson and Crick with the Dalai Lama as their adviser -- Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., author of the book, The Wise Heart.
 Richard Davidson, a visionary neuropsychologist, joins with Sharon Begley, one of the most astute science writers, to illuminate the dimensions of our emotional makeup and offer cogent and compelling ways for us to grow into more effective and fulfilled selves. -- Jerome Groopman, M.D., author of the book, How Doctors Think.
Emotional Style Exercises will be added soon
RECOMMENDATION: You can re-read this summary according to a reinforcement schedule, such as a few hours later and a few days later and then several times in the next week or two. This strategy can help you take advantage of the power of the spaced-repetition method of memorization. Such deep introspection can strengthen your willpower and change your adaptive self-identity to increase your self-esteem.
You Are Your Adaptable Memory!
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