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Your Brain's Creation Story: Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd teach evolutionary brain science

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Published on Feb 17, 2012

Evolution has provisioned the human brain with four basic parts, reflecting our evolutionary ancestry: our so-called Reptilian Brain, Old Mammalian Brain, New Mammalian Brain, and Advanced (prefrontal cortex). Learning our brain's "creation story" helps us have compassion for ourselves and others, owing to the social, emotional, and substance challenges that ensue from "mismatched instincts" that are no longer in sync with today's cultural conditions.

This understanding offers enormous practical assistance, too, in working through relational troubles, PTSD, and addictions to food, substances, internet porn, and romance novels. It offers special insight into the enormous challenges of adolescence (as the prefrontal cortex "rewires" for independence and the biological drive to find a mate) — and thus the importance of adult guidance and mentoring of youth.

Barlow and Dowd introduce playful illustrations and terminology for the four parts of the brain: "Lizard Legacy" (Reptilian), "Furry Li'l Mammal" (Old Mammalian), "Monkey Mind" (New Mammalian neocortex), and "Higher Porpoise" (the newest brain add-on: the prefrontal cortex that gives us impulse control and the ability to commit to a higher purpose). Topics covered, linked to times:

Inherited proclivities - 00:12
Reptilian Brain - 00:14
Old Mammalian Brain - 01:22
New Mammalian Brain (Monkey Mind) - 02:16
Advanced (prefrontal cortex) - 02:49
Mismatch theory (and cultural evolution) - 03:05
Substance Addictions (owing to mismatched instincts) - 04:05
Substance Addictions and Teen - 05:03
Fault v. responsibility (for moving beyond denial) - 5:33
Appreciation of ancient instincts for evoking compassion - 06:17
Making 12-step and other recovery groups more effective - 06:57
Codependence and the Old Mammalian Brain - 08:00
"Lizard Legacy, Furry Li'l Mammal, Monkey Mind, Higher Porpoise" - 08:45
Recovery programs (advantages of) - 09:13
"Witness" capacity in prefrontal cortex and its delay in maturation - 10:25
Hormones that affect mind and behavior throughout animal kingdom - 14:21
Universality of our evolved human nature and male/female differences- 14:53
Free will (new understanding of via evolutionary brain science) - 17:01
Practical uses of understanding our evolved quadrune brain - 17:27
Music: different brain components respond to different types - 17:57
What and when do we teach our kids about evolved brain? - 18:43
Evolutionary education in liberal churches can attract young families - 18: 56
Halsey (teen) story of awakening to evolutionary brain science - 19:36
Insight into a child's "meltdown" - 22:01
Child and teen fascinations for strengthening the prefrontal cortex - 22:40
Prefrontal cortex override of amygdala: pilot landing jet in Hudson River - 24:49
Elephant-and-rider metaphor (strengthening witness capacity) - 27:34
Integrity as trust, authenticity, responsibility, and service - 28:59
12-step programs as fostering integrity - 32:37
Useful practices when emotionally triggered and stressed - 33:16
PTSD story of how quadrune brain can help talking therapies - 36:25
Free will: intro to evolutionary understanding of - 41:10
Lust v. romantic attraction v. bonded commitment (Dr. Helen Fisher) - 42:03
Free will as choosing "environment" one consults in mulling over possibilities - 43:29
Emergence of senses, behaviors, free will - 44:29
Addiction to romance novels as female version of "porn" - 45:24
Addiction to pornography by males - 46:34
Worms and bees can get addicted to nicotine and cocaine - 46:56
Antidepressants, serotonin, and the downside for dopamine in romance - 47:42
Monogamy, prairie voles, vasopressin, and good daddies - 48:57
President Obama and his nicotine addiction - 49:33
Alcohol's attraction for teens in social interactions (and its dangers) - 49:56
Caring adults as the "prefrontal cortex" for teens - 52:36
Audience question: "engineering" flaws in human mind and body - 52:58
More resources: go to http://TheGreatStory.org - 53:40

Note: This video was recorded as part of a week-long series of presentations by Connie Barlow and Michael Dowd. You can access a video of the way Michael Dowd initially introduced the science underpinning "Your Brain's Creation Story" by viewing Michael's Youtube video, "Evolutionize Your Life pt 1 of 2 with Michael Dowd" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loBx1X...

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