Is Wisdom in the Brain?

July 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
Wisdom for centuries has been a religious or philosophical concept that varies somewhat by culture. But Jeste tells ScientificAmerican.com that there is reason to believe that it’s rooted in neurobiology.
clipped from www.scientificamerican.com
Jeste and Meeks, both geriatric psychiatrists at the University of California,
San Diego, hypothesize in
the Archives of General Psychiatry
that wisdom, or at least the
execution of its attributes, can be found in the brain’s primitive limbic
system
as well as its more evolutionarily advanced prefrontal
cortex
.
Based on commonalities in the research, the two proposed that wisdom is made up
of the behaviors that reflect the good of the group, pragmatism, emotional
balance, self-understanding, tolerance and the ability to deal with ambiguity.
Then, based on those studies, they zeroed in on which neurotransmitters
(the brain’s chemical messengers) were active and which parts of the brain light
up on functional
magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI) when we behave wisely.

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