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Amplifiers: The Power of Motivational Leadership to Inspire and Influence by Matt Church

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Chapter 2

Grey matter

In my final argument for amplifiers, I am going to pull in some heavy hitters and drop some brain science on you. If neuroanatomy turns you on then read on. If not — then you have to take my word for it: your brain works better when you are inspired to believe and this makes everything you want to see happen in and around you more likely.

Let’s look at the brain itself first. The human brain is complex, massively connected and dynamic, but for our purposes a simplified model of the brain is enough (see Figure 2.1). The brain consists of three major components: the brain stem and cerebellum (known as the reptilian brain), the limbic system (mammalian brain) and the cortex and neocortex (human brain). These are not brains in their own right but, from an evolutionary standpoint, they evolved (and grow in the womb) in this order, and the first two are derived from even earlier evolutionary forms.

Figure 2.1: the structure of the human brain

c02f001.eps

The reptilian brain has been in evolutionary development for hundreds of millions of years and is very, very efficient at what it does. It controls automatic processes, such as body temperature and heart rate, and this is where we store habits (actually in the cerebellum, the cabbage-shaped protuberance in Figure 2.1). Anything that we do repetitively will be turned into a habit so that it can be repeated without conscious ...

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