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To what extent you can control your brain?

-TThe technology to master the brain -

Cat: SCI
Pub: 2015
#: 1709b

Nobuko Nakano (中野信子)

To what extent you can control your brain? 大脳はどこまでコントロールできるのか
  1. Introduction:
  2. Character & Habit of Brain:
  3. Type of Brain:
  4. Anomaly of Brain:
  5. Selection of Actions:
  6. Psychopath:
  1. 序:
  2. 脳の性格・癖:
  3. 脳の種類:
  4. 脳の異常:
  5. 行動の選択:
  6. サイコパス:

; ACC; Alpha-pinene; Carrot & Stick; ; Dopamin recepter; DRD4; Game brain; Metacognition; Navigation neuron; PCL; Processing fluency; Senile dementia; Serotonin transporter; Sonorousness; Tryptophan; Ultimatum game; X-system/C-system; VNTR;


>Top 0. Introduction:

  • The author is an expert of cognitive neuroscientist of Japan, making many useful comments on the function and feature of our brain, answering various frequently appearing popular questions in mass media and in the internet.
  • Here is the summary of her presentation or comments on media or in books:
    1. Habit of our brain:
    2. Type of our brain:
    3. Anomaly of our brain:
    4. Selection of our action:
    5. Psychopath:
  • In each analysis, it is often mentioned that uniqueness behavior of a typical Japanese from the viewpoint of neuroscience, which is the most interesting and popular theme for the Japanese.

0. 序:

  • 大脳の話題
    1. 大脳の癖
    2. 大脳の型
    3. 大脳の異常
    4. 行動の選択
    5. サイコパス

>Top 1. Character & Habit of Brain:

  • ¶ Is it useful to make efforts?:
    • Cause: there is an 'effort gene'.
    • Trend: there are two kinds of persons; one who owns effort gene, and the other doesn't.
      • The former has genetically has an ability to continue to take efforts, or even feels pleasant to make efforts; consequently the former one can be successful in any kind of examination.
    • Impact:
      • The present entrance examination (for universities, etc.) mainly measures the ability of memory.
    • Advice:
      • The one who has not such effort gene should show their abilities in other areas, finding their suitable aptitude.
  • ¶ Why Japanese soccer players can not perform active play?:
    • Cause:
      • It is decided by a particular gene; serotonin is called as a hormone of happiness, which is secreted relatively more in optimistic type of players; while Japanese players usually secrete less.
      • >Top Where, 'serotonin transporter' removes serotonin from the synaptic cleft back into the synaptic boutons.
      • Average amount of secretion of serotonin: 50% in US &Europe, 30% in Latin America, while 70% in East Asia, and 80% in Japan.
    • Trend:
      • For most of Japanese players, it is a satisfaction not to fail in playing. They often will not challenge risks in defending and in offending in a game.
      • For most of European, or particularly Latin American players, it is a satisfaction to make a success.
    • Impact:
      • There should be an appropriate method of training depend on the features of brains of the players of a particular country.
        • The Japanese have the most worrying temperament in the world.
      • As an advantage, the Japanese will eager to practice very much preparing the forthcoming games, to eliminate uneasiness.
        • Also the Japanese save money in preparing for the future risk.
  • >Top ¶ We have two decision-making methods:
    • X-system: refleX-system, decision-making reflectively; this is more quick decision, but not so exact.
    • C-system: Calculate-system, decision-making by calculation; this is more exact but takes more time.
      • The Japanese tends to select C-system decision-making to adopt more exact and safer decision-making.
      • Japanese train operation is quite exact in operation; the Yamanote Line, round trip in about one hour in Tokyo, can accumulate in running roundly in 10 days within only 15 seconds out of the schedule.
      • There should be no alternative in decision-making for a forward player in soccer game; if there are plural alternatives it takes more time.
    • Cause: >Top 'Dopamine receptor':
      • Switch sensitivity to the dopamine receptor varies among people:
        • one who is sensitive can respond easily dopamine receptor with small amount.
        • the other one who is not sensitive need more stimuli by dopamine receptor; tends to take more challenges to be more satisfactory.
          • SA, 40% vs. Asia 5-6% vs. Japan 1%
          • SA players challenge too much, Japanese players too less.
          • In a case of failure of shooting goal, Japanese spectators will boo regretfully too much, while SA ones will boo not to take challenge.
          • In Japan, challenging will not be appreciated.
    • Advice:
      • to make a routine of 'failure' in daily practices; making failures should be within the scope of assumption.
  • >Top ¶ Which is effective 1) Carrot and stick policy, 2) Carrot only policy, or 3) Stick only policy; in making choose the correct route for a mouse; herein Carrot is bait, and Stick is an electric shook.:
    • A: Carrot only policy is most effective. A mouse may stop at the crossing to avoid the stick. The best way is 'Carrot or Neglect policy' (Ame or mushi)
  • >Top ¶ To reinforce Navigation neuron; relates 'unconscious action'.
    • Ability will be enhanced by repeating practices of the same things.
    • Even challenging should be routinized.
  • ¶ How to do well in the actual game?
    • It is rather better to visualize uncertainty or anxiety:
      • Write out and accept the anxiety or the cases of failure.
      • Rather than compressing or concealing the anxiety.
      • Astronauts receive trainings which look like real emergent cases; then they can respond to the emergency just like the case of trainings.
  • ¶ Efforts are needless to succeed?
    • Here it is actually 'wasted efforts.'
    • One who had endeavored to realize some unattainable goal, the one could gain nothing but regret or resentment, if failed.
      • You should think that the process of endeavoring is really meaningful, or what do you want to attain, analyzing calmly and objectively your potentiality.
      • Consider case of an Olympic athlete who aimed to get the gold medal resulted in the bronze medal; the athlete has spent meaningful times for hard training for the beloved sport, accepting the process is more valuable than the result of the match.
      • It is important to set up the really probable or realistic goal for the athlete or any other challenger from more reasonable and rational decision.
    • Continuing to exert oneself for less possible goal may cause to be exploited by some malicious magical group, a religious cult, sweatshops or fraud group; they surely require more donation to attain the unrealistic and unattainable goal.
  • ¶ The advice of 'efforts will be rewarded' is half-true; it is a beautiful lie.
    • It should be restated that 'make efforts which could be rewarded.'
    • Human ability is determined by own gene to a certain extent, which could be difficult to change it.
    • It is rational to ascertain the possibility or the limit of one's own ability; to find the goal within one's reach, which should be the real ability.
      • There are actions which one can do or cannot.
      • Human beings have assigned the latter to some others who can do it, for which we have developed communication ability.
  • >Top ¶ The Japanese tend to addict oneself to exerting anything, due to lack of serotonin.
    • Serotonin is thought to be a contributor to feelings of happiness.
    • Serotonin is synthesized via tryptophan, an essential amino acid; meat and banana are good food to increase such amino acid.
    • In order to live long, it is a good strategy not to fight.
      • Samurai loads who avoided to fight in feudal age generally live long, like Tokugawa Ieyasu (75) , Shimazu Yoshihisa (79), and Takeda Nobutora (81), Ukita Hideie (84).
      • The object of most of the animals is to live long and to have more descendants; human beings look exceptions, trying to make a name for oneself.

1. 脳の性格や癖:

  • ¶: 成功する努力は有効か:
  • Studying (or to concentrate to study) is apriori, but art is posteriori.

  • ¶ 日本のサッカーチームの弱点
  • Serotonin:
    5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT); monoamine neurotransmitter.
    • a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.
    • controller of dopamine and noradrenaline.

  • ¶ 毎日がつまらない
    • 飽きた状態=実は幸せな場所
    • 慣れた環境で効率的
    • Dopamine分泌を促進:
    • 運の良い人の行動パターン
      • 外向的
      • 経験への開放性: 好奇心大
  • Dopamine Pass:


  • ¶ 2つの意思決定方法:
    • X-システム: 情動的
    • C-システム: 理性的


  • ドーパミン受容体:
    • Dopamine: functions as a neurotransmiter; major role in reward-motivated behavior.
    • 地域・民族による差異
    • 日本人は特異的

  • 気質の種類:
    1. 新規性探索: Dopamine
    2. 損害回避: Serotonin
    3. 報酬イオン: Noradrenaline
    4. 固執
    • 但し、単純化は無理。
  • ¶ アメのムチはどちらが効果的か:
    • ネズミの迷路実験結果
  • ¶ ナビゲーション・ニューロン:
    • 帰巣本能のように習慣化する
  • ¶ 本番で力量を発揮するには:
    • 不安や心配を見える化する
    • 心配事を抑圧・隠蔽しない。
    • 宇宙飛行士は緊急時の訓練を本番同様に行う。その結果、緊急時にも訓練同様の対応が可能。

  • バンドワゴン交換
    • 脳の酸素消費は全体の 1/4
    • 思考停止
    • 並んでいる店に並ぶ傾向
  • ¶ 成功するための努力は必要なにか。
    • 実際には無駄な努力はすべきでない。
    • 達成不可能な目標に向かって努力するのは、失敗した後の後悔しか残らない。
    • 意味のある努力をすべきで、それを見つけること自体が能力。
  • ¶ "努力が必ず報われる"は、半分正しいが、美しい嘘。
    • むしろ報われる努力をすべし
    • 人の能力はある程度は遺伝子による。
    • 自分の能力の限界を見極めることが合理的。
  • ¶ 日本人は、努力中毒の傾向。セロトニン不足。
    • セロトニンの増加には、必須アミノ酸トリプトファンが必要
    • 長寿の戦略には闘わない戦略が有効。
    • 戦国大名も闘わない大名が長寿
    • 生命の基本戦略: 生存と生殖
    • 人間は例外か

>Top 2. Type of Brain:

  • ¶ Feeling of Happiness-Unhappiness Index:
    • Dopamine: the reward molecule; is responsible for reward-driven behavior and pleasure seeking.
    • Oxytocin: the bonding molecule; directly linked to human trust and loyalty.
    • The person whose level of oxidase of monoamine is lower feels more state of happiness.
      • But the person who feel unhappiness may live long.
  • ¶ The effect of communal life:
    • Epigenetics: a change in phenotype without a change in genotype. Epigenetic change is a regular and natural occurrence but can be influence by age, environment, lifestyle.
    • Sharing communal life for long time may cause similar phenotype between spouses.
      • Phenotype is more affected by foster parents than biological parents.
  • >Top Mechanism of anger:
    • Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC); is involve in certain higher-level functions, such as reward anticipation, decision-making, impulse control, and emotion.
      • The ventral part of ACC is connected with amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, and anterior insula; is involved in assessing the salience of emotion and motivational information.
      • ACC is presumably related to the feeling of anger.
  • ¶ Respond to an aggressive person:
    • >Top An aggressive character causes to feel pleasant when attaching.
      • Appology or response is not effective in this case.
      • Make advise from the viewpoint of metacognition;
        • Metacognition: knowing about knowing, understand what I understand.
  • ¶ L-type and S-type of Dopamine receptor:
    • This related to Evolutionary Development Psychology (EDP), focussing on the epigenetic processes to explain how evolved psychological mechanism appears as the phenotypes.
    • >Top The most prevalent DRD4 (Dopamine Receptor D4) VNTR (Variable Number Tandem Repeat) alleles are 4-, 7-, and 2-repeat alleles, with global mean frequencies of 64.3%, 20.6%, and 8.2% respectively.
        DRD4 4R (S-type) is associated with more risks averse behaviors while DRD4 7R (L-type) is associated with more novelty-seeing and risk-prone behaviors.
      • A possible explanation that individuals with 7R allele are generally more susceptible to environmental influence; display enhanced sensitivity to both negative and positive environments to both risk-promoting and enhancing environmental conditions.

2. 大脳の型:

  • ¶ 幸福度・不安度
    • モノアミン (脳内物質)の酸化酵素
      (=掃除屋)さぼりがちの脳の方が幸福度が高い (キリギリスと蟻型)
    • 不安度が高い方が長寿の傾向
  • ¶ 共同生活の効果:
    • 長年の間に塩基配列の発現する場所が似てくる (Epigenetics)
    • 生みの親より育ての親
    • 別居結婚の効果
  • ¶ 怒りのメカニズム
    • 前帯状皮質 (Anterior Cigulate Cortex, ACC):
    • 実行・評価・認知・情動の4領域
    • Noradrenaline分泌:
    • 怒りの振り分けに使う
      • 怒りをコントロールできるようになる
      • 腹側ACCは、扁桃体, 側坐核, 視床下部, 島皮質と連携
  • ¶ 攻撃的人への対応:
    • 自分の行動を監視する回路
    • 攻撃する快感を感ずる人。
      • 陳謝も反応も効果なし
      • メタ認知の視点。
      • 攻撃を一旦受け入れる形を
      • 攻撃=Mounting追求。Adviceで対抗する
  • ¶ L-Type/S-Type:
    • Dopamine D4 recepterのExison3の場所にある塩基配列の繰り返しの長短 (Nature Genetics, 1996)

>Top 3. Anomaly of Brain:

  • ¶ How to avoid becoming senile.
    • >Top Effect of scent of Japanese cypress; α-pinene (<pine), one of monoterpene
    • alpha-pinene
      • Bath in the tub made wooden Japanese cypress.
      • Therapeutic walking in the forest.
      • Having relaxed communication with friends.
  • ¶ Physical contact by smooth-faced material:
    • Oxytocin is more secreted by rubbing smooth materials, such as clothes, bedclothes.

3. 脳の異常:

  • ¶ 脳がぼけない方法:
    • 檜の香りの効果: α-pineneが海馬で神経細胞生成促進
    • α-pinene
    • 檜風呂、森林浴
    • 毎日の軽い運動: 散歩
    • Communicationを取る
  • ¶ つるつるの表面でスキンシップ: Oxytocine分泌促進
    • 認知機能高まる。信頼関係増大
    • 衣類、寝具

>Top 4. Selection of Actions:

  • ¶ There is no ultimate object in our life, or in other words, we can decide or designate any object by ourselves in our life.
    • Our brain pursues some meaning in doing our actions, but we need not to be bound by it.
    • Anything other than the survival is additional bonus point.
      • This idea will be a good opportunity to escape from so-called sweatshop, or cult group.
      • All our objects are middle or short term ones, which could not be the final ones.
    • Contribution to the society will be a strong feeling of pleasure.
  • >Top ¶ It is too quick and illogical to conclude that playing games (or game brain) makes the player foolish.
    • A certain skill of simulation can be trained by playing games.
    • Human relationship looks like a kind of game.
    • But playing games could be addictive, which become unavoidable.
      • It is worth playing game with family members to have good relationship, but it is also necessary to make target of the ending time, say within one hour.
    • In some games, it may cause more aggressive mind.
      • Testosterone, a male hormone tends to secrete more by playing aggressive games.
      • Giving impact by testosterone could be useful in life.
      • Simulation games may be useful against senile dementia.
  • >Top ¶ The impact of TV, radio, movie, music, the network broadcasting:
    • The media like TV or radio, etc. tend to enhance the function of 'processing fluency'.
    • It is an illusion that the present age considers it is always good to be easy-to-understand, or to have higher processing fluency.
    • In addition, politicians who speak with verbal fluency (using short easy phrase) tend to be elected.
      • US president Trump (started 2017-) is a typical one, who looks to use easy sentences understandable by 5th grade elementary pupils. (populism) His statement is usually the opposite of sonorousness.
    • Events or speech which was encountered for the first time are generally low state of such processing fluency.
      • It is sometimes essential to face with the information or participate the event which has low processing fluency
  • ¶ How to overcome trauma:
    • Put into words of painful memories, not once but many times.
    • Whenever retrieve memory from storage in the brain, a new tag is attached to the memory, then whose meaning will be changed.
      • Even the painful memory can be added another meaning to it.
      • Consequently, the pailful memory may be diluted.
  • ¶ War and intolerance:
    • In the case of emergency (war, great disaster, etc.), trend of intolerance or hate for unpatriotic behaviors is also emphasized.
    • This sense may lead to xenophobia, or ultra nationalists.
    • On the other hand there are people who show less intolerance, and who are believed to be generous to diversity, but they might be psychopath.
      • The brain tends to feel pleasant when one attack others due to disorder of the discipline.
      • We need to be more cautious about such kind of feeling whenever we hear pleasant words.
  • ¶ How to recover from fatigue of our brain?
    • There are two type of fatigue, one good for brain and the other bad for brain:
      • In good fatigue, by creative activities, nerve cells swells, then which make new neuron connection after sleeping.
        • Seeking novelty is a good fatigue for brain.
        • Sleeping is the best remedy.
      • In bad fatigue (such as exceeded stress, cortisol is more secreted.
        • Excess cortisol secretion raises blood pressure and blood glucose level, and may ultimately shrink function of hippocampus.
        • Also bad fatigue may cause over eating, or grow fat.
        • Temptation to break the conventional wisdom (adultery, etc).
  • ¶ Learning of foreign languages:
    • Bilingual learning leads to understand by two-way thinking.
      • Bilingual learning by visual emphasis:
      • Bilingual learning by auditory emphasis:

4. 行動の選択:

  • ¶ 人生に意味はない
    • 人生の目的は任意に決められる
    • 脳が意味を求めているが、それに縛られる必要はない
    • 生存以上の意味はBonus point
      • ブラック企業・カルトから脱出する契機
      • 全て目的は、中期的・短期的
    • 社会への貢献は強い快感
  • ¶ ゲームすると馬鹿になるは短絡的
    • うまくゲームを使うと効果的
    • 対人関係もそもそもゲーム的
    • 但し、ゲームには中毒性がある
    • ゲームによる攻撃性助長される。Testosteroneのレベルが上昇→攻撃性が低いままでも問題
  • ¶ TV等が与える影響:
    • TVなどメディアは処理流暢性の機能を高める。
      • 間違っていても短いメッセージは処理流暢性が高い
      • 分かり易いもの=善であるという現代の錯覚。
      • 処理流暢性の高い政治家が選択される傾向 (Populism)
      • 音の最小単位: Trump大統領, Populism。小学5年生レベルの言語。格調の高さの対局
    • 出会ったことにない出来事は処理流暢性が低い。また回りくどい説明は処理流暢性が低い
      • たまには処理流暢性の低い情報と格闘・参加・体験することが重要
  • ¶トラウマと闘うには:
    • つらい思い出は、何度も思い出して言葉にする
      • 白熊のVideoを1年後の記憶調査: 思い出さないようにとするとより思い出す傾向
    • 記憶の格納庫から取り出す毎にTagが付けられる。記憶の意味を変えることで強烈な記憶を希薄化させる。
  • ¶ 戦争と不寛容:
    • 不寛容性も同時に高まる
      • 社会共同体を守る意識
      • 抵抗勢力, 大衆の不満を煽る
      • 非国民、よそ者排外主義 (Nazi, Cult)
      • 内部の裏切り者から守る。
    • 不容易性を攻めるのが希薄な人=寛容度が高い→サイコパス傾向
    • 気持ち良いことを主張する人;
    • 相手を叩く快感は強いので
      • 人を叩く快楽に溺れないこ
  • ¶ 脳の疲れを取るには?
    • 良い疲れと悪い疲れがある。
    • 良い疲れの場合:
      • 新たなニューロンの接続
      • 寝ることが一番
    • 悪い疲れの場合
      • 過剰なStress →Cortisol分泌増大→海馬の萎縮
      • 太る; 栄養過多
      • 社会通念が壊れる(不倫など)
  • ¶ バイリンガル学習:
    • 別言語学習は2つの思考の理解に通じる
    • 視覚重視か聴覚重心

>Top 5. Psychopath:

  • ¶ Psychopathy, or sociopathy is defined as ASPD (AntiSocial Personality Disorder), including following characteristics:
    • persistent antisocial behavior
    • impaired empathy and remorse
    • bold, disinhibited, egotistical traits.
  • Ultimatum Game:
    • The first player (proposer) receive a sum of money and proposes how to divide the sum between the proposer and the other player (responder)
    • The responder chooses to either accept tor reject the proposal; the former case the money is split according to the proposal, and the latter case neither player receives any money.
    • The game is typically played only once.
    • Cases: If the offer was 80: 20, then the responder accept 20 or reject the unfair deal, and both accept nothing.
  • Response of Psychopath persons:
    • Psychopath persons accept any offer even 99: 01, because they think it is reasonable to take 1 than 0 by rejecting due to unfairness.
    • They feel negative emotion when only robbed their own possessions.

5. サイコパス:

  • 最後通牒ゲーム:
    • プレーヤA: 分配費率の提案権
    • プレーヤB: 承認権 or 拒否権。但し、拒否権発動するとA/B共利得はゼロ。
  • サイコパスの反応
    • サイコパスは、自己の損得のみに注目。公平性など正義感はない。
    • 自分自身は強く自立的な一匹狼で、奪う側の人間になることで自己を守る。
    • 他の人間は、搾取され犠牲になる弱い人間の扱い。
  • >Top PCL (Psychopathy Check List); by Robert D. Hare in 1970s, revised 1991 as PCL-R (The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised)
    • The total score adding either of 0, 1 and 2 points of the following items: Psychopath >30, Not psychopath <20
    • Three type of Psychopath:
      1. Ordinary psychopath: showing high scores in all categories.
      2. Controlled psychopath: showing high scores in Cat-1 & -2, and low in Cat-3 & -4.
        This type is so-called 'sinners psychopath' or 'successful psychopath', having no criminal record. This type of person is full of ambition, sense of superiority, and status consciousness, behaves like a chameleon and easily approaches to useful people or easily betrays them.
      3. Masculine psychopath: showing high scores in Cat-2, -3, & -4, but low in Cat-1.
        This type is aggressive and bullies the weak, with commanding attitude, power harassment, and control by fear. This type of person tends to drop our in career race, be domineer over the obedient.
Personal relations
1 glib and superficial charm 口達者、表面的な魅力
2 grandiose sense of self-worth 誇大的な自己価値観
3 pathological lying 病的な虚言
4 cunning and minipulating 偽り騙す傾向、操作的(人を操る)


5 lack of remorse 良心の呵責・罪悪感の欠如
6 shallow affect 浅薄な感情
7 callousness and lack of empathy 冷淡さ、共感性の欠如
8 failure to accept responsibility for own actions 自分の行動に責任が取れない
Life Style
9 need for stimulation 刺激を求める、退屈し易い
10 parasitic lifestyle 寄生的な性格様式
11 lack of realistic long-term goals 現実的、長期的な目標の欠如
12 impulsivity 衝動的
13 irresponsiblity 無責任
14 sexual promiscuity 放逸な性行動
Anti-Social Personality
15 failure to accept responsibility for own actions 行動のコントロールができない
16 early behavior problems 幼少期の問題行動
17 juvenile delinquency 少年非行
18 revocation of conditional release 仮釈放の取消
19 criminal versality 多種多様な犯罪歴
20 many short-time marital relationships 数多くの婚姻関係
  • Neuroscience looks like a crossing frontier of natural science and social science; a frontier approached from physiology and from psychology.
  • Rapidly growing field looks similar; combination of different approach of scientific fields, such as astrobiology (astronomy and biology).
  • Life might appear and develop at brackish zone; mixture environment of salty and fresh water.
  • 脳科学は、自然科学と社会科学の交わる領域のフロンティアにある。生理学と心理学のフロンティアである。
  • 急速に発展している分野は同じように見える。異なる科学の領域からのアプローチの組合せである。天文学と生物学の交叉する宇宙生物学もその一つである。
  • 生命も汽水領域で発生成長したのかも知れない。そこは塩水と淡水の交わる領域なのである。
  • Process of memory:
    Hip-Amg-Hyp-Acc-Cau-Olf-Pre (HAHACOP)
    1. Hippocampus: Learning
    2. Amygdala: Impression
    3. Hypothalamus: Intention
    4. Nucleus accumbens: Interest, affection, emotion; x Dopamine secretion; pleasure center
    5. Caudate nucleus: C-shaped, controled by dopamine neuron; articulation; expectation based of the memory
    6. Olfactory tubercle: sense of smell
    7. Prefrontal cortex: Thinking
  • 記憶のプロセス:
    Hip-Amg-Hyp-Acc-Cau-Olf-Pre (HAHACOP)
    1. 海馬回: 学習
    2. 扁桃核: 感動
    3. 視床下部: 意欲
    4. 側坐核: 情動
    5. 尾状核: C形; 記憶を基にした予測・期待
    6. 嗅結節: 香り
    7. 前頭連合野: 思考
  • hahacop

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