October 2012



Politics & Brain  



It's TIME TO VOTE! With the presidential election just days away, it seems that everyone has a strong opinion on who is the best candidate. Except perhaps if you're an undecided swing voter, the majority of Americans have already made their decision regarding whom they plan to vote for on Election Day - or more precisely, our emotional brains have long ago already determined whom we'll vote for in the voting booth! You might be surprised to learn that how we ultimately decide to vote has more to do with our emotions and unconscious beliefs than with the issues, facts, and figures processed in our rational mind. A growing body of research in the field of social and affective neuroscience advocates that how your brain is wired to react to emotions such as fear, compassion, and repulsion might actually determine how you vote. This month's timely newsletter on "Brain, Politics, & Emotions: How We Vote" explores why politicians know that the best way to garner votes is to manipulate our emotions and vulnerabilities. 


In my blog piece "How Your Emotional Brain Votes" learn how the latest advances in brain imaging point to the possibility that the reason why liberals and conservatives think so divergently is potentially a result of their brains being wired differently to respond to fear, change, and of the unknown. I hope you also enjoy the article of the month exploring why liberals and conservatives vote the way they do. While the video of the month explores how politicians use political ads and social media as tools to manipulate your emotional brain to get your vote and moneyI've also added a new section to the newsletter, the Dr. Jay's "Book of the Month" block, in which I offer my personal suggestions for recent works on this month's newsletter theme. 


Lastly, for those in the Los Angeles area, I will be offering a brand new public workshop on Contemplative Neuroscience: Body as a Sacred Vessel Sat. Oct. 27; 1-4:30pm at Loyola Marymount University. 


I hope you enjoy the newsletter, as it allows you to understand the power that your brain and emotions play in our nation's electoral process, as it validates that we indeed "vote with our emotional brain, not with our rational mind."




Dr. Jay Kumar  


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Political Brain  


We all might agree that liberals and conservatives think differently when it comes to their political views and their ideal choice for candidate in office, but do their brains actually function differently? A growing body of evidence from social neuroscience says that it might just be the case, and the reason for this has to do with how the emotional brains of liberals and conservatives respond differently to political information.


The Political Brain Is an Emotional Brain: 


Recent developments in brain imaging scans indicate that it is your emotional brain, and not your rational brain, that ultimately makes decisions on whom you marry, what brand of cereal you buy, the movies you see, and even the final choices you make in the voting booth. Anyone who keeps up with the news can tell you that politics, like religion, is an emotional trigger that greatly affects human behavior and decisions. The long-held view by neuroscientists and psychologists that your brain is largely a cool, rational, dispassionate thinking machine is no longer true. In fact, the human brain has more in common with those of our animal cousins when it comes to how we arrive at important decisions. Studies consistently show that human emotions and our primal instincts play more of a role in deciding who our next president is than any of the facts and figures of policy issues, political maps, or polling data. It is exactly this reason why candidates spend inordinate amounts of money on TV ads, in billboards, and through social media - they all are affective strategies that tap into your base emotional centers of the brain and influence how you will vote! 



"AWAKE w/ Dr. Jay Kumar!" on Doug Stephan's Good Day


THURSDAY 6:30am PT/9:30am ET 



Dr. Jay Kumar wants you to become AWAKE! Join me every Thursday morning as a regular guest on the nationally syndicated Doug Stephan's Good Day radio show.


Each week we explore how the latest discoveries in mind-body medicine and brain research can empower you toward authentic health and happiness! 

Show Details.


 Contemplative Neuroscience 
Body as a Sacred Vessel
(Sat., Oct. 27; 1-4:30pm) $25

Discover the exciting new field of contemplative neuroscience. Explore how spiritual teachings from western and eastern contemplative traditions align with recent findings in neuroscience and mind-body medicine. In this engaging and experiential workshop, learn how your brain and body are the key to unlock your transformation, awakening, and healing. Integrating the powerful benefits of meditation, prayer, and conscious breathing, you will acquire the important tools to build a healthy brain, a healthy body, and a healthy being!  


Issue: 21

AWAKE with Dr. Jay Kumar Radio Show
Upcoming Public Workshop
Quote of the Month
Article of the Month
Video of the Month
Book of the Month

Quote of the Month


"All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats."  (Groucho Marx) 

Article of the Month


Do Liberals & Conservatives Have Different Brains?


While more evidence suggests that it's our emotional brain that runs the show in the voting booth, a fascinating study claims that the brains of liberals and conservatives might actually be wired differently. Learn more in this great article.


Video of the Month


How politicians use psyops on your brain to get your vote then your money
How Politicians Use Emotions in Your Brain to Get Your Vote 
No mater what you think  of "attack ads" in politics, the bottom line is that they work! The reason they're so effective is that they bypass your rational brain and directly manipulate your subconscious emotional brain. Learn more in this remarkable video.


Book of the Month


Political Brain.jpeg  


Dr. Drew Westen blends psychology and politics to investigate the emotional factors that determine how we vote. The book explores what the latest research in neuroscience now reveals about how your brain responds to attack ads, subliminal messages, and fear as a voting tactic! An excellent book for the non-specialist with clear and easy to understand examples that apply the latest research from neuroscience into the voting booth.



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Dr. Jay Kumar