I am so excited... I just purchased a course from The Teaching Company (www.teach12.com), titled "Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition" on DVD. It should arrive within a week. When I read the course description online, I salivated all over my keyboard. (Pavlov surely is spinning in his grave!) What interested me so much about the course is their discussion on the Frontal Cortex! Yeah, I hear you thinking.... BORING!!! Maybe.... but I will save judgement till after I see the course.
You see, the Frontal Cortex is the section of the brain that I knew had to exist but I did not know what I thought existed really existed.... Does that make any sense??? Let me explain before you quickly hit the Back button and go back to searching for what you were surfing for...
About a couple of years ago, I came to the conclusion that there had to be a part of the brain that is the "GOOD SENSE FILTER"! Think about it with this example...
Let's say that I am speeding down the road (my typical 70mph in a 35mph zone) and a cop has tagged me with his radar and is now on my tail flashing his lights and requesting that I pull over. WHAT DO I DO??? BIG DECISION!
A. I pull over and humbly acknowledge my guilt.
B. I pull over and come up with a tall tale of how I am rushing off to an emergency of some kind.
C. I ignore his request to pull over and just keep driving as if I never saw him.
D. I speed up and try to lose him.
E. I slam on the brakes and hope that he slams into the back of me... then I sue his ass for tailgating!
F. I pull over and pull out my .45 caliber and pump some slugs into the copper.
G. I roll down my window and try my luck at firing a few slugs at him while I drive.
H. I go on a rampage and run over every pedestrian I come across just to really make things worse.
I. I put my .45 caliber to my own head and pull the trigger.
Now you are probably thinking that I am out of mind for even considering options F - I. Why? Because you (nor I in reality) would ever consider those options. However, apart from you and I, there exist some people (very few) who would consider options F - I. And I know there are some people (slightly more) that would consider options C - E. And there are even more people that would consider option B. NOW THE $64K QUESTION.... WHY??? Why would some people consider some or all of the options and yet others would never consider most of them....
I believe it is because we all have a part of our brain that is responsible for filtering out options that it feels would NOT work or would not help us achieve what we want... Happiness, or Security or whatever our prime motivation is. For lack of knowledge of a technical name, I will call this part of the brain the "GOOD SENSE FILTER". When this decision is put to the brain to consider, I believe that our brain weighs out the pros and cons of many options including options like those I listed above. However, before a decision is made, all the options are first brought to the "GOOD SENSE FILTER" which then uses it's knowledge base and experience base to toss out those options that violate our "GOOD SENSE". That is why when I am faced with the decision of what to do when the cop is asking me to pull over, the only options that I would consider would maybe be A or B. The other options were considered in my subconscious but since they were weeded out by the "GOOD SENSE FILTER" they never appeared in my conscious thought! Hallelujah for the "GOOD SENSE FILTER"!!! Without it, I would surely be behind bars! And I honestly believe that it is the reason many people are behind bars!
From what I read in the course material that I purchased, I now believe this "GOOD SENSE FILTER" is none other than the Frontal Cortex! Here is what the course description says about the Frontal Cortex....