( Response to comment on Mandy’s blog)
Our speech centre is located in the outermost (and largest) part of the human brain the Cerebrum. This has to operate in conjunction with other areas of the cerebrum to ‘control’ our thought patterns and regulate our ideas and feelings to see if we are behaving acceptably – ‘Self-Control’.
In terms of distance from other parts of our central nervous system (CNS) that transmit commands from the brain to the various other parts of our bodies this is the MOST distant part and takes the longest for nerve impulses to reach from our five senses through which we perceive our world and those in it.
Less distant from the CNS are the glands in the brain that control the flow of hormones that determine our emotional reactions These are most closely connected to the cerebellum or ‘little brain’
And then closest of all to the CNS is the part of the brain associated with our most basic functions, heartbeat, blod pressure, breathing etc.
What this means is – there is a ‘heirarchy’ of response times in our brains.
Fastest and most immediately responding to our senses of hearing, sight etc are those most basic functions (that of old we needed to ensure our very survival from enemies or things like animals that could kill us) … our ‘fear’ centre.
Next fastest to respond are our emotional centres (governing our responses to things like happiness, anger, sadness, etc), and
Slowest and requiring the most time to react are our ‘control’ centres for such things as socially desirable or undesirable responses to things other people say or do that are not life-threatening to us but which may require more ‘refined’ responses from our mind and body. More careful thought than either our fear response or our autonomic (and automatic unless we develop our control of them) emotional responses.
In other words – we get emotional and respond to things BEFORE we have time to think them through – emotions get ‘hold’ of our brains BEFORE we can put on the brakes in many instances.
Need a practical example to make sense of the above ‘theory’??
You are driving your car… and without warning a kid walks right out from betwen two parked cars and is 20 feet in front of you before he sees you.
First thing you actually do is determined through fear – a horrible feeling surges through you as the potential for disaster makes it’s presence felt and you may scream something out loud unintentionally.
Next thing you do is either jam your foot on the brake or steer away from the kid – or both (emotional, inbuilt, automatic, instinctive reaction to act).
The last thing you do is to try and decide carefully and logically what you should be doing to keep yourself safe, the kid safe and any other road users safe.
This usually only has time to come into your brain after the first two things have already happened.
Like… we most often think of the right thing to respond to someone or something AFTER we have already reacted emotionally (and frequently after the person we just offended or insulted (or who insulted us) has left).