The Neurobiology of Intuition or Your Gut Feelings - Exploring your mind - Deepstash

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Our sixth sense

Intuition can often guide you to invisible universes, it can connect you to a part of yourself that inhabits the most hidden corners of your subconscious. It can feel so strange at times that you might think it isn’t a very scientific experience. It must be mystical because there’s no obvious logic to it. But that isn’t exactly true.

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“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN

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What Does the Neurobiology of Intuition Have to Say?

What Does the Neurobiology of Intuition Have to Say?

The neurobiology of intuition suggests that these mental processes aren’t all in our imagination. They actually have a neurological foundation. Doctor Keiji Tanaka from the RIKEN Brain Institute led a fascinating study to find some answers.

He used some experimental study subjects: expert shogi players. The game is very similar to chess, and the most skilled players use their intuition to make some amazing moves. Dr. Tanaka also performed a series of MRIs on this group of people to see which parts of their brain they were using the most.

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The Precuneus

According to his scans, the area of their brains that lit up most was the precuneus. This is a little part of the superior parietal lobe, which also happens to be right on the line between the right and left brain hemispheres.

The precuneus plays a role in episodic memory and visual-spatial processing. But most interesting of all, it plays a role in consciousness. 

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The Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

This is a key part of our brains. Why? It’s where we store all of the information on past rewards, along with the pain of mistakes, or things we wish we hadn’t done so that we would have avoided experiencing something negative.

Famous neuroscientist Antonio Damasio figured out how important this part of our brain is in the decision-making process . The most interesting thing about this brain structure is that it responds based on emotions.

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The Caudate Nucleus

Scientific studies on the neurobiology of intuition have also emphasized the caudate nucleus. It’s a structure that’s part of the basal ganglia, which plays a role in learning, habits, and automatic behaviors.

Basically, the caudate nucleus speeds up the sixth sense to help you make quicker, almost automatic decisions based on your previous experiences or learning.

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“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary .”

STEVE JOBS

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Gut feelings aren’t just pseudoscience

Gut feelings aren’t just pseudoscience

As you can see from all this information, it’s hard to chalk all these processes up to accidents or a product of our imagination. Not only is there a neurological foundation to intuition but it also involves your past experiences, your personality, and your subconscious, or the place that contains the essence of who you are. This is really worth thinking about.

You should always listen to that inner voice and use your ability to think analytically about things when you need to.

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