Mind Hijack

On 9th of February 2002 the New York Times wrote an article called “Hijacking the Brain Circuits” the writer starts her article by saying “It might seem that there is no clear relation between the addiction to gambling and making sure of attending sporting events or the enthusiasm of investing in stocks, but neurologists discovered a relation between all activities done by human beings in spite of their differences, and according to recent discoveries, researchers believe that most, if not all, human behaviors are subject to Brain Circuits formed in humans and animals that develop and progress with the stages of growth in life, it is responsible for appreciating rewards at any work done, and assures its survival for all animals, but for humans it include of social rewards and also most of human behaviors and decisions.


What is amazing about this new medical discovery is that brain and neurological systems discovers, speculates, process and evaluates those social rewards which in turn controls human decisions, where it truly works outside the system and the conscious mind levels.


This discovery comes as an obvious and clear challenge in the belief that humans make their own decisions always in their conscious minds, but researchers confirm that most of the brain is the level of the subconscious mind, and research has already started tens of years ago, where psychologists studied the processing of information in the subconscious mind in the form of effects which occur without realization or sense or conscious, and its part in making human decisions and behaviors, and scientists truly started drawing a detailed map for parts of the brain responsible for this process, but scientists believe that this is the first time in the history of this science where they discover how those brain circuits really function.


Dr. Gregory Berns, a psychologist in Emory university, says: “I believe that most human decisions are made in the subconscious mind, with levels of awareness”. He also said: “I do not recall exactly how I reached work this morning, where the conscious mind saves more important things, but how does the mind decide which things it needs to focus the conscious mind on? The answer is, the brain progress and develops from the first days of a human life depending on what they see and experience, the brain builds an internal model for everything the eye falls and the ear hears, and gradually learns how to identify those things and predict the behavior expected from them, in the case of entering a new information from the outside to the brain, it will automatically work in comparing this new information and the internal model  and if it matches – such as driving a car to work or passing through the daily life trends with no comments – those repeated familiar scenes do not reach the conscious mind.


But in the case of a surprise such as seeing an accident on the road, there will be differentiation between what is expected and what is reality, thus turning the brain immediately to a new state of reality, and the brain saves information according to the experience that was gained by the brain during its life, those reference information where the brain relies on in making decisions, but this information by on its own is a collection of what eyes have seen and ears have heard and lived by humans in their life without realizing that humans store information in their subconscious mind.


Researchers discovered a chemical substance that is responsible in controlling this mind circuit and its called ‘Dopamine’ and in the case of matching an event with what is expected dopamine produces expected quantities for such events.


But in the case of a surprise more than expected in the event, dopamine will produce much more quantities and sends signals to parts of the brain to motivate and encourage them to work and do the required action in the purpose of creating more of that substance.


In the case of events being worse than expected, the brain does not produce dopamine, thus feeling frustration and unwillingness to move or work due to low dopamine production.


Dr. Jonathan Cohen a neurologist and brain scientist, studied a part of the frontal cortex called Anterior Cingulate, this part of the brain does the checking for truth in information and uncovers any contradictions in information flow that enters the brain naturally and automatically.


New brain studies confirm the role of dopamine in the front part of the brain in creating a sudden ecstasy or disappointment and frustration.


Scientists at the end of the article confirm that the mathematical equations used by economy scientists to study and understand the changes in market economies is the same mathematical equation used by psychologists and neurologists in studying and understanding the changes of dopamine substance, Dr. Read Montague from Baylor University confirms that neurology and brain sciences can offer a new set of factors, totally new to understand the way economical decisions are made.


And what was mentioned above does not go against our religious beliefs at all, but on the contrary, it confirms a very essential Islamic concept, that is, the role of surrounding environments and their effects in the making of minds and human thoughts and decisions, and so environments where humans live, notice, see and hear all are factors that helps humans make their decision, and works without realizing or sensing by the conscious mind, if humans were able to choose they are able to do so from what they hear, read and see, and who they associate themselves with, but to every conscious decision reflections and effects that work without the realization or sensing to form a mental and psychological reference that makes decisions and future behaviors, thus the creations of individuals and their community cannot occur apart from what goes on around individuals and what falls under their eyes and heard by their ears, watching it day and night.


And here we seriously stand to ask ourselves as individuals and communities: what is the role of massive amounts of studied information that is showered on us day and night; spoon feeding it with multimedia forcing us to follow a certain styles of life, all with plans and agenda’s that does not belong to us? What is the role of all this in making the individuals mind and their communities in their ability to make independent decisions big or small? What is the mental and psychological background of those making important and huge decisions to our nations?