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The Neuroscience of Lies, Honesty, and Self-Control

Robert Sapolsky | 5:29


When we look at the world's ills, one of the biggest sources of it is us failing to do the right thing when it's the harder thing to do giving into temptation, giving into impulse giving into emotional sort of immediacy. And the part of the brain that's most central to whether or not that happens is the frontal cortex, most recently evolved part of the brain, we've got more of it proportionally or more complexity than any other primate species out there. It's the part of the brain that does impulse control, long term planning, emotional regulation, does all the stuff where it's the frontal cortex, that whispers in your ear saying.

Do you really, really want to do that right now, I might not do that you're gonna regret it, it seems like a great idea, frontal cortex about that? Okay, so when we look at our moments of life, where there's that enormous temptation to do the impulsive thing, and what's going to determine whether the world will be freed of impulsive horrors, if only we can all get stronger frontal cortices trained and childhood to be able to hold out where you can have one marshmallow right now. 

But if you wait, you can get to later and training from early age, so that your frontal cortex has the most like fabulous aerobic metabolism ever, and it can just make you and what the studies suggest is at all sorts of junctures of doing the harder thing?

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