Peter Whybrow on American Mania: When More Is Not Enough

Peter Whybrow

Leading neuropsychiatrist Peter Whybrow recently authored American Mania: When More Is Not Enough, a neurobiological look at the instinctual and social behaviors that balance a market economy. Pay attention as he explains how America's reward-driven culture is pushing the physiological limits of our evolutionary inheritance - making us sick in body and mind. view video >>

From Bobbie Johnson on the Pop!Tech Blog:

Peter Whybrow, an English neuroscientist who now lives in America, wants to understand what scarcity and abundance does to the human brain. Behavior is best understood through the lens of evolution, he says. We have three brain; the reptilian brain, the mammalian brain and the human brain.

Abundance means we can rely on the reptilian brain, on basic instincts. It’s only during scarcity that we use our human intelligence to its full affect. He offers an example - imagine an experiment where you offer a child a marshmellow, but tell them you’re leaving the room and if they don’t eat it they will be rewarded with another one when you get back. Forty per cent of kids will not eat the marshmellow - they are the ones who use their frontal lobe and will perform successfully later in life.

Now take a look at the market - it tunes into our reptilian brain; the idea that we always want a little more than we have. READ FULL POST >>