Duck! and Gather

Archive for January 24th, 2006

Just read an article in the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Animal Self“. The article canvases current research regarding personality differences among individual animals within the same species. For example, one octopus might be consistently aggressive, another passive, and a third, shy. This article references personality traits such as optimism, pessimism, and fear. If you’ve read my book, you may know that it presents a model of human personality based on optimism, pessimism, and fear. So this article certainly caught my attention. Actually, it dovetailed nicely with some thoughts I’d been having as I was writing my book. I was thinking that if our own personalities arise from asymmetric dominance patterns in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and amygdala, then there seems no reason why animals wouldn’t exhibit analogous dominance patterns. This is because a great many animals (besides humans) have PFCs and amygdalae. For example, under my model, an “8” personality is left PFC dominant, and right amygdala dominant. Now snakes, for instance, also have PFCs and amygdalae. Couldn’t there be snakes with the 8 personality, resulting from left PFC and right amygdala dominance? I don’t see why not. What do you think?


for the money has gone too far

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