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Do they talk to our brains without us noticing?
It seems so, according to studies on synchrony between the electrical impulses of different people brain made by Moran Cerf, professor of neuroscience and business at the University of Northwestern (United States) and a professor at the American Film Institute.
For more than a decade, Cerf has investigated how human beings make decisions. Not only from the behavioral point of view, but also using electroencephalograms that show areas of the brain that light up when people react to different stimuli.
And what he has discovered is that when people spend time together, their brain waves begin to look alike and, in some cases, they can become almost identical.
“By sharing a moment with someone there is an alignment between the two brains, ” says the neuroscientist in conversation with BBC.
For example, in one of their studies, people exposed to certain movie trailers , generated similar patterns of activity in their brains, in a kind of “electrical synchrony” , which can be seen on a computer screen.
“Two people who see the same movies, the same books, who share the same experiences and who also only talk to each other, after two weeks, begin to show common patterns at the level of language, emotions and even points of view”.
Therefore, according to the researcher, the best decision you can make in life, according to Cerf, is to correctly choose the people around you .
“People close to you have an impact on the way you relate to reality beyond what you can perceive or explain, and one of the effects is that you become similar,” explains the neuroscientist.
“If you choose a bad partner and spend 10 years with that person, the decision will have a significant impact on your life.”
How we invent stories
In his studies on how our choices affect the level of personal satisfaction we feel, Cerf distinguishes several levels.
Among them, the decisions you make at a certain time, how you remember them in the long term and how you compare them with those of other people.
In that sense, the neuroscientist says that some people have a great ability to invent narratives or tell positive stories about the decisions they have made.
“There are people who have had very difficult experiences but have that incredible ability to use their brains to rethink or reinterpret them, it’s another way of synthesizing a particular experience or the image of the world,” says Cerf.
The best tool
And how can you train the brain for that?
“It’s hard to start reinterpreting reality in a way when you have not done it before that way.” The most direct tool is to surround yourself with people who have that ability, “says Cerf.
“If you spend time with them you’ll start to feel more satisfied, you’ll end up seeing the world in a similar way,” he adds.