April 14, 2010

Damn that Prefrontal Cortex!

This evening, I was pondering, as I often do during the time I'm not cooking dinner, yelling at conversing with The Boy, feeding the homeless or fixing the nation's economic problems AND postulating on Einstein's theory of relativity.


Oh, the pic? Al and I go way back - he let me call him Al. I was the one who told him to do his hair like that. He wanted to go all Grecian Formula on me, but I convinced him to just let it go gray - guys look distinguished with gray hair. Isn't he a hottie?

My pondering this evening revolved around selfishness. Like why does it happen? And why are some people more prone to selfish behavior and attitude than others?

You know, deep stuff like that.

Being a self-proclaimed Google Queen, I let my fingers do the work, and I found an article about selfishness.

It has graphs that show which countries are more selfish than others. Apparently, folks in the Eastern US are slightly less selfish then those in the West. Hmmm.

I don't know why that is, and I'm not even sure I agree with the assumption - but I'm not one of the eggheads who performed the study that came to that conclusion. So don't hate me, send your flame mail to them, ok?

Anyway, it seems that all this selfish stuff gets its start in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

The prefrontal cortex is thought to be the part of the brain that controls executive function - where we determine right and wrong, and where social behavior is decided. It's where we determine goals, and then decide what actions to take to achieve our goals.

It appears we have some prefrontal cortex neurons misfiring here at the Cleaver compound. Selfishness seems to be an almost everyday occurrence.

Some examples, if you will indulge me:

  • So, say someone (let's call them C1) wanted another someone (C3) to take out the trash. That pesky prefrontal cortex might cause C3 to yell, "Yeah, right!", and other phrases stating the unlikeliness of the trash being taken out. Selfish?
  • One member of the household (C1) may have the goal of goofing off as long as possible. That same person would then write a blog post or surf the interwebs to avoid doing anything that might be construed as housework. Of course, when the person desiring a more tidy house (C2) expresses displeasure at the lack of domestic progress, the person who chose to spend time doing alternative activities (C1) may view C2's reaction as selfish.
  • Let's say that a request was made by C1 - that maybe another Cleaver (C2) could start a load of laundry while C1 was at work. Imagine C1's surprise to see that, indeed, laundry was put into the washer. Yippee!
Now imagine C1's dismay that all of the laundry put into the washer belonged to C2...while all of C1's and C3's (who was not part of the discussion) dirty laundry still remained in a pile by the dryer. Harumph.

Was C1's request selfish? Were C2's actions selfish? Is C3 just a typical adolescent? Or someone more sinister?

Let's assign blame, shall we?

Oh, you can read the entire article here. Take your time, I'll be doing laundry.


  1. you make me smile...just sayin :)

  2. I love this but I got lost when you started throwing numbers in there. yeah, math is not my strong suit and you added in letters with the numbers so I really got lost but I get it, selfishness or something right? LOL.

  3. Laundry is just evil, I'm convinced!

  4. I just got back from the dentist, so I am sitting here with 1/2 a smile on my face (the other half is still numb!) This is just too funny :)

    And I agree with the last post...laundry is PURE EVIL no matter how you look at it!

    Hope you have a great day :) I'm off to do some laundry myself!


  5. Laundry is evil, I suck at math as well, and I guess I'm in the good part of the country...yay me! lol

  6. I blame everything on C2. (Unless that was you, then I pick C1.) (Unless that was you then I pick C3.)

  7. That post seemed to involve a little algebra. Still made me laugh. See, you made me laugh at algebra. Well done.

  8. Ward "The Mister" Cleaver says.

    Sounds to me like you are ungrateful about any help you are given, unless it is done in a way that you want it done.

    Yes that is selfish. Now if I was C2, I would not be doing any laundry again, if you truly considered this act selfish. Perhaps you should be thankful that some of the laundry was done. Albeit, not in the fashion that met with your ultimate approval.

    If you want a job done the way meets your guidlines, you will have to do it yourself.

    Sounds like the want to be Princess is very spoiled to me.


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!