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Introducing THECUBE Academy

30th March 2015

Neuroscience, like all sciences is a point of question and understanding rather than an answer. More specifically neuroscience is the study of how the  brain and spinal cord (CNS) work together to  develop and shape everything about who we are. Due to its insights on human cognition, it is often perceived as a tool for predicting and manipulating behaviour. However, this is not only an inaccurate use, but a myth. Science is based on questioning, therefore there are no facts only understandings. Given these parameters, how can neuroscience help? It can help in three ways, the first is helps us understand the mechanisms behind behaviour. Secondly, it can help to create better problem solving and innovation tools. Finally, it can be used to produce smarter products, services, and communication by putting the human at the centre.

We are seeing a big trend towards focusing on the human, which seems obvious but businesses often forget that people are the most important part of the innovation supply chain.

The objective is to make our community smarter and more aware of the behavioural and cognitive mechanisms behind business and innovation. The schedule is below:

27 March at 1400-1530 // Perception

14 April at 1400-1530 // Neuroscience Behind Negotiation

08 May at 1000-1700 // Platypus: All day innovation lab (Members Only)

29 June at 1400-1530 // Sales, fear, and Anxiety

31 July at 1400-1530 // Attention

18 September at 1400-1530 // Cognitive Flexibility + Problem Solving


20th April 2015

Negotiation + Neuroscience

When examining negotiation, cognitive neuroscience is a great tool to dissect the mechanisms behind it – understanding the supply chain to aid in better understanding your negotiation partner, as well as creating a new framework in which both parties leave feeling satisfied, integrated, and valued.

If we only view ourselves and our own place, negotiation will be damaged due to negative reactions. However, if we remove the differentiation and instead create a new mental framework in which theory of mind leads to empathy to those outside our group, we will be able to stimulate very different cognitive responses – as partners seeking mutual benefits!

Definition of Negotiation: Negotiation is an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objects singlehandedly.

Types of negotiation: Biological, Economical, Cognitive: personal, political, social, business

How to move away from disagreement to successful completion : disagreement – uncomfortableness – confused – anxiety – theory of mind – empathy – language – understanding – reframing – schema – cognitive flexibility – trust – completion

The supply chain of negotiation:

  1. An anxious brain does not produce results
  2. Hence you need Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc. — to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.
  3. ToM leads to empathy: the capacity to understand what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, ie, the capacity to place oneself in another’s shoes
  4. Both empathy and ToM are dependent on understanding.
  5. This allows for the creation of a new mental framework, which allows for the creation of new schemas which fit to the other parties perspective.
  6. This is the crux: if you want to negotiate well, you need to start using their own language to say what you want, and so that they are aware that they are being understood. This changes their chemistry, from cortisol, adrenalin and very high levels of dopamine, to a chemical system that is oxytocin, serotonin and vasopressin driven.
  7. These chemicals are involved in cognitive flexibility: the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. Due to cognitive flexibility, sets trust in motion.
  8. Once trust has been achieved, and you are framing it in a language that is the combination of both parties negotiation is very straightforward, as there is an understanding of the schema

13th Oct 2015

In September we held our monthly neuroscience workshop, where we provide some of the latest research in the field. We covered attention and perception, two areas of neuroscience that are paramount for designing smarter products and services.

The application is wide, which could be seen from the attendance list to: staff from Bupa that was curious to see how this understanding could help them design better care services, an intelligence agent looking to understand how colleagues see their world to make management improvements, and designers wanting to create products that were bespoke to the needs of a new demographic.

Increasingly we are seeing the need for neuroscience to bleed and contribute insight to industry as people are now struggling to make sense of our fast changing world.