Anatomy of the Financially Savvy Brain is a 6 week series that ran every Thursday until today, April 7/11. The entire series can be found under Money Tips.
Ever wonder what is actually happening inside our brains as we plan our money management strategies, bravely stave off impulse spending , and work towards that end goal of financial freedom? This series will answer those very questions by looking at the seven main processes of the brain and how they effect our money management.
Last week we looked at the fifth process, the cerebellum. This week we are going to look at the final process, the Occipital Lobe.
The occipital lobe, located at the back of the brain, is a network centre for visual processing. It is the centre of our visual perception. Not only is it responsible for visual reception, but it is also responsible for visual recognition. The occipital lobe works with the hippocampus to make associations.
In very basic terms, your occipital lobe is your vision. It receives an upside-down image directly from your retinas, interprets this image, and then passes this input on to the parietal lobe and frontal lobe for processing into meaningful information.
So how does this relate to finance you ask?
You’ve likely heard that if you need to remember a certain bit of information – it helps to form a visual picture in your mind. This is how the brain, a.k.a. occipital lobe, can assist you with the task of remembering and applying new methods, concepts, or ideas.
I was quite astonished at how well this worked … when I was rehearsing for exams for one course in university…. I simply sketched silly little pictures to illustrate main parts of the content when I studied. Then after exams started and while directions were still being given … I drew these small sketches into the margins of my exam paper. I was able to write pages on each visual in front of me – because the images brought back related details from what I had previously read and written down.
The same thing can happen regarding your finances. For example, if you are planning your financial plan for the next year, chances are you are writing down what it will look like. This act of visualizing what that plan looks like uses your occipital lobe. Six months later when you are reviewing how your finances are doing, your brain will reference that original picture or visualization to help you in determining if you have made progress.
So, next time you are trying to form a new habit like saving, trying a new method like index investing, or just plain remembering something, visualize it. This will help you stay focused and remember your task at hand.
So, what does your financial picture look like?
Well, that concludes the Anatomy of the Financially Brain series. I hope you have enjoyed it and found the information enlightening and useful.