How Love is Affecting Business

What positive effects does love have on business? DAncing Einstein’s CEO Mizuto Aoto breaks it down through brain and neuroscience.

The original article “The positive effects of loving and being loved” is a part of the WORK MILL with Forbes JAPAN Issue 4 -loved company©WORK MILL, published on April 11, 2019

I’ve been asked about love in the past, but I’d never considered it very deeply. I mean, unraveling the mysteries of love with neuroscience sounds sketchy, right? But I’ve become a father just recently, and it’s opened up a new world for me. I think daily, “Wow, so this is love.” Love and trust are used synonymously in many cases, but strictly speaking, they come from different places.

Love is primitive and is almost like a vital reaction. Love releases oxytocin often referred to as the “affection hormone,” which is created in the hypothalamus and comes into effect when it reaches the prefrontal area and amygdala. This causes the person to want to devote him or herself without wishing for anything in return. Love is unconditional.

On the other hand, trust is something that is built up. It’s a reaction that is learned through experience. Trust is about relationships. Episodic memories with a person are stored in the hippocampus, while emotional memories are stored in the amygdala. As the relationship deepens, episodic and emotional memories are stored as a set. If the emotional memories are positive, the brain learns that the person can be trusted. At times, this can transition into love. There are no causalities, but there may be relativity.

Love has positive effects on both givers and receivers. The greatest effect is alleviating anxiety and stress. Oxytocin works on parts of the prefrontal area and the amygdala. It subdues anxiety and fear and is said to repress cortisol, a hormone that is released when you feel stressed. I believe through recent personal experiences, that this greatly contributes to how parents pull through the hardships of caring for a newborn.

A moderate amount of stress has positive effects such as more concentration, stronger memory, and clearer convergent thinking. But an excess of stress can be harmful to your brain. Too much stress can dull the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which controls conscious thinking and attention. If your mind goes blank as your boss yells at you, this is your DLPFC shutting down.

Too much stress also numbs the rostral lateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC), which keeps inadequate actions in check. When you say something you regret later, it could be because of excessive stress. If left to worsen, this could even lead to suicide. Relieving stress with oxytocin affects both actions and reasoning. This is why building up psychological security between superiors and subordinates is so important. One way to build this security is the loving technique.

The Loving Technique

Love is to give and not expect anything in return. It takes much energy and many resources to manage this. It is hardly an easy task. Mother Teresa is revered by many because what she has accomplished is that much difficult. It is laborious to yield a love as pure as one gives to his or her family towards clients, employees, and society. And to build trust, one must accumulate episodic and emotional memories day in and day out, and they must be positive.

When people feel that somebody has done something for them without calculation, their trust for them increases, and an attachment can be formed. Yet, the reaction will differ with every person. People who can perceive what the other wants and feels through not just words but nonverbal information such as expressions, tone of voice, and gestures will be able to express affection at a higher level.

Yet it cannot be forgotten that at times, love also has the potential of bearing great hatred. Even if love was given freely at first with the help of oxytocin, episodic, and emotional memories related to that person would also accumulate with time. As the memories stack up, the love that once was unconditional can easily be transformed into one that hopes for something in return.

Our brains are quite intelligent and can speculate and hope for certain outcomes based on episodic and emotional memories. If the actions do not meet our expectations, the differences can develop into stress or even hatred.

Love is such a difficult thing. The emotional memories prompted by episodic memories are different for each person, so it will not be easy to create products and services that everyone will love. As such, the time is coming where AI will be used to reveal the factors of each. Even as you tweet, your posts are being archived with emoticons and tags expressing how you feel.

Unraveling such information could help you discover interests you never knew you had and could guide you to learn what you never knew you wanted to know.

Mizuto Aoto
Founder and CEO of DAncing Einstein Co., Ltd. After dropping out of high school, he enters UCLA Neuroscience and graduates in 2012 after skipping a grade. Founds DAncing Einstein Co., Ltd. in October 2014. Aoto has led many projects that utilize his research on neuroscience for educational and corporate scenes. He’s the leading expert of NeuroEdTech, a combination of the brain, education, and IT. Aoto reads medical theses in his free time.