The Neurobiology of Emotional Intelligence

The Neurobiology of Emotional Intelligence

This article shares ideas and strategies from the evolving field of social neuroscience—the study of how relationships affect cells in our body and how our brains and nervous systems affect our relationships. Early childhood educators an use knowledge of their biological and rational processes as well as their prior experience to make wise decisions under stress.

This article was published in Young Children in the January 2011 edition.

Key Messages

  • Our brain and nervous system react unconsciously to people and circumstances in our environment.
  • Our biological impulses can protect us from harm, but if we rely only on them, we risk losing our cool under pressure—jeopardizing our relationships with peers and the children and families we serve.
  • We can use our inborn biological processes and our executive function, instincts, and sense of humor to act wisely under stress.

The content of this article is most closely related to NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs 1, and NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards 1, 3, and 10.

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