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One of the greatests and renowned heroes of the Philippines is Antonio Luna de San Pedro y Novicio-Ancheta also known as General Antonio Luna, who fought during the Philippine-American War, he is known to have committed to discipline soldiers of the army that all of us admire about him but despite of this his attitude, strategies or tactics of warfare really caught the attention of people today and especially our historians. By using neuroscience we will explain on how a brain of Antonio Luna is made of til the day he was asssassinated by our fellow Filipinos. Remember, the brain is responsible for behavior (Moore, 1994). Humans are inherently social beings. We care not only about material and financial rewards, but also about social status, belonging, and respect. Research studies show that our brains automatically evaluate the fairness of how financial rewards are distributed. We seem to have a happiness response to fair treatment and a disgust or protest response to unfairness. This brain wiring has implications for life happiness, relationship satisfaction, raising kids, and organizational leadership (Greenberg, 2014). Thus, can we assume that Antonio Luna’s decisions was influenced by many factors? Which helps to rewire his brain that responsible to his actions or manners.
On his family background, He was born on 29 October 1866 in Calle Urbiztondo which is now Barraca Street in Binondo (which is now part of San Nicolas), Manila. As for the records he was the youngest of seven children of Joaquín Luna de San Pedro y Posadas (1829–1891), from Badoc and Spanish mestizo Laureana Novicio-Ancheta (1836–1906, from Luna, La Union is formerly known as Namacpacan). Their family business was selling Tobacco at Binondo and during those times his family considered rich and gave him the best education he can achieve therefore poverty doesn’t effect to his developing mind studies show that the exposure on poverty really affects the brain development of a child (Luby, Belden, & Botteron, 2013). It might be safe to say that Antonio Luna is a bright child like his siblings. According to records of Vivencio Jose at the age of six, Antonio Luna learned reading, writing, and mathematics from his teacher known as Maestro Intong and aside of this he memorized the Doctrina Cristiana that contains the doctrines of the catholic church. At Ateneo de Manila, he earned his bachelor of arts degree with high honors when he was 15 years old. While he was studying pre-pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas he joined the essay contest with his entry “DOS Cuerpos Fundamentales de la Quimica” or Two Basic Elements of Chemistry (Jose, 1995). Aside from developing their minds, it was also important for young men on those days to be good sportsmen (Jose, 1995).
The Luna brothers were known good fencers and sharpshooters. The study shows that sports have lots of benefits not just for the body, but for the brain such as it improves your mood wherein physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed such as Endorphin that serves as pain killer and also dopamine when you receive pleasure from a match (Peggy Pletcher, 2016). If this really occur according to the explanation of neuroscience, In an excited state dophamine temporarilly floods a synapse (the gaps between the neurons) when a pleasurable activity, such as gambling, sex, shopping, or gaming, is anticipated or experienced (Smith, 2017). Antonio Luna also loves music actually he could play the guitar, mandolin, and piano and most of the time he does this with his family and also according to historical accounts he serenades his lover Ysidra Cojuanco, with this we can say how good Antonio Luna’s brain since music helps stimuli our brain that helps our cognitive skills.
According to the Vivencio Jose’s book, Antonio Luna’s uncle Adriano Novicio lead a rebellion against the Spaniards that inflamed the hearts of many Filipinos to take up arms, however, this followed by arrests of Antonio Luna’s father, his brothers as well as many others were sent to prison for a time. This memory of the revolt stayed in his mind, which the field of neuroscience explains that this event became an episodic memory of him which he carry when he went abroad to continue his studies which became part of his perspective when he socialized with the Spaniards or other Europeans. His enlightenment became more worse when the Spaniards made fun of him, but he overcame all of this together with other Fiipinos on Europe the influence of his friends helps him to rewire his mind to greatness.
At the time when adolescents spend an increasing amount of time with their peers, research suggests that peer-related stimuli may sensitize the reward system to respond to the reward value of risky behavior. As the cognitive control system gradually matures over the course of the teenage years, adolescents grow in their capacity to coordinate affect and cognition, and to exercise self-regulation even in emotionally arousing situations. These capacities are reflected in gradual growth in the capacity to resist peer influence (Albert, Chein, & Steinberg, 2014). According to his biography, he wrote many poems, he is also a contributor, and at times an editor of La Solidaridad and La Independencia, this might help his brain to develop as a wide strategist, since neuroscience explains that writing during primitive times truly helps our brain. “Writer’s block stems from real mental processes, including ones that were useful during evolution but that are counterproductive now.
The amygdala’s primary role is assessing risk and distributing resources appropriately. Historically, it has been one of the most important brain components for the survival of our species” (Blair, 2013). We can say that Antonio Luna’s brain benefit from working on newspaper since he writes thus his brain really develops. There are certain episodic memories that Antonio Luna’s mind never forget and these were their Christmas celebrations when he was young as mentioned on his biography, on how Spaniards treated Filipinos, the death of his sister Numeriana, his deep concern on his ill mother, and of course on how Filipinos betray one another these memories are part of his Hippocampus which neuroscience explains that this brain part is responsible on never forget encounters in life.
As his biography mentioned that never on his life that he forget his family and his lover Ysdra or Yssabel by nickname. Many ask why he is so brutal in terms of disciplinary on his soldiers or on making decisions, according on his biography, his father was a real disciplinarian to him and also on his siblings, which we may tell that these wires his brain on how he thinks as a a general of our country. As studies in the neuroscience field claims that men have larger amygdala than woman so we may say that this is responsible for Antonio Luna’s anger management aside to the experiences that he faced during his early life. One event of his life was the disobedience of General Tomas Mascardo, wherein, according to his biography they have exchanged letters and Mascardo insists that the one he will only obey is the command directly coming from the President Emilio Aguinaldo. With full of outrage and as a male, which neuroscience explains that men have larger dorsal premammillary nucleus or DPN, which is why men are more sensitive on protecting the things they believe that belong to them or in short they treated them as his own territory. He go and confront him to proove his stand as a general and have full obedience to the law of the land.
Several brain regions are activated not only as a function of properties that are inherent to the stimuli, but also as a function of the psychological judgments that we make about them. In a sense, the influence of such judgements reflects a progressive decoupling from the responses that are dictated by the stimulus itself to information that is generated by the brain through associations and inferences (Adolphs, 2003). With this explanation we may say on how Antonio Luna’s behavior or how he discipline the soldiers during his lifetime as secretary of war. The influence of the war surrounding makes Antonio Luna’s temper rise or high specially on his decision making. The standard of justice or fairness depends in your culture like for instance according to (Greenberg, 2014) these are the following: first we have “Equity” – the brain hates inquality and wants equal treatment no discrimination we can see this how Antonio Luna treats his army of men.
Second we have “Fair compensation for effort” – the brain wants rewards everything you do which we can see on how Antono Luna rewards those who give themselves for our nation and he also inspired his soldiers by wearing presentable uniforms that eventually became a motivation for his men and to him as well. Third we have “Consequence for acting unfairly” – On this situation the brain doesn’t want cheaters or liers which Captain Janolino, General Mascardo and Pedro Paterno may be a good example whom for Antonio Luna were traitors of our motherland. Last is “Social Good” – It is also important what is our social status, economic status, level of discrimination you have received and also if you’re a disabled person, the brain sees these as a standard of fairness, throughout his life we can see how he was raised and how men is high on the eyes of our society in the past which created a being like him.
June 5, 1899, the day when he was invited to be part of the new cabinet in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija and which also the same day he was assassinated by soldiers whom doesn’t like his disciplinary styles and one of them is Captain Janolino. At the front of the convent he fells if we will assume that when a person clinically died or simply died they still have consciousness but in the case of Antonio Luna he was murdered and as neuroscience or in natural sciences unnatural death has differ process until all of our human organs signs of life turn off or gone. We can say that he was a loss to our ancestors dream of freedom against foreign invaders. Can we be like him if we are surrounded by these kind of events or provided the same things he receive on his lifetime or can we do more than that such as avoid to have anger management.
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