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Why Your Brain Needs Negative Feedback

There is beauty in the brain's electric, neural storm when it knows the action you’re doing is not good enough. Yet many people abhor criticism, direct conflict resolution, or a task that truly challenges the limits of your brain. We have generations who have grown up with a never-ending supply of trophies. However, all of this positive feedback can have a negative affect on the way your brain functions and can uncondition our tolerance for criticism. We often forget our brains are wired for the type of survival where tension, conflict, and struggle are the norm. As a result, when it comes to the brain and feedback, bad is more powerful than good. Scientific research confirms that bad is stronger, more effective and requires more thinking and neural processing than good. Knowing the brain needs more balance and understanding how the brain processes feedback can have huge implications in how we train our brain, how we learn, and how we create experiences in the future.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why does the human brain need to take a beating in order to grow? How does the brain react to negative feedback or failure from a biological perspective?
  2. What is the effect of large volumes of continuous positive feedback?
  3. Can the brain be trained to be more open to criticism?
  4. Based on how the brain processes feedback, what are some implications for how we train our brains, design experiences, or create new ideas?
  5. What lessons did we learn in the development and testing of our brain training application? What brain performance trends are we observing with our high performing athletes from teams and organizations like Red Bull and the USOC?



Niki Weber, EVP, Product Marketing & Innovations, BrainSport

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