In the medical term, neuroscience refers to the study of the brain and nervous system, such as molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, cognitive, psychophysics, computational modelling, and disease of the nervous system. Meanwhile, neurological syndrome (neurological disorder) applies to any condition that is caused by a dysfunction in part of the brain. The most common neurological disorders people often experience include headache, dementia, stress, sleep deprived, weak immune system, and many more.
In many workplaces, neuroscience has nearly never been discussed due to the difficulty of the subjects, yet it is one of vital information leaders and managers should talk about as it affects human’s mood and motivation. According to CIPD learning and development research adviser Ruth Stuart, a number of companies are already using the theories of neuroscience, sometimes unknowingly and often without admitting to it. Many leaders and L&D teams tend to use more generic terms such as ‘mindful leadership’, or they will discuss it in a package as part of a leadership development or training programme, added Stuart.
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Professor Tissa Wijeratne and Professor Sheila Crewther discussed in their paper that there is a growing body of evidence about Post-COVID-19 Neurological Syndrome (PCNS). From a study of 2,113 COVID-19 patients, they found that while the number of symptoms patients experienced reduced over time, only 0.7 percent reported being free of symptoms 79 days after the infection. Fatigue and breathlessness were the most common long-term symptoms reported in their study. In addition, nearly 97 percent of COVID-19 patients experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Others have found psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in participants.
While much of the evidence on post-COVID-19 neurological conditions is based on case reports and small studies, Prof. Wijeratne and Prof. Crewther highlighted the importance of ongoing monitoring for neurological symptoms. They say a better understanding of biological development of COVID-19 and increased vigilance for any sign of the symptoms must become a priority for global membership, including companies and organisations.
The pandemic has caused so many hurdles as mentioned above. Burnet Institute provides some strategies for preventing pandemic fatigue. The recommendations include:
HR can approach learning and development programmes with a greater emphasis on collaborative learning. Head of engagement at consultancy Cirrus Rob Davies said that neuroscience increases people’s awareness of insight and intuition because it helps understand what kind of thinking enables and inhabits effective collaboration and idea generation. When individuals learn together, collaboration enhances the learning experience and social interaction can generate innovative ideas. Of course, there should be policies and regulations created to make sure this collaboration is beyond safety.
Read also: HR Knowledge: Psychology Theory of Work Motivation (Chapter II)