Purpose in Life (Ikigai), a Frontal Lobe Function, Is a Natural


Stress can cause anxiety that creates imbalances in the autonomic nervous system and internal secretions leading to mental and somatic disease. Purpose in life (PIL) and ikigai (two social attitudes) help individuals to integrate psychological events and effectively cope with stress. PIL/ikigai provides an intrinsic motivation and is thought to develop primarily during adolescence. There is a correlation with such positive experiences as spending time in beautiful natural surroundings and exposure to warm human relationships at various developmental stages. PIL/ikigai is a physiological frontal lobe function. Adolescence is a critical period of development for PIL/ikigai and neuronal connections are strengthened by secretion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and β-endorphin. We propose that there is an important physiologic role of PIL/ikigai and that critical periods of brain development influence development of PIL/ikigai.

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Ishida, R. (2012). Purpose in Life (Ikigai), a Frontal Lobe Function, Is a Natural. Psychology, 3, 272-276. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.33038.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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