Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Brain on duty

A Carnegie Mellon University study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience demonstrates that when we have a problem to solve, areas of the brain responsible for decision making are active until its solution, even while we sleep or are distracted by another matter.

Dr. David Creswell and colleagues tested the brains of 27 volunteers by presenting them information about cars and other items, while making functional MRI images measuring the metabolic activity of each brain area. Then the researchers asked the volunteers to do exercises with numbers as a method of distraction, and as a result were questioned about the details of the cars and other information presented.

While the initial information was provided, the visual areas and the prefrontal cortex areas, known to be related to learning, became and remained active even during testing and distraction with numebrs. Furthermore, the intensity of activity corresponded to those areas of the volunteers with better response as the choice of best car displayed, for example.

This study, according to the authors, is the first that demonstrates how the brain works solving problems, even subconsciously, analyzing data and looking for solutions, even when we are distracted or resting.

If someone cannot sleep, meditation also helps. A study by Brown University published in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience  demonstrates that directed meditation, that is to say, that meditation that focuses attention on the experience of the moment as a sensation such as  breathing or body awareness, prevents depression and reduces stress , especially when there is a present physical discomfort such as pain or gastric distress.

Using a technique called electroencephalography magnet, scientists have documented that people who practice meditation can filter enhanced sensations and reduce cortical stimuli that are the most troublesome. According to Drs Catherine Kerr, Stephanie Jones and Christopher Moore, vigilant meditation allows people to develop better control of alpha brain waves, which dominate the electroencephalogram when we are awake and alert. These waves are reduced in the body where attention is focused during meditation, allowing these individuals to filter stimuli, reducing the most annoying such as pain, itching or cramping. Therefore, it is clear, the force is with us all. Just focus and not get distracted, and the brain solves everything.



Translated from the Portuguese version by:

Lisa Karpova
Pravda.Ru