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Daydream believer: why your brain is wired to wander

https://theconversation.com/daydream-believer-why-your-brain-is-wired-to-wander-18881

theconversation.com

Daydream believer: why your brain is wired to wander
We are usually told that daydreaming is a waste of time and mental power, but the ability to daydream offers us tremendous flexibility in our daily lives. The frequency with which we daydream suggests…

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Daydreaming Is Not A Waste Of Time

Daydreaming Is Not A Waste Of Time

Contrary to popular belief, daydreaming is actually an evolutionary trait specific to human beings which harnesses our creative power and enables us to function in an effective manner.

Research shows that a creative distraction like daydreams loosens us form our never-ending stream of thoughts and provides possible solutions to our problems, while enhancing our sense of identity.

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The Daydreaming Network

Our brains have many regions, like the prefrontal cortex, medial temporal lobes and the parietal cortex cluster, allowing us to imagine and visualize complex scenarios and their possible outcomes inside our minds.

This makes daydreaming a complex and rich phenomenon which we take for granted.

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Imagination Is A Superpower

  • We all have imagination at our disposal, a highly complex brain function(though we ignore it), that can take us backwards or forward in time, like a time machine.
  • A comprehensive neuroimaging brain scan analysis shows that dementia patients do not have this brain function of active imagination, and are stuck in the present moment.
  • Similar studies on patients with Alzheimer’s disease showed that they cannot remember past and future events, and are not able to imagine things apart from not having access to their memory.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Memorizing new material

When we try to memorize new information, we assume that the more work we put in, the better we will do.

But, our memory for new information is the most fragile just after it has first been en...

Take some downtime

Aiming for minimal interference - to do literally nothing - is the best way to consolidate the facts and remember it better.

Research found that short periods of rest increased the ability to recall information up to 30 % in healthy individuals. For people with neurological injury, such as a stroke, the ability to recall after some rest, places them almost within the range of healthy people.

We remember better after rest

When memories are initially encoded, they pass through a period of consolidation that cements them in long-term storage.

It was once thought to happen mostly during sleep; studies have found that it is not limited to sleep, because it happens during periods of wakeful rest, too.

Pain: The Unwanted Discomfort

Pain: The Unwanted Discomfort
  • Pain, whether emotional or physical is practically unavoidable in the entire human existence. Drugs may blunt it to an extent (with severe side-effects), but we all dread pain and wish it wa...

Not Being Able To Feel Pain

Congenital Insensitivity To Pain (CIP) is a rare genetic condition in which a person does not feel any pain, with no warning signs of ‘hurt’ being registered in the brain even after the body gets injured or damaged.

No one with this condition survived till adulthood due to them not able to act on the(unfelt) pain, which could have saved their lives.

Pain Is Multi-Dimensional

The very concept of pain, where it locates and provides the severity of the problem, is an extremely important part of the human body mechanism, as it operates on various dimensions.

As soon as we touch a hot pan (thermal), our hand is located by the brain, along with the intensity, which is extremely unpleasant and diverts your thoughts towards it, demanding full attention (cognition), making us feel unhappy (emotional).

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About Consciousness

About Consciousness

Consciousness is everything you experience - taste, pain, love, feeling. Where these experiences come from is a mystery.

Many modern analytic philosophers of mind either d...

Searching For Physical Footprints

What is it about brain matter that gives rise to consciousness? In particular, the neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) - the minimal neuronal mechanisms jointly sufficient for any conscious experience.

Consider this question: What must happen in your brain for you to experience a toothache?

Neuronal Correlates of Consciousness (NCC)

The whole brain can be considered an NCC because it generates experience continually.

  • When parts of the cerebellum, the "little brain" underneath the back of the brain, are lost to a stroke or otherwise, patients may lose the ability to play the piano, for example.  But they never lose any aspect of their consciousness. This is because the cerebellum is almost wholly a feed-forward circuit. There are no complex feedback loops.
  • The spinal cord and the cerebellum are not enough to create consciousness. Available evidence suggests neocortical tissue in generating feelings.
  • The next stages of processing are the broad set of cortical regions, collectively known as the posterior hot zone, that gives rise to conscious perception. In clinical sources of causal evidence, stimulating the posterior hot zone can trigger a diversity of distinct sensations and feelings.
  • It appears that almost all conscious experiences have their origin in the posterior cortex. But it does not explain the crucial difference between the posterior regions and much of the prefrontal cortex, which does not directly contribute to subjective content.