My friend Jerry says that your brain will reward you if you forget your troubles and get happy.
Researchers are discovering -- finally -- that brains reconfigure themselves all the time.
ScienceDaily recently reported that scientists in Lausanne detected neural reconnections on an hour-by-hour basis. In an interesting twist, my favorite passage in the article draws a parallel between brain function and social networks:
"The circuitry of the brain is like a social network where neurons are like people, directly linked to only a few other people," explains [researcher] Markram. "This finding indicates that the brain is constantly switching alliances and linking with new circles of "friends" to better process information."
Oddly this is exactly what meditation has always been for - to clear out associations in the brain that are baggage or unproductive and to focus the brain on understanding the task at hand. In essence, it's like an operator switching the alliances in the brain in an optimization effort.
But there's a sinister part of this, that repetitive messaging works. This is a human autonomic response that is easily gamed. Say, for example, you wanted to convince people of a course of action - anything from buying Coke to supporting a war overseas. Well, the best way to get what you want it repetitive messaging - so the brains of your target audience gradually and unwillingly associate Coke with Life and Iraq with Terrorism.
"I am in control of my own brain, I am in control of my own brain, I am in control of my own brain, ..."
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