Brain networks at rest appear to be waiting in a state of potentiation to execute even the simplest of behaviors, report researchers.
This evidence comes from a new paper published this week in the journal PLoS One, reporting on a study led by professors Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D., at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and Steven L. Bressler, Ph.D., interim director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences.
In the study, the researchers used a simple experimental task, having each participant perform a simple motor control behavior (tapping their forefinger to a visual cue) that alternated between behavior and rest. Brain activity was acquired using functional MRI (fMRI).
Using relatively complex modeling of fMRI signals, the team studied brain network interactions between two important brain regions: the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), used for control, and the supplementary motor area (SMA), used for motor movements. In their previous studies, the team highlighted the importance of directional network interactions from the dACC to the SMA during simple motor behavior. In the PLoS One paper, they showed a compelling and opposite effect: during the rest periods that alternated between the motor behavior task, network interactions from the SMA to the dACC were now increased. (1)
Brain activity is always there.
Even what at rest or when sleeping.
We believe that having an active brain is the ultimate goal.
And we train to do what the brain does anyway on its own.
However, having an active brain needs no effort at all.
Blocking the functions of the brain which are always there is difficult. Allowing them to carry on filtering the cosmos is the easy path. Being active so as to let go is difficult. Letting go an allow your brain to think is easy. It’s not the thinking but the non-thinking that requires effort.
Go to sleep.
Empty your brain.
It is the cosmos you see.
Empty in its fullness.
Intricate complex in its simplicity…
You are not sleeping.
You’ve never been more awake…
In Zen, they speak of the state of no mind. Let go and simply be. Do not force thought.