Our Brain and ‘Wireless’ Neural Connections

 

alina-grubnyak-1362365-unsplash

We use the term wireless to reference cellular communication pathways around the world. Our brains’ neural pathways are similar, including synapses, also known as chemical bridges, for which neural impulses travel. While recently studying sections of brain tissue from the hippocampus of mice, scientists discovered impulses traversing across gaps void of brain tissue or neurotransmitters. Could we possibly have our own natural wireless network in our brains?

Hippocampus

The hippocampus is responsible for memory consolidation and spatial memory. This amazing part of our brain converts short-term memories to  long-term memories. Not only is it responsible for us remembering our home address but also spatial relationships in everyday life. According to researchers, the hippocampus  apparently is working overtime during our sleep.

Slower periodic brain waves occur while we sleep, yet neural connections and rewiring of trillions of nerve cells also take place. This type of brain activity, including wireless connections, were noted in the hippocampus tissue of mice. Is there a possible correlation between slower brain waves and wireless neural connections? Maybe.

pexels-photo-189349

My personal takeaway and food for thought is perhaps we should take a closer look at mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. I am the most productive when I am relaxed. No wonder I occasionally wake up while sleeping with a fantastic ah-ha moment. How about you?

What if brain scientists are on the verge of discovering the mystery to accessing more of our brain’s processing capabilities, via wireless connections? Just in case, read on for a healthy mind-body exercise.

Mindfulness

Try this mindfulness technique to place yourself in a more relaxed state and slow down your brain waves. Imagine the clutter of today’s stresses as individually labeled envelopes. See yourself categorizing these labeled envelopes into large boxes, labeled as: Facts, Guesses, Judgements, Past Activities, Present Activities, and Possibilities.

Focus on the context of your thoughts and not the content. By categorizing and organizing your thoughts, you can go through your ‘files’ at your leisure. Don’t allow your mind to inundate you with high priority, high stress content. Remember, our brains combine snippets of information that are not necessarily accurate on all accounts. So, “choose wisely.”

Best,

Dr. Doscher

 

 

Power Pose – Hijack Your Mental Focus

Feeling a little down? Hangin’ a bit from the weekend? Just can’t get motivated?

What if I could tell you how to instantly change your behavior and feel more alive? The next time you walk into a meeting or present a sales pitch, you will be on fire!!

Competitive athletes learn to go into their “zone”, so why not you. It’s all a matter of state change. Watch how athletes stand on the sidelines; shoulders back, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms crossed or hands on their hips. Gymnasts strike a strong pose prior to starting a routine. Why is this important to note? These athletes are controlling their breathing and changing their mental state. They are psyching themselves to W-I-N!

Unfortunately, posture alone cannot accomplish this change of behavior, but it can encourage an increase in testosterone (power hormone) and a decrease in cortisol (stress hormone) in both men and women. When you start feeling more powerful and less anxious, you can think and be more productive.

You try it! Stand with your arms over your head in a “V” or on your hips. If you prefer, recline with your arms over your head and legs and toes extended. These are examples of power poses, feel free to create your own. (I would love to hear your suggestions) While you are in your power pose, look around and take note and concentrate on the positives; ignore the negatives. Think of prior successful meetings or sales transactions. This will jump-start your hippocampus to retrieve chunks of related memories to encourage your productive thoughts and confidence.

Congratulations! You just hijacked your brain to think like a winner, no power tie needed.

~ Dr. Doscher

The Power of Suggestion

Although amazing, our hippocampus and amygdala have their limitations.  Both are a part of our brain’s limbic system, and both play roles in our memory systems. The synergy between the two are suspected to play a significant role in the long-term storage of emotional memories.  Yet, according to J.E. LeDoux, “Emotions are conscious products of unconscious processes.” Here is the kicker and reason for this post.

Emotions influence our declarative memories, and leave remnants of consequences from our emotional responses. These neural transmissions sometimes bypass the usual (longer) route for memory storage and recollection. Hence, this explains why a particular sound or smell may evoke a feeling of anxiousness, without you completely understanding or remembering the event responsible for the behavioral response.  Without corroboration of physical evidence, verifying reported memories can be difficult.  However, this does not mean  they are not true.

Unfortunately, research studies have demonstrated guided retrieval of memories can appear genuine to participants, especially when the participant feels pressured to remember a difficult-to-recall event.  A suggestion as simple as, “imagine this event and the sights and sounds around you, but don’t worry about the accuracy of your memories”, has been shown to elicit completely false memories or disassociated memories.

False memories of events never occurred, whereas disassociated memories are truthful and guided components of memories that meld into one memory. Previous truthful components of memories and guided components become indistinguishable.  The power of suggestion is noteworthy.

~ Dr. Michelle Doscher