The radio brain

The radio brain

On how the brain “tunes in” to one idea:

If you think of the example of the jammed radio, the way to hear what you want out of the messy signals would be to listen really hard for the latest news while trying to filter out the unwanted music. The hippocampus does this more efficiently. It simply tunes in to the right frequency to get the station it wants. As the cells tune into the station they’re after, they are actually able to filter out the other station at the same time, because its signal is being transmitted on a different frequency.

Similar to being connected to someone:

“You know how when you feel like you really connect with someone, you say you are on the same wavelength? When brain cells want to connect with each other, they synchronize their activity,” Colgin explains. “The cells literally tune into each other’s wavelength. We investigated how gamma waves in particular were involved in communication across cell groups in the hippocampus. What we found could be described as a radio-like system inside the brain. The lower frequencies are used to transmit memories of past experiences, and the higher frequencies are used to convey what is happening where you are right now.”

Immediately, I thought of Merlin’s synthesis of procrastination as a way of “asking the world for answers” when we’ve forgotten who we are. In this regard, tuning in to one thing (perhaps to the wrong thing) could be a lack of connecting to another:

Paraphrasing liberally:

Procrastination comes from a lack of confidence from one of three things:
– Temporarily forgetting who we are and what we want to be
– Temporarily losing track of what we should be paying attention to
– Losing track of what our options are for doing something about the first two

There’s a great deal of meaningful things I’m leaving out about oscillation and the often-overlooked masterful mastering of oscillation. As I tune in to write a few talks that I’m signed up to give over the next few weeks, both are much needed and timely reminders.