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How do we control thoughts and sudden movements ?!
A scientific study by Adam Aron and his associates explains the origin of this mechanism. Have you ever been interrupted by a sudden phone call in the middle of a conversation? Do you then forget what you previously wanted to say?
A study on the electrical activities of the human brain, published in the journal Natures Communications, provides answers to the question of why this is happening to us.
According to Adam Aron of the University of California, San Diego, the interruption of the flow of thought is the same mechanism as the one that automatically blocks our movements in situations when we need to stop abruptly. The key role in the sudden interruption of motor actions, and most likely in the interruption of the flow of thoughts, belongs to the subthalamic nucleus or basal ganglion, a small neural formation located in the midbrain, located in the central part of the skull.
During their study, Aaron and his colleagues studied the behavior of twenty volunteers and seven patients with Parkinson's disease, assigning them memory tasks. Since it was necessary to remember a series of characters or signs, the interest in Parkinson's disease is not accidental. In fact, it can happen that the flow of thoughts of sick people is the only stable structure that cannot be broken.
The hypothesis is that it is the same brain structure when it comes to blocking the tremors typical of the disease and when it comes to persistence in thinking in patients. As respondents try to memorize certain letters, simple and monotonous sounds are heard in the background. However, in some cases, some notes are replaced by the sudden chirping of a bird, a bizarre stimulus that is enough to disorient the respondents.
The electrical brain activity, which occurs when recording sudden sounds, is identical to the activity that occurs when sudden movement stops.
The part of the brain that is activated in these situations is the base ganglion. It turned out that the activity of this brain structure was inversely proportional to the connection of letters and verses by the respondents. What we have shown so far is that unexpected events activate the same nervous circuit that is activated by targeted blocking of our movements, scientists point out. This mechanism seems to regulate the degree of influence of all events on the flow of our thoughts, which we had before we were interrupted.
It certainly remains to be studied why this is happening. Undoubtedly, human evolution has had a significant impact on the development of this mechanism.
While our distant ancestors walked the savannas fantasizing about dinner, it was this ability to interrupt the flow of our thoughts abruptly that must have saved a man's life, helping him to concentrate on risky situations. This finding can be of great importance to patients with Parkinson's disease, as well as to all those who suffer from numerous problems related to attention deficit disorder.
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