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The Brain as a Car

Intelligence

If your brain were a car, intelligence would be the horsepower of the motor. What you train when you train your brain is the transmission. You can have a 400-horsepower engine, but if your transmission only has first gear, you can’t take it out on the highway. Transmission is related to the working range of rpm—the level of energy.

A brain that is stuck in very slow frequencies produces first gear—lots of power but very slow speeds (intuitive and creative thinking). A brain that is stuck in very fast frequencies only has 4th or 5th gear. It is great at highway speeds, but it’s almost Impossible to get it out of the parking place.

You may have a great deal of intelligence capacity in your brain, but without a full, smoothly-integrated transmission, you can’t show it in certain situations. Learning to idle your brain—to be still in the resting-ready state—helps you keep from burning up the engine (revving it at 5,000 rpm while you sit at the stoplight) and saves a lot of fuel. Learning to shift to the right gear keeps the working speeds in a range that are most efficient and effective.

That’s what brain training is all about.

Parts of the brain

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the steering and brakes of your brain. It controls where you go and when you stop particular tasks. People with limited prefrontal function, which we train with HEG:

1. Tend to be impulsive: they speak or act or respond emotionally without thinking and often do things they later wish they hadn’t. When you ask children why they did or said something, they’ll often respond, “my brain made me do it,” or “my body did it, I didn’t.” They’re telling the truth. The screening function of the PFC doesn’t work (especially in busy situations), so the brain doesn’t get a chance to “edit” its initial responses. The person finds out what he’s going to do…after he’s done it.

2. Tend to be easily distracted: the busier the environment becomes—or the greater the level of control required (think classroom or office with cubicles), the less able the brain is to screen out “noise” and focus on “task”.

3. Tend to be emotionally labile: they explode or cry or laugh easily and, if nothing hooks into their response, move on quickly as well.

4. Don’t see order and often don’t see detail. Planning and organization are foreign.

The sub-cortical brain—the older parts—are the motor, producing energy and drive. Emotions and memories come from here. When the motor is too strong for the control system we often find ourselves doing things over and over that we don’t want to do: being attracted to the “wrong guy”, engaging in self-defeating behavior, etc.

The cortex—the outer “bark” of the brain—the “thinking” brain—is the transmission. This is what we train with EEG. The smoother and broader range of transmission we have, the better we can harness the power of our engine and the less demand we place on steering and brakes.

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