Brain Areas and Energy Flow

So far we have talked about energy levels and functions of the brain as if they were static or independent. We talked about areas where specific levels of activation and functions are expected to be found. It is seductive to see the brain as a machine.

Unlike any machine, though, your brain sustains constantly-interacting flows of information around numerous tasks and ongoing control functions. Read more… […]

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The Brain Over Time

We’ve looked at the brain along the dimensions of energy, connectivity, activation and variability. We’ve considered the in/out Tone scale of sub-cortical/cortical.

The dimension of time is an important context for all the rest. The brains of an 8-year-old or a 70-year-old will likely show different energy patterns from those of an adult, and they can be trained differently. Read more… […]

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Stress and Trauma

Many of us use the words Stress and Trauma to describe our current experience or things that have happened to us in the past. They are blamed for much of what is difficult or unpleasant in our lives. However, they are rarely defined clearly, so we really don’t understand what we are talking about.

The view of stress we will use in this book is probably different from what you hear on TV commercials or read in magazine articles. The focus of those presentations is usually to make you powerless and suggest you buy something. Our definition, on the other hand, is both accurate and helpful in producing change in our selves, since it defines the concepts in terms we can actually change. Read more… […]

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Brain Tone System

When sensory information comes into the brain, it passes through two parallel systems. The first of these is a sensory screening system which allows the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC)—the brain’s Executive Center—to determine what is important to be processed and what should be screened out. Without this, our world is chaotic (as, for example, in the case of someone with Autism), Read more… […]

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We will define Tone as the level of activation in a system when it is not doing anything. Muscle tone, for example, is the level of muscle tension in a relaxed body. Our focus today, is the Tone of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

The ANS is the part of the brain-body interface which controls our physiologic functions in relation to our mood states. Read more… […]

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Deep States

Commonly the targets people present for training their brains relate to conscious or physical functions. These tend to be safer, more acceptable areas to admit as problems. A person with a history of trauma and uncontrolled emotional drive often focuses training objectives on sleep, pain, memory or attention.

Just as fixing the roof on a house with a crumbling foundation will likely have a temporary effect at best, training to change cognitive function in a brain dealing with significant emotional stress or trauma is not likely to have a lasting result. Read more… […]

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Local Connectivity

We’ve seen that low frequencies are not produced by cortical neurons but rather by rhythm generators in the area below the cortex. As a result, neurons over large regional or even global areas of the brain can resonate to these frequencies. As they do so, they tend to operate jointly in a manner we can describe with the concepts of phase, coherence and synchrony. Read more… […]

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Global and Regional Connectivity

When we spoke about frequencies earlier, we said that slow frequencies like Delta, Theta and Alpha are not produced by neurons in the cortex. They are frequencies we see when cortical neurons are not working. These lower frequencies can be thought of as transmissions which are broadcast throughout the brain from structures in its center. When neurons in the cortex are resting, they may tune in to any of these frequencies and begin to resonate to them. Read more… […]

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Connectivity: Coherence/Phase/Synchrony

Certainly the brain’s billions of neurons create an energy-producing system, but it is also an astonishingly complex self-adjusting communication system. A cellular phone network has the potential to facilitate communication over a great area, but if every time I call someone his phone is turned off and when he tries to call me back, mine is out or range, the communication doesn’t happen very well. Read more… […]

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As with any other part of the body, it is important for us to know how things change in the brain between resting, idling and activated states. When we assess brain activation, it is common look at eyes-closed, eyes-open Baseline and task conditions.

Ordinarily we expect to see the brain with eye closed at rest, though not sleeping. In most cases this appears as a brain dominated by the Alpha frequency, especially in the rear. Read more… […]

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