Researchers at the University of Rochester may have answered one of neuroscience’s most vexing questions—how can it be that our neurons, which are responsible for our crystal-clear thoughts, seem to fire in utterly random ways? In the November issue of Nature Neuroscience, the Rochester study shows that the brain’s cortex uses seemingly chaotic, or “noisy,” signals to represent the ambiguities of the real world—and that this noise dramatically enhances the brain’s processing, enabling us to make decisions in an uncertain world.
My maxim for this?
“information overload equals information retrieval”
There is a 30 year old study lost somewhere showing that the brain restrains blood flow to the lower body during the period when a particularly challenging thought is being formulated.
The brain is reserving energy for itself for a short period. This often makes people feel tired, nauseated or slightly dizzy, thus causing them to turn away from their thinking. I’ve often recommended that this is when it’s best to try a little harder; take a deep breath and finish the task.
It’s very likely that the “feeling” of information overload is precisely the period when information retrieval is taking place.
Speaking of his effort in art, Winston Churchill noted, “I know of nothing that while invigorating the mind more thoroughly exhausts the body. ”