The thing I find most interesting about the human body is, by far, the brain. The brain is comprised of trillions of neurons, brain structures, and networks. What is even more fascinating is how these networks communicate with each other and how they, in turn, make us function.
New research in neurology has found that the secrets of our brains don’t lie in one specific structure, but rather in how these structures form pathways, which form networks, which make us walk and talk and think and breathe and, well, make us do all the things we are able to do!
One of the aspects that I found most interesting is the Default Mode Network, or DMN. Allow me to back track a bit before I just jump in with the neurology lingo. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or functional MRI (fMRI) which is, put simply, a big machine which is able to view brain activity, researchers can see what part of our brain we are using when doing certain activities or completing certain tasks. Cool, isn’t it? Researchers found that our brains are active and brain regions are firing, even when we are not busy with a particular task, and this is what they coined the Default Mode Network.
The Default Mode Network consists of a few brain structures and is responsible for various functions. Its most important role relates to how we process information about the self and our own identity. Furthermore, whilst researching the Default Mode Network, researchers found that people who suffer from depression and anxiety have an over-active Default Mode Network and because of this, they find it very difficult to concentrate on tasks and can’t stop thinking about their negative experiences. This is called rumination.
There is no denying it: the brain is super fascinating! Here are a few myths about the brain…