Perhaps the most fundamental and critical behavior of your brain is language. The ability to communicate is necessary to our species and survival. Language is predominantly a left-hemisphere and verbal function. However, language also entails prosody or pitch and tone without words, letters, or numbers. Language involves spontaneity, content, tempo, volume, and comprehension. Language is symbolic, spoken, written, perceived and comprehended.
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Attention is the most basic and necessary function of the brain. The brain can attend to information from five sensory pathways. While a deeper level of processing is not necessary for attention to occur, it is also true that a deeper level of information processing cannot occur without normal attention. The brain stem and frontal lobe are thought to be important for basic attentional processing. The entire Cortex is likely involved to a degree with basic attention.
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As we learn more about the power of the human brain it is more common to hear about ideas regarding our ability to guide our future, intuition, and premonition. Given that the brain is an electrical, magnetic, and chemical system we should not be too surprised by such ideas.
Research has already demonstrated the brain’s ability to move a cursor on a computer screen merely through thoughts. Other research indicates meditation can slow the progression of HIV and the military is presently working on communication between soldiers on the battle field that is essentially based on telepathy.
We are perhaps more accustomed to ideas such as mental focus, discipline, and attention. These mental qualities are perfected by athletes such as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan to name a few. It is precisely these attributes that distinguish these professionals as superstars relative to the other great athletes. Can the human brain train to use these forces to guide their future and to derive positive outcomes?
My opinion is that the human brain can do anything so I certainly believe each of us has the ability to visualize and to increase the probability of our future being a good one. I believe we have the ability to imagine or dream and to focus our energies in a positive stream towards that goal. This is most likely quite foreign to most, but begin by developing more and more positive thoughts, visualize positive outcomes, and create energy around you and inside you that is positive. Take an inventory of what occurs in your life after you begin and sustain this mental process.
The common phrase “the game is 95% mental” is well known, but hardly respected at least as measured by the amount of time one works on the mental side of any sport. For those professional and amateur athletes who perform at the highest levels, the common thread to their excellence is the mastery of the mental part of their work or game.
I watched the Masters’ Golf Tournament and took away a deep appreciation again of the significance of the mental part of the game. Indeed, the mental part of the game can completely alter a highly proficient mechanical or physical part of the game. Consider the major leaguer who falls into a slump, a professional golfer who cannot hit a three foot putt, and the professional basketball player who cannot drain the fifteen foot foul shot. This is despite the fact that these professionals are the best on the planet and can achieve success at these tasks 98% of the time.
The Masters’ typically begins on Sunday and the last nine holes. This is the time when the mental aspect of the game really becomes paramount, though clearly the mental part of the golf game is always important. Perhaps it is the nearing of the end of the tournament, the amount of fame derived from winning this major tournament, or the fear of failure that cause the execution of the swing or putt to drift. Truly, the ability to put all of these and other mental distractions to the side and mentally focus on the execution of what the professional has done thousands of times represents the road to success and victory.
That the greatest athletes on the planet can be so affected, negatively and positively, by the mental energy and focus of the game is impressive. The human brain’s ability to harness and focus this energy, to not get distracted, to remain confident in the execution of the mechanics, and to see success will always be in the winner’s circle no matter what profession we are discussing.
Hit em straight!
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When I present my keynote address on Brain Health I try to provide the audience with a glimpse of how complicated and miraculous the human brain really is. I typically make a statement that one day the human brain will be able to fix the maladies of the human body and that one day the human brain will communicate with other brains without opening the mouth.
While this may sound a bit science fiction I believe it to be true. A recent report provides yet more support for where our planet is heading. The automaker Honda has been funding research and development into the ability of the human brain via thoughts to relay commands to a robot that will alter the function of the car. If one wants the air conditioner turned on he or she can complete this by simply thinking the wish and the brain signals will trigger a robot mechanism to make the command happen.
In the near or distant future we will be able to conduct our basic daily functions from mental energies that will enable a much more efficient use of time and energy. It represents a true technological advancement based from the brain. Ultimately, this use of energy will be from brain to brain.