Neurons that Fire Together Wire Together
What does THAT mean for you? How can you retrain your brain cells to work more in your favor towards happiness and ease?
In 2013 Dr. Thomas Sudhof won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of synaptic transmission–how brain cells communicate via chemicals. He credits his childhood Bassoon teacher with being his most influential teacher. Think about THAT! He currently works in the School for Medicine at Stanford. He is Professor of Molecular & Cellular Neurology, Psychiatry and Physiology. Pretty impressive CV.
Our brain cells communicate with one another via synaptic transmission–one brain cell releases a chemical (neurotransmitter) that the next brain cell absorbs. This communication process is known as “neuronal firing.” When brain cells communicate frequently, the connection between them strengthens. Messages that travel the same pathway in the brain over & over begin to transmit faster & faster. With enough repetition, they become automatic. That’s why we practice things like hitting a golf ball–with enough practice, we can go on automatic pilot.
Psychologists have long known that negative thought processes follow this same pattern–the more we think about, or “ruminate,” on a negative thought, the more entrenched the thought becomes. Negative and traumatic thoughts also tend to “loop”–they play themselves over and over until we do something consciously to stop them.
The more these negative thoughts loop, the stronger the neural pathways become, and the more difficult it becomes to stop them! This is why thoughts that cause depression, anxiety, panic, obsessions, and compulsions can become so difficult to combat. And along the way, these thoughts stir up emotional as well as physiological reactions.
Psychotherapy, regardless of the orientation, attempts to stop this process. Neurofeedback gets to the heart of the issue. A brain map can identify where there are too many or too few synapses firing and give you real time information on how to either quiet or encourage firing in specific regions of the brain so that you can have a better operating system.
Come by for a free demonstration at Brain Training of New England to learn more about your brain -your command central.