Clearing the Mind: How the Brain Cuts the Clutter


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Clearing the Mind: How the Brain Cuts the Clutter

Newly discovered neurons inِ the front ofِ the brain act asِ the bouncers atِ the doors ofِ the senses, letting inِ only theِ mostِ important ofِ the trillions ofِ signals ourِ bodies receive.
Problems withِ theseِ neurons couldِ beِ the source ofِ some symptoms ofِ diseases likeِ attention deficit disorder andِ schizophrenia.
We foundِ that thereِ areِ some cells, someِ neurons inِ the prefrontal cortex, whichِ haveِ the ability toِ suppress theِ information thatِ you aren’t interested in.

A cluttered mind

This brain clutter, orِ inability toِ filter outِ unnecessary information, isِ a possibleِ mechanism ofِ diseases likeِ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) andِ schizophrenia.
For instance, whenِ a student can’tِ filter outِ the majority ofِ the sensory input inِ a classroom, theyِ becomeِ easily distracted andِ unable toِ focus onِ the task atِ hand.
Marijuana Worsens Schizophrenia] Previous research hasِ linked thisِ filtering process toِ theِ prefrontal cortex, a brain region involved inِ taking inِ external information andِ turning itِ intoِ complex behaviors.

Mindful monkeys

The researchers discovered theseِ neurons byِ training monkeys toِ recognize a rank order ofِ colors.
The colors wereِ ranked arbitrarily fromِ lower importance (gray) toِ highest (turquoise), andِ the monkeys wereِ taught whichِ ofِ the colors wereِ moreِ important.
When theِ dots ofِ the moreِ important color changed direction momentarily, theِ monkey wouldِ release a button.