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> In The Zone
Ben Higgins
post Sep 27 2015, 03:49 PM
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I saw a tv programme the other night and it was about scientists exploring what happens in our brain during moments of inspiration. They used equipment to capture the neurons firing in the brain during different tasks. Sadly, I can't recall enough info or find any supporting text to fully explain the findings but my layman's understanding was that the pre frontal cortex, which is the part of our brain dealing with rational decision making and planning, has a decrease in activity whilst an increase in neuron activity occurs in the right side of the brain, the area associated with creativity.

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An increase in activity in the creative side of our brain is nothing surprising but what was interesting to me was the suggestion that our frontal lobe basically shuts itself off in order to allow the flashes of inspiration to occur.

It was while watching and hearing the data that it occurred to me that this is probably what is going on when we're "in the zone." I'm sure we all know what it feels like to be in the zone. You lose that annoying, restraining self consciousness and are able to let go and get on with the task, whether it's playing guitar or whatnot. Time ceases to be a factor and things just happen.

This is obviously a state that we're all able to access, although it's not always forthcoming by us trying to attain it. But what makes it possible?

Is it the relaxing of the frontal cortex that controls decisions, rationale, planning? That's the part of our mind that would normally tell us what can or

cannot be done, what is appropriate or not. You could say that perhaps this limits us when trying to think outside of the box. But if this part of the brain is temporarily out of the way then we're suddenly allowed to accept incoming thoughts and ideas that normally the frontal cortex wouldn't allow through, like some gatekeeper of rationality.

I find it fascinating how science is slowly identifying real world phenomena that can begin to explain what is going on in certain situations. Before, we only had feelings and beliefs to go on. Such inspiration would normally be attributed to something approaching the supernatural. It still has a way to go in understanding the whole "inspiration" thing but the state of being "in the zone" is something that may soon be demystified and understood as just another state, rather than something that just happens every now and then.

What do you think?

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post Sep 27 2015, 04:33 PM
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Hi Ben

i agree, when i play, you can talk me, i don"t hear anyone, i hear but i do not have reaction, i cannot stop. it's hard to stop.
And when we are really in the zone, on fast beat, the time slow down !!

i have saw a documentary about how the brain and time perception work, and in some case (emergency, danger...) the brain can accelerate and give the feeling to slow down the time.

the test was a big red segment display who have a number on, and this number is flickering so fast that you cannot read it.

the volunteers jump from a tower (the land onto a soft air ballon) but during the fall they can read the number....



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