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The brain very cleverly separates relevant and irrelevant information
on 17 June 2019
making the irrelevant, relevant

Learning to differentiate the fantasy from the reality. The brain uses unique skills to filter out the relevant from the irrelevant. However, we cannot always determine what is relevant, because, when it comes to survival, the brain prioritises its own sense of relevance and in the process, we get sidestepped . . .

I was thinking about how this could apply to people with an anxiety disorder? It is not uncommon for someone to say, "for no reason I became anxious" but the brain does not do things without a reason. True, it may not be a valid or good reason, at least not in a way that makes sense to us but there will be a reason. The likelihood is, that some sort of stimulus was detected and the fear response became activated. This could be the result of memories held in subconscious processes leading to a fear result. So, paraphrasing the research below; "imagine yourself sitting in a noisy café trying to read. To focus on the book at hand, you need to ignore the surrounding chatter and clattering of cups, with your brain filtering out the irrelevant stimuli coming through your ears and "gating" in the relevant ones in your vision -- words on a page." Your focus may be on the book but your brain has detected something far more relevant and the next thing you know is that your heart is pounding away in your chest and this makes no sense to you, after all, all you are doing is reading a book, in a cafe, where's the harm in that?

Your brain, via its sensory systems, is continuously scanning your environment for potential danger, i.e. a threat to your existence, so to speak and it can very easily pick up something totally outside of your conscious awareness. Hypnotherapy and practice can lead you towards creating a secondary level of conscious awareness, one in which you can learn to better negotiate with your emotional systems and eventually to manage unknown fear responses to the point of extinction. Of course, in the presence of real danger, normal threat detection will keep you safe and protected. Mind management is about learning to make efficient choices.

So what are these choices? Well, it's the skill of choosing to live in a "Brain Led way" as opposed to a "Mind Led Way." What's the difference? Well, the Brain Led Way, allows us to live life, more or less based on previous experience and memory and in some sense, that will almost always have some, small, relevance, even in the Mind Led model. However, with the Mind Led model we make extra-special use of mindfulness and introspection, kind of like micro-managing time, present and future, to predetermine states of mind, attitudes and, onward to that, behaviour.

Hypnotherapy (hypnosis) is an especially effective way to enhance this process because it allows us to experience, neurochemically, what it feels like to have a good experience; in the same way a dream of falling allows to have a fearful one? In both situations, the perceived reality is false but despite that, it is believable. The brains defensive mechanisms will take what it feels is appropriate action and in the case of the falling dream, this could lead to anxiety, chronic stress or depression. Similarly, the empowering uplifting experience in hypnosis can lead to a boost in confidence, heightened self-esteem, more ability to manage your emotions etc. Wouldn't that be nice!

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious mind's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

The objective here is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into irrational emotional experiences that may actually be happening for reasons different to that which we would imagine! If you want to know more about how Hypnotherapy can help you; why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

For more information on the Free Consultation - Go Here or to book your Free Consultation today, you can do so here


The research: Imagine yourself sitting in a noisy café trying to read. To focus on the book at hand, you need to ignore the surrounding chatter and clattering of cups, with your brain filtering out the irrelevant stimuli coming through your ears and "gating" in the relevant ones in your vision -- words on a page.

In a new paper in the journal Nature Communications, New York University researchers offer a new theory, based on a computational model, on how the brain separates relevant from irrelevant information in these and other circumstances.
"It is critical to the everyday life that our brain processes the most important information out of everything presented to us," explains Xiao-Jing Wang, Global Professor of Neural Science at NYU and NYU Shanghai and the paper's senior author. "Within an extremely complicated neural circuit in the brain, there must be a gating mechanism to route relevant information to the right place at the right time."

The analysis focuses on inhibitory neurons -- the brain's traffic cops that help ensure proper neurological responses to incoming stimuli by suppressing other neurons and working to balance excitatory neurons, which aim to stimulate neuronal activity.

"Our model uses a fundamental element of the brain circuit, involving multiple types of inhibitory neurons, to achieve this goal," Wang adds. "Our computational model shows that inhibitory neurons can enable a neural circuit to gate in specific pathways of information while filtering out the rest."

In their analysis, led by Guangyu Robert Yang, a doctoral candidate in Wang's lab, the researchers devised a model that maps out a more complicated role for inhibitory neurons that had previously been suggested.

Of particular interest to the team was a specific subtype of inhibitory neurons that targets the excitatory neurons' dendrites -- components of a neuron where inputs from other neurons are located. These dendrite-targeting inhibitory neurons are labelled by a biological marker called somatostatin and can be studied selectively by experimentalists. The researchers proposed that they not only control the overall inputs to a neuron but also the inputs from individual pathways -- for example, the visual or auditory pathways converging onto a neuron.

"This was thought to be difficult because the connections from inhibitory neurons to excitatory neurons appeared dense and unstructured," observes Yang. "Thus a surprising finding from our study is that the precision required for pathway-specific gating can be realized by inhibitory neurons."

The study's authors used computational models to show that even with the seemingly random connections, these dendrite-targeting neurons can gate individual pathways by aligning with excitatory inputs through different pathways. They showed that this alignment can be realized through synaptic plasticity -- a brain mechanism for learning through experience.


Story Source:
Materials provided by New York University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
1. Guangyu Robert Yang, John D. Murray, Xiao-Jing Wang. A dendritic disinhibitory circuit mechanism for pathway-specific gating. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 12815 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12815