~ NoTeS fRoM tHe NeSt ~

Another week speeding by as quickly, it seems, as the speed of light.

Trying to hold on and embrace every moment,

I have spent the weekend in

virtual silence.

The only sounds are wind;
(and the subsequent tinkling of
the chimes placed outside...
a circular energy of sound which is very protective
and healing)


and an occasional bark of a dog
on a walk with it's owner.

I have also chosen not to play music.
(this is rare.)

This has allowed not only peace to enter,

but the silence has ushered in quite thoughts.


I have mentioned here many times

that Monday through Friday my days are


What I have NOT mentioned

is that in keeping with my tendency to gather

and collect things

I have gleaned, gathered, and collected
enormous amounts of information.

Part of what I do
on a day-to-day basis is research information.
for the doctor I work for...

a cancer research specialist
more specifically...

translational genomic research.

Just like blogging, I can find a piece of data,

which leads me to more data.......

on and on and on.

I can get lost in it.

All very, very interesting and once in a while... fun.

So today I will share a piece that is quite interesting.

A bit about our fabulous brain.

At the base of the brain stem, about the size of a little finger,
is a group of cells whose job it is to sort and evaluate incoming data.
This control center is known as the

reticular activating system (RAS).

The RAS sends the urgent stuff to the active part of your brain,

and sends the non urgent to the subconscious. (How cool is that?)

The RAS awakens the brain to consciousness,

and keeps it alert--just as surely as your baby's cry in the night,
from all the way down the hall.....
can waken you from a deep sleep.

The RAS evaluates the nonessential nighttime noises
dripping faucet, the crickets, or neighborhood traffic....

and filters out the non urgent, waking you up only for the urgent.

The baby cries, and in a split second you are bolt upright in bed, wide awake and ready to rescue the infant in distress.

The keenest, most familiar example of the reticular activating system at work is an experience all of us have had at one time or another.

You are in a packed room; you can barely hear the conversation
of the person you are talking to above the din of the crowd.

Suddenly, someone clear on the other side of the room
mentions your name.

And that one word cuts through the sea of sound and your ears immediately perk up.
You turn your head toward the speaker, eager now to tune in the rest of what he or she is saying about you.

That is a prime example of your monitoring mechanism, your reticular activating system, at work...you have just tuned in to something specific and useful to you.

Although you may think you are giving your conversational companion undivided attention,
the fact is your attention is fragmented and subconsciously
taking in the tower of Babel around you,


even as YOU speak.

Your name when spoken stands out as prominently.

The RAS is like a filtering system of the brain.

You never know what you are going to find here at the nest.

now I will leave you
wishing you a beautiful Sunday evening

and I will return to the silence
allowing the RAS of MY brain a time of rest.


Sharon said...

My word! you never know indeed. I found this most interesting but now I can't help but think maybe my urgent and non urgent are criss-crossed are backwards or something because I swear it is the non urgent stuff that seems to get the most attention in the active part of my brain. Or is that just plain day-dreaming......

Lola Enchanted said...

Just stopping by to say hello!!!!


suze said...

Well, I learned something new today. That's always a good thing...thanks!

CathWren said...

My word, indeed. We are such complicated beings organically and otherwise. I hope you are at peace and pain-free Rella. I am preparing for a little journey to Seattle. Will be back in about a week. Be well.