Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science

Thinking can best be understood in terms of representational structures in the mind and computational procedures that operate on those structures

Prefrontal cortex, neuroplasticity and will

Quantum Zeno Effect states that rapid frequent observation can hold a state stable for longer than it normally would. In fact, if observed long enough the state can become permanent. Our minds, our thoughts, are in constant natural flux. When we choose to hold our attention on a specific thought, we generate the mind power to keep the thought present, permanent in our minds. We have the power to create new default neural connections in our brains. If we can hold a thought long enough and with conscious attention, according to the Quantum Zeno Effect, we can permanently alter our state of mind.

Schwartz taught his OCD patients to consciously recognize when the obsessive thoughts were bubbling up and instead of instinctually playing into them and carrying out a compulsion, he showed the patients how to willfully refocus their thoughts onto more positive behaviors and recognize the obsessive feelings as being false, a symptom of faulty brain wiring. Done frequently enough over a period of months, the OCD patients were able to actually physically dampen down their overly active orbital frontal cortex and anterior cingulated gyrus as measured by brain scans. The Quantum Zeno Effect created a new default in the OCD brain by a new frequent observation of a healthier thought and behavior.

It is in our prefrontal cortex that we derive our mind power, the power of our will to consciously observe what we choose to. Our thoughts may arise from our past mind ruts, but our future is determined by our attention. Attention is what heightens our neural connections and turns down the volumes on distractions. Yes, it takes repetition, and conscious attention to change the adult brain, but change is possible. Think of frequently driving down a different path to create ruts there. Our biology does not determine what we are destined to think and act on. We have the power of the mind which molds our brain.