“I think; therefore I am” – Descartes
Have you ever wondered about the role our brain plays in defining our abilities, character and life chances?
Tapping into the wonders of the brain and visualisation
The brain is a complex piece of human machinery, from the cerebellum, parietal lobe, thalamus and all the way down to the medulla oblongata, the names are barely pronounceable, let alone understandable. The exciting thing, in terms of human endeavour, is that there is still so much unchartered territory to discover, so much mystery to uncover, and more importantly, so much potential to unlock.
The part of the brain we are interested in this blog is the motor cortex. This is involved in planning, controlling, and executing voluntary movements. Our moves are initiated directly by thought, but only if we exceed the threshold of excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) which causes the neurons in the brain to generate actual movement.
Visualisation basically follows the same process but doesn’t exceed the threshold of EPSP, you therefore get similar activity in the brain, but it doesn’t initiate actual movement.
Put more simply, you can think of something that activates the same region of the brain involved in the movement without generating movement. Other components of the brain are also stimulating regions involved in the rehearsal of movement, such as the basal ganglion and the putamen.
Visualisation activates our motor cortex located in the frontal lobe of our brains and can be regarded as ‘non-movement rehearsal’ that is priming your brain in a similar way to actual physical rehearsal but not carrying out the movement itself, so your brain develops a higher level of proficiency while your body rests in anticipation of eventually carrying out this action, hopefully at a higher level of proficiency!