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If neuroscience were poetry

If neuroscience were poetry

Poetry has been with us since the beginning of mankind because it is deeply rooted in the development of emotions and cognition.

If neuroscience were poetry

Last updated: December 31, 2022

Michio Kaku, the famous Japanese-American physicist, often points out that on our shoulders sits the most complex object ever created by nature in the entire known universe. In fact, the brain and its more than 69 billion neurons make up an amazing and unique tapestry of our existence. If neuroscientists want to unravel its mysteries, they need to understand poetry.

This exact metaphor has its own magical meaning and significance. Poetry has been with us since the beginning of mankind because it is deeply rooted in the development of emotions and cognition.

Culture is a product of the human mind – it shapes it, influences it, invades our consciousness and forms new neural connections. We are what we do, what we read And also what each reading inspires and awakens us.

“When I’m reading a book and it makes my whole body so cold that no fire can warm me, I know that’s poetry.”

Emily Dickinson

In poetry, words are given more value and have a more significant and stimulating effect on our minds.

If neuroscience were poetry, we would understand the brain better

Poetry is part of human history, and it is a basic need to express inner states. Although our oldest written record is 4,300 years old, its roots may be much older.

She worked on narrating exploits (epic poetry) and feelings like love Or to deepen longing (lyric poetry). Among the Sumerians or the Assyrians and Babylonians, poetry had a ritual and communal character. There were people too eclogue Used to praise gods and landscapes or their luck. The neurological effects are easy to understand.

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If neuroscience were poetry, we would better understand that the brain is programmed to recognize it. Like a psychologist Terry clouds Notes Poetry seems to be embedded in our mental substrate like a deep intuition to be. Indeed, every human being is an unconscious poet.

Poetry is an ally of feelings and perception

Many of us have our favorite verses. If we take an EEG while reading our favorite poems, we will see the intense activation this action triggers in the myriad regions of the brain. The University of Exeter has just that in it One study did to find out Poetry can be at least as motivating as music.

For example, the research team was able to see that the right area of ​​the brain is stimulated by hair (as well as by musical stimuli). But the regions on the left were very active, as were the basal ganglia frontal cortex and parietal lobes. These are areas related to deep information processing, flexible thinking, and cognition.

The authors of this study contend that poetry not only revitalizes our feelings, but also allows us to be aware of every word and metaphor. She wakes up to it Inductive and reflective thinking In addition to being able to think about the different meanings and perspectives our reality can have.

Emily Dickinson and Neuroscience

If neuroscience were poetry, it would be Emily Dickinson their reference point. The famous poet from Massachusetts is not only one of the major figures in American poetry, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman. It is highly regarded by many Nobel Prize winners who are trying to explore the mysteries of the human brain.

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Biologists such as Gerald Edelman or cognitive neuroscientists such as Stanislas Dehaene have used one of her poems as an introduction to their publications. Dickinson wrote in 1862 that the brain is wider than the sky, deeper than the sea, and weighs as much as God. branded mind – The product of the brain – its ability to experience and create reality.

Her ode to neuroscientists is the sublime experience and the brain’s ability to construct perceptions. The brain is part of human nature, but it works thanks to its thoughts and peculiarities imagination Farther than them, it is able to transcend the sky and deeper than the ocean itself.

More than the sky can hold the brain
Because if you compare them
This will include that
And you too very easily.

The brain reaches deeper than the seas
Because, think, from blue to blue:
like a sponge absorbs water,
Others take it.

The brain weighs as much as God
Because if you compare them
They fundamentally differ like this
How is word different from audio.

Emily Dickinson (Translated by Bertram Cotman)

Feel the words to awaken the conscience

Literature enriches people in an undeniable way. It gives us knowledge, awakens new perspectives, and is often a cathartic exercise for change and luxury. If neuroscience were poetry, they would realize that its power goes beyond storytelling and to an even greater extent Emotional self-awareness awakens in us.

Verse, metaphor, and all the poetic devices make the word a psychostimulator. It allows us to feel, see, and understand the world in a richer and more complex way. The use of symbols encourages introspection, a critical sense, and a reflective mindset. Poetry also helps us connect with ourselves and our surroundings on another level.

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It stimulates the imagination, because playing with words also invites us to reinvent reality, looking at it from different angles. Neuroscience knows that poetry not only beautifies language, but also activates a source in the brain to enrich it and favor synaptic connections. Feel free to explore the seas of poetry to feel the life.

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