Coordination through play (and a rant)

The neuroscientific aspects of play are fascinating. When we play, we are in sync. It has been shown (see video) that the brains of musicians who play together synchronize in order to create a form of network through the oscillation of brain waves. Coordination between member of team is created in order to operate as a unit. But it doesn’t stop there. When we listen to someone who is talking to us, we also synchronize with them. Through the language and the understanding of words, we align with the person. Neuronal patterns are aligned through the use of language. For a moment, we become somewhat similar and thus, able to communicate.

Neuroscientist Uri Hasson talked about in his TED talk “This is your brain on communication“. What I find particularly interesting is that it shows that communication goes far beyond the intellect and beyond the simple notion of making rational sense. There is something deeper in the act of communicating. Something more automatic, and instinctive. The underlying structure of human interaction is a fascinating subject. Especially the neurobiological aspects of it. Neurology is a complicated subject but it is actually at the core of many of our preoccupation. These modern and rather complicated sciences are often dismissed by the public. They are seen as being “beyond the reach of normal people” and it kind of pisses me off.

It does because people who dismiss science as being too complicated for them, then turn around and drink the demagogic talk of populist politician or the superstitious rhetoric of religious figures. They do it because it is simple. They do it because it is practical. It makes immediate sense. “Because it is easy to understand, this must be true” This attitude infuriates me. How the fuck does it make sense? It is a great irony aswell. Every parent is confronted with the strange beliefs of their children at some point. Monster under the bed, fairy in the closet and all sort of magical thinking a kid may have. Children are trying to make sense of the world and as they grow up, they progressively leave behind their magical thinking for a broader and richer understanding of the world. Parents are part of this pruning process. They help children to “grow up” through teaching but also by dispelling some of their fantasies. Yet, these same parents are unwilling to dispel their own fantasies and magical thinking, simply because it is convenient. This is appalling.

PS: I surprised myself while writing because I was actually feeling myself getting more and more pissed off (I will take note of that). I guess it is also relevant in term of writing and the activity of the brain. Writing is not necessarily something that you do once you have a perfect plan and all the ideas. It is a process that unfolds as you go. Ideas may come as you write and you may find that the new ideas feel much more important than the old ones or you may find that you have more to say about something else. I guess this is ok too. It is important to let your mind go where it may sometimes.

via Daily Prompt: Quartet


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