Brain Patterns

Can Brain Waves Get Stuck??: Mind Your Metaphors

I received this question in my email:

Q: For my final research project I am researching brainwaves and neurofeedback. what I am trying to find out and understand specifically is how brainwaves can get "stuck" in a certain part of the brain... if you would be willing to help me understand this if you understand it yourself, or maybe give me a direction in which to look I would really appreciate it.

So what? Apart from a student research project, who cares? Why am I sharing this?

For me, how we think about and understand the world and our lives is all about metaphor. Whenever we try to understand something new, our brain is always making connections based on what that something or someone is “like”.

So when we attach a metaphor to something we want to understand, that metaphor drives our concepts about it, our expectations, our strategies — everything. If someone new reminds you physically of someone you heartily dislike, you tend to dislike things they say or do, read their motivations as if they were the other person, etc. When it comes to our brains, as your Brain Mentor, I want to caution you about accepting metaphors that limit your options.

And the idea of brainwaves getting “stuck” is one such misguided metaphor.

Let me tell you why…