Deactivate the Prefrontal Cortex

Our brains are incredibly complex, with different regions responsible for different functions. One of the most fascinating aspects of the brain is the way in which it can be trained to focus and refine our work, while also allowing for moments of insight and creativity. According to research, these two capacities emanate from different parts of the brain, with the prefrontal cortex playing a key role in our ability to focus and refine our work, and the right hemisphere being responsible for our capacity for insight.

The prefrontal cortex is often referred to as the brain’s CEO, as it is responsible for executive functions such as decision-making, planning, and problem-solving. It is also the part of the brain that allows us to focus our attention on a particular task, which is crucial for achieving success in any field. This ability to focus and refine our work is what separates the best from the rest, and it is what allows individuals to achieve greatness in their chosen fields.

On the other hand, our capacity for insight, which is often associated with creativity and innovation, originates in the right hemisphere of the brain. This is the part of the brain that allows us to make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas and to see things from a different perspective. It is the wellspring of our creativity, and it allows us to come up with novel solutions to complex problems.

Interestingly, while these two capacities emanate from different parts of the brain, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, research has shown that one way to get better results is to shut down the mechanism that acts as a check on the flow of thoughts from the prefrontal cortex. This mechanism, known as the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC), is responsible for inhibiting certain thoughts and behaviors, which can be helpful in certain situations, such as ensuring that we don’t say or do the wrong thing. However, this inhibition can also prevent us from thinking creatively and outside of the box.

To overcome this inhibition, improv actors warm up with exercises that shut down the DLPFC, allowing them to be more creative and spontaneous in their performances. Similarly, jazz players are able to ‘deactivate’ this part of the brain before improvising, allowing them to play more freely and creatively.

In conclusion, our capacity to focus and refine our work originates in the prefrontal cortex, while our capacity for insight and creativity emanates from the right hemisphere of the brain. These two capacities are not mutually exclusive, and finding ways to shut down the inhibitory mechanism of the DLPFC can allow us to access our creativity more readily. By understanding how our brains work and finding ways to optimize their performance, we can achieve greater success in our chosen fields and live more fulfilling lives.

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