Sometimes I feel guilty for needing so much time alone. Will my acquaintances think I’m standoffish, I wonder. Then I remind myself, they probably don’t think of me at all. Either way, to write, I need solitude.
About solitude, Darya Zabelina of Northwestern University has verified that artists require more of it than most folks because they are flawed. They suffer from what Zabelina calls “leaky sensory gates,” which means artists are less able to ignore distractions than others. (Click)
For me, I know her conclusion is true. I am, by nature, an extraverted person. Others fascinate me and I love nothing more than close encounters of the coffee klatch kind. Yet to translate these experiences into a story or a blog, they must ferment in a vat of solitude.
As long as we’re on brain studies, another one, having nothing to do with creativity, does explain why humans are smarter than chimpanzees – though listening to political speeches may put that statement in doubt. (Click) Nonetheless, researcher Marta Florio out of the Max Planck Institute thinks a single gene is responsible for the difference between humans and lower animals. According to her, that one variation makes it possible for us to fly to the moon while chimps are happy to contemplate bananas.
Jimo Borjigin, neuroscientist at the University of Michigan Medical school gives us another insight into the brain — one that contradicts what scientists previously believed about how the brain functions during a near death experience. (Copy) When the heart stops, the brain doesn’t shut down as formerly thought. Studies on rats show that a dying brain becomes hyper-active, shooting frantic signals to jolt the heart into action. Unfortunately, these signals damage the heart, which is why scientists are seeking ways to temporarily disconnect the two organs when attempting to revive a patient. Interestingly, this explosion of neurochemicals creates an intense euphoria, which may account for those vivid hallucinations survivors experiences during the crisis.
Mind-boggling for me and a cause for a little euphoria is that the director of each of these studies was a woman.