The human brain is truly an awe-inspiring organism. I first had this thought as an undergraduate in a Behavioral Neuroscience class. The professor was excitedly jumping from one end of the chalkboard to the other, drawing thick white circles around brain areas and their corresponding functions.
The course took place over an oppressively hot summer; the days endlessly dwindled into the night, offering only a few degrees of cooler air in remorse. Sitting in brick-lined classrooms overlooking the Boston Harbor, I would find myself locked into the Professor’s words and unique habits for improving student memorization.
Amygdala. Amy G Dala. “Amy is a new college student learning the lay of the campus. She will need to remember the campus and keep calm. Class! The purpose of the amygdala is memorization and emotional reactions!”
While my breeze-filled college evenings are behind me, the intricacies of the human brain still stop me in my tracks regularly. It begs for consideration, thoughtfulness, and possibly even admiration. And when one’s brain wants attention, it will stop at nothing to take it.
Since the Boston bombings and horrific events which took place following, my brain has been frozen in time. Wake up, get dressed, go to work, do graduate school work, write an article, drive home, make dinner, exercise, go to sleep. My actions are in auto-drive, pushing me through the days’ tasks, bringing me closer to the moment my head can meet the pillow, where all is right in the world again.
I’ve been quiet lately. My words are escaping me. I can see words dutifully traveling from my brain to my fingertips and sailing out the tops, laughing as they remind me my brain is freeze-down mode; no artistic or creative enjoyment will happen.
But the most beautiful aspect of the human brain is the ability to regenerate. Build new synapses, create new neurons, and build better relationships between neurotransmitters. In layman’s terms, build new bridges of opportunity, create new avenues, and build better relationships for linking to life.
Find my voice.
Find my words.
Return to myself.