The Brain's Subconscious Network
How do thoughts arise in your brain? Rather than selecting them consciously, the brain's default-mode network analyzes a situation and determines what your priorities should be.
What's the Latest Development?
Even while you may be relaxing on vacation, slack-jawed in a beach chair, sections of your brain remain vigilant, ready to put your survival skills into action should you need them. The base functions of the brain are called its default-mode network and include the hippocampus, medial orbitofrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate, says Jens Pruessner, an associate professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal. These parts of the brain assign priorities to potential actions and then carry them out.
What's the Big Idea?
There is a vast sea beneath the surface of awareness. To what extent do our subconscious thoughts, ones that we are not immediately aware of, play an important role in our day-to-day lives. Scientists are discovering more and more that our brain often times has a mind of its own. The brain's default-mode network includes: "The medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area involved with self-referential thoughts, and the anterior cingulate, which Pruessner calls an 'error monitor.... Its job is to stay on guard for mismatches between what you expect to happen and what actually happens.'"
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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