Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Neural Pathways

I was trying to remember a song a couple of days ago. I couldn't remember it, but it got me to wondering just how the brain works. Or, more to the point, why it works the way it does. Or doesn't.

There's this bit of information that I'm searching for. I know it's in there and I know I will eventually find it. But I really have to work for it. I think and think and think. I don't know what's going on up there, but I feel like I'm getting close. I start getting scraps of information that seem to be just out of reach. I'm getting closer. I could remember the gist of the song - the basic idea or message. I just couldn't remember the exact words, or the tune, or the singer.

Two days later I'm lying in bed and there it suddenly is - the song - the words, the tune, the singer. Where was it two days ago? Why couldn't I think of it when I was working to think of it? What had to happen in my brain to get the exact information from wherever it was stored to where I wanted it to be? And why did it take so long? Is there a little nano-creature in my brain that goes looking through dusty boxes and drawers, a creature that continues to look even when I've stopped thinking about the information - even when I'm asleep? And when that nano-creature finds the information, no matter when, it flings it to the part of my brain that then says "Ah Ha! That's it!"

I don't have a good wrap-up for this post. No lessons learned or anything like that. I suppose there are scientists and researchers out there trying to figure out the same thing. Except they're getting paid for it! I wonder if they've gotten any farther than I have.

By the way, the song I was trying to think of was by Huey Lewis and the News, Heart and Soul.