In the Blinken of an Eye

Don’t know about you but the older I get the more my brain is “off-line”.  According to research being “off-line” helps me fine tune and reflect.  If I could remember what I reflected on I would appreciate how fine-tuned my brain really is.

 Keep reading to understand how to fine tune your brain . . . before we all sail off in a wooden shoe . . . .

(Proof the research is true: The connection between this research and the poem literally came to me in the blink of an eye)

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field*

sung by Buffy Saint-Marie

“Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head”

Blinking causes the brain to go off-line

“New research from Japan suggests that blinking does more than stop our eyes drying out: it is an active process that causes the brain to go off-line, into a more reflective mode, before giving renewed attention.”

“The study appears to support the idea that temporarily shutting off sensory inputs helps the brain fine-tune the senses and control the flow of cognitive processes. This coincides with work by other researchers, such as that of cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Smilek, of the University of Waterloo in Canada, who suggests eye blinking is a sign of mind-wandering, and we close our eyelids so less information comes into the brain.” Written by Catharine Paddock PhD, Medical News Today.


*Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

Feel the Pain, mathematically speaking

k5750663With nerves of iron

the crackling pain, hissing pain

Haiku-Heightsprompt, PAIN
prompt, PAIN

seers its brand on brain

FINALLY! the reason I did not become an engineer, CPA or nuclear physicist and had to take graduate level statistic three (count ’em, 3) times – I have an avoidant personality.  Here’s proof:

Written by Kelly Fitzgerald “Worry about math can trigger regions of the brain associated with the experience of physical pain and instinctive risk detection, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and published in PLOS ONE.”

“Ian Lyons and his team of researchers discovered that in people who experience high levels of anxiety when anticipating math tasks, encountering math increases activity in regions of the brain connected with the feeling of physical pain. The more elevated a person’s math anxiety, the greater the appearance of neural activity is.”

“The fMRI scans showed the worry of upcoming math events triggered a response in the brain similar to physical pain. (What about WORRY of any kind? Now I’m worried that the researchers have missed the broader picture)The higher the anxiety about math, the more math anticipation activated the posterior insula, a piece of tissue deep in the brain located above the ear, and is connected to acknowledging threats to the body as well as physical pain.”4171259-western-branding-iron-brand-of-a-lazy-tilted-alphabetic-letter

“Earlier studies have indicated that other forms of psychological stress, like a traumatic break-up, or social rejection, can also cause feelings of physical pain. However, this particular study analyzes the pain response connected with anticipating an anxiety-inducing event, instead of the pain connected to the stressful event itself.” (How about anticipating an anxiety-inducing event, like ANTICIPATING EXPERIENCING PAIN!)*

The authors conclude that their findings suggest that it is not the act of performing a mathematical task that prompts this response, but rather the anticipation of math.” (They didn’t need to do all that research.  I could have told them when I was in grade school) 

“These results give a possible neural platform for the observation that people with high math anxiety are more likely to avoid math-related situations, (balancing my check book)  like math classes and math-related careers. Therefore, avoidance comes from experiencing this painful anxiety.”

To read the entire article of which I have CALCULATINGLY taken the parts that interests me, click here:

*P.S.  Research does show that when we anticipate feeling pain all pain does become heightened.