Defined Words: neurograph, global synapse
A neurograph is my own creation meant to represent the “location” of neural clusters in your brain. You can think of it as a “map” that shows how ideas in the brain are connected. Our brains consist of trillions of interconnecting neurons so it can be helpful to imagine a graphical representation to simplify that complexity.
Beyond the Basic Functions, our brains are constantly developing based on our experiences. A neurograph can display the way our understanding of new information is shaped by our prior understanding of the world. This is the reason our childhood plays such an important role in the adults we become.
The neurograph can show the links between simple concepts or complex ones. For example, when you meet someone new, you immediately take in and record their visual appearance and the sound of their voice. From prior experience, you know that everyone has a name so you ask this new person theirs.
The concept of a name is connected to a person, but we don’t know it until we ask. Our completion drives us to fill in any information that we know exists but we don’t currently have. In other words, our neurograph has a blank spot that is ready to be filled.
A single neural cluster can be synapsed to many, many other clusters at the same time. For this reason, the neurograph must be conceptualized as a multidimensional space. When looking at a single neural path, or sequence of thoughts, a two-dimensional space far too simple to show the webbed complexity of our brains. It’s important to remember that a neurograph has unlimited dimensions thanks to the unlimited possible synapses that can occur throughout the brain. We call a space with unlimited dimensions “n-dimensional,” where n is a variable for any number.
The neurograph is also meant to represent the distance between synapsing neurons in the brain. The neurographic proximity of two clusters plays a role in the amount of pleasure released when the synapse is formed. Clusters that are neurographically close together will release a little bit of pleasure while clusters that are farther away release more.
If a synapse spans a large enough neurographic distance, the pleasure release might trigger a catharsis in the form of laughter. This is why we are less likely to laugh at something commonplace than something ridiculous. When the distance is too large, the synapse just doesn’t form. The more you unpack a cluster, the more it “expands” on the neurograph and the distance between clusters shrinks to allow a synapse to occur.
Whenever you stimulate a single neural cluster, every cluster synapsed to it has the potential to stimulate as well. The smell of cookies might remind you of that day in November, a commercial you saw on television, and a friend who goes nuts over cookies all at the same time. Because the neural cluster for cookies is heavily synapsed to other clusters, more pleasure can be released from it being stimulated.
When a single neural path is able to stimulate neural clusters from all over the brain, it is called a global synapse and it releases a huge amount of pleasure. You’ve probably experienced a global synapse if you’ve ever been in love or discovered your purpose. Global synapses stimulate the Feeling and when they include the character of yourself, you feel a sense of belonging. When your character becomes part of a larger neural cluster, you understand your place within a larger context.
Neurographs can also be a helpful tool when trying to remember or learn new information. Your neurograph uniquely represents the web of neural clusters that have formed through your life experiences. When you know where your neural clusters are located, and what they are synapsed to, you can more easily navigate your thoughts. For example, if you first learned about Bruce Springsteen from your grandmother, you’ll likely synapse more of his songs to her even when she isn’t there. Conversely, you can remember a specific Springsteen song by remembering a conversation you had with your grandmother.
Learning how to represent your thoughts in a cohesive and readable way can be very helpful to keep track of your own brain and to explain your thoughts to other people. If you are trying to communicate an idea, you can use your knowledge of neurographs to find common ground between your intended idea and what your audience already knows. It is much easier to place concepts onto many different examples than it is to relearn a concept. When you understand your brain, you can work with it instead of against it.