All habits are created and regulated by the brain. So, in order to fully understand habits, you need to understand how the brain works.
This turned out to be quite a rabbit hole for me. One I didn’t expect to enter when I began my Rich Habits research.
But, nonetheless, I did stroll down that rabbit hole and in the process, learned quite a bit about the brain and how it works.
Habits are turned on or off by brain cells (AKA “Neurons”). Most habits require multiple brain cells that must work together in order to initiate a habit.
When those brain cells are fired up to engage in a habit, this requires them to be connected somehow to other parts of the brain.
For example, the brain cells that are involved in the exercise habit must somehow tell the cerebellum (area of the brain that controls motor activity) to get the legs and arms moving.
How does it do that?
Thanks to it’s amazing infrastructure, the entire brain is interconnected. Here’s how.
Main Brain Areas
It’s much more complicated than I’m making it out, but most neuroscientists/neurologists/brain experts agree that there are three main parts to the brain:
- Cerebral Cortex
- Limbic System
- Brain Stem
Peduncle’s connect each of these three main brain regions to each other.
What the hell is a Peduncle?
Peduncles are like bridges. They are thick brain fibers that connect one major part of the brain with another major brain region.
There are three main Peduncles, or brain bridges:
- Cortex Peduncle
- Spinal Preduncle
- Cerebellar Peduncle
The Verrazano Bridge connects Staten Island to Brooklyn. When you cross the Verrazano into Brooklyn, you can take the Belt Parkway or the Gowanus Expressway.
Much like the Verrazano Bridge, each Peduncle bridge connects to other brain parkways/expressways.
Which brings me to Fasciculis.
Fasciculis are the expressways that project out from each Peduncle. There are twelve of these expressway, Fasciculi’s. The Optical Nerve is one, the Arcuate Nerve Track Fasciculi is another.
These Fasciuli’s are actually bundled Cranial Nerve Tracks that branch out and connect to numerous brain cells.
Pons are the brain’s relay station, or a hub. Think Penn Station. The brain’s Pons receives passengers (brain signals) and sends passengers off to where they need to go. When a brain signal reaches the Pons, just above the Brain Stem, it is instructed where to go.
Overview of Our Connected Brain
Here’s an example of how the Limbic System brain region is connected to the Cerebral Cortex brain region:
Brain Stem —> Pons —> Cerebellar Peduncle —> Fasciuli —> Cerebral Cortex
There are billions of brain cells that are all interconnected to each other through this neural infrastructure of brain regions, bridges, expressways and hubs.
The cool thing is that, despite this complex infrastructure, the communication along this infrastructue occurs instantaneously.
Habits are amazing because the brain is amazing!
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