Engineering Superhuman Thinking

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What if you could attain a peak brain performance state where you make near perfect decisions in the fastest amount of time?  You might have experienced this temporarily in the past in what is known as “being in The Zone”.  Neuroscientists refer to it as “Flow State”.  The human brain releases the following chemicals when we achieve Flow State:

  • Norepinephrine (also known as adrenaline) – raises alertness
  • Dopamine – increases pattern recognition
  • Endorphins – decreases pain and gives a euphoric feeling
  • Anandamide – an endocannabinoid that prompts lateral thinking

The release of these chemicals in addition to a change in brain wave activity allow for Flow State to be achieved.  Flow State has been used in great achievements in sports, science, and the arts.  Now that scientists have studied this effect, they more deeply understand how we can apply Flow States daily in our own lives.  Imagine being able to put yourself in a Flow State whenever you wanted.  You would be superhuman in your next job interview, basketball game, or presentation.

The Flow Genome Project introductory video:

Writer Steven Kotler has worked on publicizing these advances in psychology, neurobiology,  psychopharmacology, and technology with regard to Flow State.  What was found out when studying the brain in Flow State is that instead of the brain going into hyperactivity, parts of the brain start shutting down allowing for more clarity of focus.  This is also known as transient hypofrontality.

The ‘frontanlity’ refers to the frontal cortex of the brain that involves executive decision making and also what is known as your inner critic.  By shutting down this activity of the brain, it allows the person to not only focus more clearly on the task at hand, but be free from inner doubt.   Time also slows down in Flow State.  This is due to the fact that time is calculated in the prefrontal cortex of the brain allowing for more clarity of thought.

Jason Silva and Steven Kotler video:

In Steven Kotler’s new book The Rise of Superman, he discusses the potential of the human mind and what may lie in store for the future.  Ray Kurzwell describes The Rise of Superman as “…a game-changing account of the secrets of ultimate human performance.”

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