This Is Your Brain on Silence – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus

“Silence is a resource,” it said. It could be marketed just like clean water or wild mushrooms. “In the future, people will be prepared to pay for the experience of silence.”

Finland has begun a campaign to rebrand their country for tourism’s sake. The idea? SILENCE as a valuable commodity. It cannot be found everywhere, and it is by this definition that makes silence worth acquiring.

Stop and think about this. We are surrounded by noise 24/7, and yes, even at home. Silence is intangible and limitless. New hip meditation “shops” sell silence to help folks relax. Noise cancelling headphones sell for god-knows-too-much.

The article then turns to talk a little about the underlying physiological explanation for why our brains are always on alert to detect sound in our environments. Even when it is silent, our brains are noisy and in search for external stimuli. This article was a great read.

“Yet to her great surprise, Kirste found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory, involving the senses. This was deeply puzzling: The total absence of input was having a more pronounced effect than any sort of input tested.”

Source: This Is Your Brain on Silence – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus.

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