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The Default Mode Network and human downtime

By December 13th, 2019No Comments

You have around 100 billion brain cells (neurons). Each of these neurons has about 7,000 inter-neuronal connections. Estimates differ for adults, but your brain has about 250 trillion connections.

The Default Mode Network (DMN) comprises a network of interacting parts of the human brain. When you not working and not ‘doing’, the DMN lights up.

I have meditated since I was in my 20s. I find that it makes me calmer. It helps me to find new ideas which would not have materialised during my busy life (we have four children, one house, one garden and I am self employed, amongst other things).

I have found that mediation connects me to a different way of thinking – as opposed to the frenetic ‘beta brainwave state’ that drives the business world and much of Western civilisation*. When you are in beta, your logical left brain is active as well as your critical abilities.

Technology (which I love) is often to blame, for all of this ‘busyness’. Who invented email? Who invented smartphones? Who invented social media? Many of us spend a considerable proportion of our time staring at screens of different sizes, trying to keep on top of it all.

Would it be a better world if we all slowed down a bit?

By the way, the DMN is active when you are planning for the future. Imagining a positive, interesting and engaging future is time well spent.

The Dalai Lama once said that the busier he gets, the longer he spends meditating. (Have you noticed how much he laughs?)

Tony Buzan sparked my interest in the human brain. My office was across the corridor from his, for five years. I learned a great deal from Tony and he included one of my Mind Maps within one of his books.

* Interviewer: “What do you think of Western civilisation?”
Mahhatma Gandhi: “I think it would be a good idea.”

Nigel Temple is a creative thinking trainer / public speaker.


Nigel Temple

Author Nigel Temple

Nigel Temple is a marketing consultant, speaker, trainer and writer. Topics include: AI / ChatGPT, Marketing strategy, Digital marketing, SEO, Copywriting, Mailchimp. Nigel is available to hire for a consultancy meeting, training workshop, speaking event or marketing project. Email: Or call Nigel on: 01628 773128

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