Headaches and Thoughts

Scott H. Young

The first interesting tidbit is that brain activation goes down as you learn. The better a subject got at a skill, the less of their brain was being used actively.


Thinking a bit more, however, and this decrease in brain activity should make sense. As you learn something, your brain wires more specialized circuitry for solving the problem with less effort. Using less of your brain is an advantage, since that is more efficient.

Tangentially, reading this piece reminded me of the health problem I had during my college days.I still don’t know if the problem is legitimate or my imagination. This is how it went. I started having headaches(not debilitating but rather like a noise drone) during classes alone. I realized that the headache started/increased when I paid attention in class.

The more I concentrated, more severe was the pain. This started a feedback loop where I would get anxious which in turn would spur my headache. I did not experience the pain while reading fictions, working on programs or playing games but any activity that required intense concentration led to headaches. It can also be said that the more data I was juggling in my brain, higher the headache. It was one of those things that caused me severe consternation then.

Slowly I started adapting to this new reality and realized that higher the information density at a particular time, higher was my anxiety and thus my headache. So I decided to make things simple and started removing unnecessary complexity from my life.

For example, If I see my friends invest in 10 stocks and keep track of the minute details to make a 50% profit, I simply invest in one stock and accept a 30% profit. This has been my default nature right from the time I remember understanding this world and so it was easy to apply this intuition to all cases. This behavior extended to all kinds of activities.

Oh, the time I spent on worrying. Now it feels like all that worry was for naught. As I started adapting to the new reality of less complexity, the pain gradually went away. I still wonder what could be the cause though? and also If I am on the correct track?