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LA Times - Division of duty is the name of the brain game

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Published: 30 May 2011

Crisis management takes a village — a skull-centric, multi-tasking village called the default-mode network… You may be lazing by the pool after a visit or two to the swim-up bar, but parts of your brain are always on duty — ready to leap into action should a stressful event require attention.

Crisis management takes a village — a skull-centric, multi-tasking village called the default-mode network…

You may be lazing by the pool after a visit or two to the swim-up bar, but parts of your brain are always on duty — ready to leap into action should a stressful event require attention. This skeleton crew of sorts is called the default-mode network. It includes one of the busiest and most important structures in the entire brain, the hippocampus, which is responsible for processing memories.

"Whenever you have to look something up or file something away, you ask your hippocampus to do it," says Jens Pruessner, an associate professor in the departments of psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University in Montreal.

It also includes the medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area involved with self-referential thoughts, and the anterior cingulate, which Pruessner calls an "error monitor.... Its job is to stay on guard for mismatches between what you expect to happen and what actually happens."

Source Site: /newsroom
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