Transient Hypofrontality. Tap In.


Neuroscience has taught us that our prefrontal cortex essentially sits in the captain’s seat of our brain and helps us to self-regulate. It is hugely responsible for our executive functioning and helps us to think rationally, plan logically and essentially avoid bad decisions. It is basically the ‘parental advice’ area of the brain and without it we’d probably have had a lot more panic mode mental breakdowns and given into far more reckless behaviors. At the end of the day, we need this ‘psuedo parent’ to take care of ourselves. But this parent can also inhibit us from letting go every once in a while and letting other areas of our brain take hold and simply... ‘flow’.

Questioning our thoughts and actions can also slow us down-keep us from ‘flow-ing’. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex can be the cause of our overanalyzing, self-criticism and can lead us to overthink and worry. It can actually inhibit our creativity and self-development if operating too strictly. You can liken it to the voice that pops in your head in the middle of an important business meeting and causes you to lose your train of thought. Or that voice that extinguishes your ideas for your passion project. It puts you ‘in your head’ and out of ‘flow’. There is no room for the ego in flow.

So what happens when we do ‘let go’ of that strict-self-regulation? What happens when that voice of judgment and doubt (the ego) shuts up? The answer is transient hypofrontality. Transient hypofrontality is really just a fancy way of saying that the front of your brain shuts up and takes a back seat for a minute. In this state (transient, meaning temporary and hypo, meaning ‘less’) the frontal lobe deactivates and the level of higher functioning in the brain decreases which allows the brain to ‘flow’.

Steven Kotler Director of Research for The Flow Genome Project describes being ‘in flow’ like this:

"So our sense of self, our sense of self-consciousness, they vanish. Time dilates which means sometimes it slows down. You get that freeze frame effect familiar to any of you who have seen The Matrix or been in a car crash. Sometimes it speeds up and five hours will pass by in like five minutes. And throughout all aspects of performance, mental and physical, go through the roof."

This brain state can be compared to what positive psychologists refer to as ‘thriving’ or what Maslow termed ‘self-actualization’ and Jung ‘individuation’. It can be likened to the state of being that yogis refers to as ‘samadhi’ or ‘dhyana’. When the prefrontal cortex shuts down and becomes less dominant, other circuitries in our brains become activated allowing us to ignite expanded levels of human potential. You can begin to lose track of time and the past, present and future all meld into one. Your ego is quieted and your inner-critic is muzzled.

This state of being, transient hypofrontality or ‘the ‘flow’ state is the evolutionary neurobiology of human function. It is a breeding ground for creativity, innovation and optimal performance. It is what researchers refer to as ‘the deep now’. The benefits of tapping into transient hypofrontality are seriously endless. You can unlock creativity, accelerate business production and enhance your universal human potential and ‘become more’. Transient hypofrontality may not simply grant you introduction to different aspects of your 'self' but it can also help you reveal your true purpose as a human.

“Our purpose in life is to acknowledge that there is an intelligence within us that’s giving us life. That it’s both personal and universal, it’s within us and all around us, and that our job in life is to remove those masks of ignorance and the emotions that block the flow of the divine within us. And when we begin to move those layers, that intelligence begins to express itself and we become more like it, we become more willful, we become more loving, we become more mindful and its mind becomes our mind.” –Joe Dispenza

Cover Art by Loui Jover