Greater brain entropy responsible for versatile brain processing, says study

Greater brain entropy responsible for versatile brain processing, says study

Entropy in the physical sciences is a dimensionless quantity, which is related to the state of uncertainty of a system. Simply put, entropy is “randomness”. In the biological sciences, the state of brain entropy is associated with the number of neural states (nerve circuits) that the brain of an individual can access at any point of time to interpret whatever is happening in the world around him or her.

Every nanosecond, the human brain is bombarded with countless information without the individual being aware of it. Much of the information gets processed at the subconscious level. From assuaging danger, assessing choices, making decisions and translating it to different circuits in the body, to interpreting signs and signals from lived experiences, the human brain is constantly receiving, interpreting, translating and sending information. Even when the body rests, the brain is processing vast amounts of information of the previous day.

Link between entropy and intelligence

In the light of this activity, a recent study, published in PLOS ONE journal in February 2018, by the NYU School of Medicine used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to track the discordance or the chemical activity in the nerve circuits of the brain. After analyzing the brain images of 892 Americans, they found that the increased entropy is associated with more “versatile processing of information.” The research has indicated that in the event future research provides validation, the scans of the entropic brain could be used for assessing mental capacity and evaluating problems related to brain functioning in people with mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism and depression.

Considering the volume of information coming to the brain, this feature is associated with greater intelligence. According to the lead author of the study, Glenn Saxe, a member of NYU Langone Health’s Neuroscience Institute and professor of adolescent and child psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, “Our study offers the first solid evidence that functional MRI scans of brain entropy are a new means to understanding human intelligence.”

Highly intelligent people more likely to have mental disorders

Some of the truly gifted artists, painters and mathematicians have struggled with a mental illness all throughout their lives. Some find help and reclaim their life with the help of family and friends. Others do not.

Contrary to popular belief, the lives of the highly intelligent are not easy; they sometimes have to struggle more than the average person to be heard and seen. Their hyperactive central nervous system that gives them a deeper capacity to understand their surrounding environment, also makes them more susceptible to mood swings, depression and anxiety. They are able to see, hear and reason when their peers could be clueless. This conclusion resonates in a study conducted on 3,715 members of the American Mensa Society, it was seen that people with high IQ were more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. The subjects were also prone to mood disorders.

Seeking help to improve mental health

Mental illness is a major concern in the United States and it is estimated that one in five adults (18.5 percent) or 43.8 million people experience a mental health condition in a given year. Mental illness is accountable for the increasing number of homeless and unemployed people as well as crowding of state prisons and correctional centers. According to federal reports, more than 70 percent of the juveniles behind the prison have at least one mental health condition and 20 percent could have a severe problem. Billions of dollars are lost every year because of an untreated mental condition.

If you know someone suffering from any kind of mental disorder, engage in mental help chat with our counselors on the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline. Our experts can connect you to the best rehab centers offering comprehensive recovery programs. Call our 24/7 helpline 855-653-8178 or use our mental health live chat to know more about one of the finest treatment centers near you.