Reading, re-reading, confusion, and mental weights

There’s this PBS documentary series available on Amazon Prime Video called “The Brain With David Eagleman” (2015). Episode 6, titled, “Who Will We Be?” illustrates an interesting property of the brain, citing cochlear implants.

The implants help people hear by translating sound into electric signals. At first, the electric signals appear as noise to the brain, but without any additional effort from the person, the brain automatically begins looking for patterns, making sense, and finding meaning in the signals.

And, the interesting part is, it doesn’t matter the signal or source. So long as there does exist some pattern to be found, the brain will find it.

That’s how I feel with reading about something I want to learn and with reading a book in a fairly new topic to me for the first time. It’s confusion at first. And that’s a good thing. Confusion is to mental weights what fatigue is to physical weights.

The brain doesn’t expand like a muscle given its limited room in the skull, so instead it rewires, reconnects or reorganizes. The act of reorganizing, I’m guessing, is the feeling of confusion.