Lazy Brains

Pushing Past Our Comfort Zone

The sign on the treadmill read, “For the consideration of our other guests, please do not use this equipment for more than 45 minutes.” I chuckled aloud as I wondered if this sign was truly necessary. How many people could this apply to? Let me be clear: the little notice taped onto the machine did not have a hyphen between the 4 and 5 as to read four to five minutes. No, it was asking the user to refrain from using the treadmill for more than three quarters of an hour!

Okay, I admit it; I am lazy. But I have a perfectly valid reason for my slothfulness—my brain makes me do it, or in this case not do it. Recent advances in neuroscience suggest that the piece of gray and white matter between my ears is rather lazy. It tries to do the least amount of work possible. Put more positively, my brain (like all brains) works on an efficiency principle. That is, the human brain operates in a manner as to expend as little energy as possible.

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