This blog reveals what goes on in your mind when you think, make decisions, set goals, etc. and how subconscious and unconscious thoughts and processes influence you in your daily life using simple logic.
legs do the thinking? No, but close enough. They can be used as placeholders
for the thought process.
In detail: As observed in my studies, making small, repetitive movements like shaking legs, biting nails, playing with fingers or personal objects like glasses, pens etc., which are known as fidgeting behaviours, are tools our brain uses to optimize its operations when engaged in deepthoughts.
does not have any clear explanation of why people get habituated
Experiments suggest that they may be connected to stress, tension, boredom,
regulating attention, etc.
post, I will explain the mechanism underlying such behaviour.
explained in the previous
post, to optimize on energy consumption, our brain modifies the
degree of attention based on its evaluation of how significant each ongoing
interaction is and, based on the mechanism I call “Rescaling Mechanism”, allots
and utilizes processing resources in proportion to their significance. The
modification process takes very little time and thus, is not a problem in most
of our daily interactions.
problem arises only when we are involved in processing multiple chains of
thoughts, like deliberating between multiple options or watching a movie.
cases, the time it takes to modify the degree of attention by 1) evaluating the
significance of subsequent chain of thoughts and 2) proportionately
allotting and utilizing the allotted amount of processing resources to it,
a period I call “Evaluation Lag”, can eat up into the time the brain requires
to attend to such subsequent chain of thoughts, which may result into missing
out on processing important parts of such interactions.
watching a movie, such evaluation lag may result into missing out on critical
parts of the movie if they are presented one after the other in quick
watching the same movie for the second time, as the chains of thoughts are
already known to us, there is no evaluation of significance, and thus, there is
no evaluation lag, which is the reason why many of us find new
aspects to the storyline of a movie when watching it for the second time.
remedy, the optimizing aspect of natural selection 1 has designed a mechanism I call “Fidgeting Mechanism”,
which pre-allots processing resources to cancel out such evaluation lag.
fidgeting mechanism works: To cancel out the evaluation lag, system 1, which is
non-conscious, initiates execution of a simple and repetitive physical process
like shaking legs, biting nails, or other fidgeting behaviour and puts it on
standby. As it is repetitive, it does not need conscious intervention. Doing so
allots a certain amount of processing resources to such repetitive process.
system 2 (i.e. the self) evaluates the ongoing interaction to be significant
and requires more resources to process it more comprehensively, it instructs
system 1 to switch utilization of resources from such repetitive process to
such significant interaction.
from repetitive process to significant interaction saves time it would have
otherwise taken to evaluate and allot processing resources required for its
subsequent interaction and thus, is almost instantaneous.
words, the brain pre-allots and utilizes processing resources to a simple and
repetitive task, which is governed by system 1, and switches such pre-allotted
resources to process significant part(s) of the ongoing
interaction when required; thereby saving on the
evaluation lag, which is similar to the process of a clutch engaging the drivetrain
of a car to a running engine.
it is not known to science, it is the core reason why people have habits like
smoking tobacco, chewing gum, etc. Such activities are used to pre-allot
processing resources by fidgeting mechanisms in their brains in their
resources to save on evaluation lag is also the reason why we eat popcorn when
watching movies. As explained earlier, it helps us grasp the movie more
comprehensively. It is like instant processing power on demand.
it is observed in those with disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), restless leg syndrome (RLS), social anxiety disorder (SAD), etc.,
fidgeting behaviour is not a sign of weakness, discomfort, restlessness,
inattention, nervousness or impatience, as the current science believes it
contrary, it is beneficial to cultivate the habit of fidgeting behaviour like, e.g.
shaking legs, when engaged in deep thoughts. It will optimize your thought
To summarize, fidgeting behaviour is designed to increase its efficiency when engaged in deep thoughts. It is used to optimize the processing of multiple chains of thoughts based on the optimizing aspect of natural selection 1.