In each test, a set of neurons started firing as soon as the image flashed on the screen and remained active until the task had been completed. But the “where” test activated neurons in one region of the prefrontal cortex, whereas the “what” test activated neurons in an adjacent but distinct region. “The prefrontal cortex has always been thought of as a region where information converges and is synthesized for purposes of planning, thinking, comprehension and intention,” Goldman-Rakic says. “We’ve shown that this area is just as compartmentalized as the sensory and motor regions.”

Complementary findings described this year by investigators at Washington University have emerged from PET scans of humans. (PET measures neural activity indirectly by tracking changes in blood flow in subjects injected with a short-lived radioactive tracer.) In the experiments, volunteers were provided with a list of nouns. They were required to read the nouns aloud, one by one, and to propose for each noun a related verb. On reading the noun “dog,” for example, the volunteer might suggest the related verb “bark.”

When the subjects first did this task, several distinct parts of the brain, including parts of the prefrontal and cingulate cortex, displayed increased neural activity. But if the volunteers repeated the task with the same list of nouns several times, the activity shifted to different regions. When the volunteers were given a fresh list of nouns, the neural activity increased and shifted back to the first areas again.

The experiment suggests that one part of the brain handles the short-term memory requiring verbal invention and that another part takes over once the task has become automatic. In other words, memory might be subdivided not only according to its content but also according to its function. “Our results are consistent with Goldman-Rakic’s ideas,” comments Steven E. Petersen, a member of the Washington University team.

So how do all the specialists of the brain manage to work together so smoothly? Are their activities coordinated by a central once or through some form of distributed network? Petersen favors “a localized region or a small number of localized regions,” where perceptions, memories and intentions are integrated. Goldman-Rakic is leaning toward a nonhierarchical model in which “separate but equal partners are interconnected, communicating with each other.”

Larry R. Squire, a memory researcher at the University of California at San Diego, thinks the binding problem may take many years to solve. He concedes that “we still don’t really have a clue” as to what the binding mechanism is. But he is hopeful that the answer will inevitably emerge, given the rapid advances in techniques for studying the brain—including microelectrodes, noninvasive imaging technologies (such as PET and magnetic resonance imaging) and computers, which can help make coherent models out of empirical data. “We need it all,” Squire says. —John Horgan[1]


Therefore, since only a very small percentage of the brain is employed while a large part of brain capacity remains unused, dhikr allows the activation of this larger percentage.

The bioelectrical energy produced in specific regions in the brain via dhikr spreads to other regions and activates the dormant cells, thereby increasing brain activity. Whatever dhikr is about, the frequency corresponding to that meaning is emanated to the cells and thus brain capacity relevant to that particular meaning is increased.

For example, when one does dhikr with the name Mureed, which is the name that references the will of Allah, the dormant cells in the person’s brain become programmed with the vibration of the frequency of this name, and thus in a short time, the person’s willpower is strengthened and things that were previously impossible to achieve become possible. Here, I would like to make note of an important point: Each brain has a unique make-up and so, when doing dhikr of the Names of Allah, it is important to obtain information from a learned person. Doing dhikr without such guidance can inadvertently lead to engaging in the kind of dhikr incited by the jinn, hence unconsciously surrendering the self to them. This is why some saints have said, “Satan will be the guide of the one who does not have a guide.”

To recap, unprogrammed brain cells can be programmed in accord with the meaning of the word that is repeated during dhikr to reach a desired result and strengthen and increase brain power and capacity.

Some may ask, “If dhikr is such a powerful tool, why hasn’t the world of Islam produced an extraordinary brain as yet, why do all advancements stem from the West, from among non-Muslims?”

The answer is quite simple, at least for someone who knows its technique and procedure… Allow me to share the technique of dhikr with you, which was inspired to me as the favor of Allah and with the guidance of the Rasul of Allah (saw)…

[1] Scientific American, December 1993.

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