Default Mode Network (DMN)

Default Mode Network or simply called the DMN is an important concept from the field of neurosciences.

Scientific experiments have shown that our brain is constantly active with a high level of activity even when the person is not engaged in any focused mental work. There is a network of brain circuits associated with this higher level of activity. The network is called Default Mode Network.

In general DMN reflects the self. It is active when we are idle, when we are mind wandering or daydreaming.

DMN activity reduces when we are involved in some specific task because then we are thinking about the task and less about ourselves.

When we are sleeping, DMN's activity reduces. But if we are dreaming, its activity increases. This happens because we dream as ourselves so the parts of the brain that represent the self are active.

Depression is associated with an overactive DMN. So too much self referential thinking and depression are related.

Meditation reduces activity of DMN. The reason is that meditation reduces self obsession.

Improving focus is one of the effects of meditation. Improved focus means better suppression of DMN and more involvement in the task at hand.

DMN suppression also leads to improved creativity since creativity requires thinking differently. The DMN identifies with the self, the self is essentially thought as a static entity, so self referential thinking reduces creativity. One needs to disengage from the self (effectively disengage from the DMN) to engage in creativity.

In our meditation,
- We do not think of the self as static. So it helps loosen the obsession with the current self.
- Actively disengaging with the current self is one phase in our meditation.
- The focused suggestions phase is task focused. Task focus reduces activity of DMN. It should also provide a mental workout for focused attention to suppress DMN and help with better concentration.
- All the above should reduce self obsession and should calm down a hyperactive default mode network.

See below wikipedia link for more details.
Default Mode Network