TIE Conference May 2006

Dr. Fred Travis


Why talk about the brain




Because we see



…we hear

…we speak based on brain functioning.


Where is the CEO in the brain?

The CEO resides in connections between the prefrontal cortex and all other parts of the brain.


The prefrontal cortex is the functional center of brain activity.

All other brain areas send input to the frontal area, which integrates them and send out a coordinated response.





These CEO circuits are your greatest resource.  They underlie intuition, broad planning, and are the basis for creative problem solving


What happens if frontal circuits are broken?


When frontal circuits are broken, we live in a concrete sensory world.  We act with little planning or foresight.


To get a feel of what this is like, look at teenagers




Their frontal circuits Their frontal circuits have just started to mature and will continue up to 25 years.  

A teenager is like a  company without a CEO.  All brain areas work full steam ahead, but the circuits that place the current experience in a larger perspective are not mature.


…or look at people under high stress. 

High stress moves the brain from a problem-solving mode into a fight-flight mode.  You have tunnel vision reacting to immediate details of experience without a broad vision.  You act with lots of energy, but without broad context.


…or look at people who are u

nder chronic fatigue.  When you’re tired the first brain area to be turned off are the CEO frontal circuits. 

Have you ever tried to read a data sheet at night?  You read a page once, then again, and again…. nothing goes in.  The CEO frontal area that integrates new information with our current memories is off line.



Now lets add alcohol and drugs to the mix.


Together they de-activate frontal control areas.  On the right is the activation pattern of someone who abuses alcohol and drugs.  These are not actual holes in the brain; they are functional lesions.  The CEO frontal circuits are not helping this person deal with the world—he acts impulsively, with little awareness of the context of his actions.

You may be thinking—What can I do?


Stress and fatigue are part of the job description for competitive businesses.  If I don’t work 16 hours, my competitors will.


What you can do is strengthen frontal circuits so you can withstand the high stress and fatigue that is part of business?



Transcending strengthens the CEO of the brain.

This is neural imaging of level of brain activity.  Yellow and red means higher activity.

Transcending during Transcendental Meditation practice leads to the experience of restful alertness, in which the attention system of the frontal and parietal areas are more awake, while the arousal system of the mind and body of the thalamus is more quiet.


In the experience of restful alertness, frontal circuits are more awake and more connected with every other part of the brain.

This is total brain functioning.


Transcending leads to high brainwave coherence.


Here we see the electrical activity from 32 points of the brain.


Notice how the signals between pairs of sensors are rising up and down together.  This is called coherenceCoherence means that two parts of the brain are talking to each other—are functionally linked.

 Notice all 32 leads are coherent.

This is global coherence.

The brain as a whole is more wakeful.


How long does it take to master transcending?


As you see in the top line, you master the TM technique in a few months.


These are coherence maps during eyes closed rest—left most COH Map and during TM practice—middle and right map. 


A line between dots in these maps indicates that the coherence is 0.80% or more between those two points.



The first two COH maps present average coherence from 18 American University students.  The last COH Map presents averages from age-matched students at Maharishi University of Management.


Notice that coherence during TM practice in the AU students after two-months TM practice is very similar to coherence after 7 year TM practice.


You quickly master transcending during Transcendental Meditation practice.  You don’t have to wait a long time to experience restful alertness.






The value of regular TM practice is that the inner experience and associated brain paterns are integrated with waking tasks—you bring the inner restful alertness into dynamic activity.

Notice in the bottom row of COH maps, the frontal coherence seen during TM practice is seen a little more after two-months TM practice and more after 7 years TM practice.

The experience of restful alertness and is becoming the background for all experience.



This is how you can strengthen the CEO of your brain to beat high stress and fatigue.

The bottom line is that transcending is money in the bank.


It will give you the added edge in any business climate.


As an entrepreneur you start with a vision.  That vision takes you above other people. 


Make that vision a reality.  Transcend; strengthen your brain’s CEO.  Become all that  you dream you are and can be.