In our day to day life, we make many plans and give our best to execute them properly. But what happens when we decide to stop a bad plan? Most of the time it’s very hard for us to cancel our plan or stop our moment at last second. The latest study has found out the reason behind this uncontrolled behavior.

It has revealed that inability of our brain to react to sudden plan change is the main root of this problem. For example, while walking on a road, we suddenly come across a pothole or small stone. Then we will try to immediately stop or avoid the obstruction. But at that time our brain is not ready to react so quickly to our sudden change of plan. Already our muscles have been given the go instructions.

So, in most of the cases, we probably would get hit by the stone or land our foot in the hole. It is because one area of the brain only recognizes the obstacle but other areas have already got the signal to go on as per the plan. Susan Courtney, a professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University carried on this research and found out as to why we cannot control our movement or cancel our plan at the last moment. She said, “Even if you haven’t actually started moving your foot, your brain has already initiated that plan.” To perfectly execute a changed plan, we have to process all of these pieces of information quickly, as said by Susan.

“The question is: When we do succeed, how do we do that? What needs to happen in order for us to stop in time?” It’s a very complicated process.”Susan stated. For the study, Susan and her team monitored the brain function of 21 people and a monkey, and they provided a situation similar to someone approaching an intersection when the light turns yellow. From the study, the researchers revealed that to stop an already initiated plan or to cancel the bad plan immediately, three main areas of the brain need to coordinate or communicate properly along with eight other areas.

Previously, scientists believed that only one region of the brain remained active during a plan change, but that is not the case. More brain areas can efficiently react to sudden plan change. But, for that, timing is important. As per the research, all the communications and coordination had to occur within one-tenth of a second before our eye sees the cue. Once the signal reaches the eye muscles, it becomes difficult to control our movement. So, it is important that our Brain’s stop function works efficiently so that it would help us avoid danger. The more we spend time seeing danger and thinking about changing plan the more difficult it becomes to actually change the plan or stop our movement.


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