The Default Mode Network and How to Quiet It Down

Mar 26, 2023
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The Default Mode Network and How to Quiet It Down

Image: MRI of areas of the brain in the Default Mode Network


The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a network of brain regions that is active when an individual is not focused on the external environment and is instead engaged in internal mental processes such as daydreaming, mind-wandering, and self-reflection. The DMN includes regions such as the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and inferior parietal lobes.


There are various techniques that have been found to quiet down the DMN, including:

  1. Meditation: Different types of meditation, such as mindfulness or focused attention meditation, have been found to decrease the activity of the DMN.

  2. Exercise: Regular exercise can help quiet down the DMN by promoting a more alert, focused state.

  3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help individuals regulate their thoughts and emotions, which in turn can quiet down the DMN.

  4. Psychedelic drugs: Recent research has found that certain psychedelic substances, such as ketamine and psilocybin can temporarily reduce the activity of the DMN.

  5. Brain stimulation: Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), have been found to modulate the activity of the DMN.


It's important to note that the DMN is a natural and essential part of brain function, and it's not always desirable or necessary to try to quiet it down. However, in certain situations, such as when an individual is experiencing excessive rumination or worry, it may be helpful to dampen the activity of the DMN to promote a more focused and present state of mind.