Neural Priming


Neural Priming

Laterally Intermittent Priming
Neural Responses

A Neuroscience Explanation for
Infinity Walk’s Capacity to Accelerate Change

Part I: Neural Priming Theory and Research

Neural priming of the brain is like the “ready, set” before the “go” that children shout out before racing each other across a playground.  Priming muscles increases their initial speed of response, giving us the edge when time of response is critical. Priming our visual, auditory and other senses alerts the brain to get ready for more input. Neural priming increases attention, focus, readiness, and accuracy of response. (1) 

Marcel Kinsbourne, a prominent neuroscientist at Tufts made the initial discovery back in 1973 that just a simple lateral shift in visual gaze will activate or prime the brain’s contralateral hemisphere. That is, just looking left or right will increase neural activation of the opposite brain hemisphere to a state of readied alertness. (2)

This state of readied alertness creates statistically significant advantages in performance reaction time and accuracy of response. Since the initial eye movement study, an endless stream of research has found that hemispheric priming can be triggered through a number of different sensory and motor catalysts.(3)  Any use of our senses or muscles require neural activity. That activity alerts the brain, and especially the laterally opposing hemisphere to pay attention for possible additional information. Infinity Walk uses this knowledge of neural priming to continually refresh sensory and motor alertness in and between the brain hemispheres.

Neural priming research is normally done with a person sitting quietly and waiting for the next stimulus. Infinity Walk adds multiple sensory and motor sources of neural priming that are needed to learn, perform and success outside of the research lab and in real life. The fMRI research on neural priming is not possible to do while Infinity Walking, because medical technology cannot yet accommodate the considerable movement that is an essential part of the method. However, hundreds of human and animal studies are published every year on neural priming. The research provided a good explanation as to how Infinity Walk’s methodology would act as a very significant neural priming method. (Sunbeck, 2002)

To learn more about this topic, read Deborah Sunbeck’s 2002 text, Infinity Walk: BOOK I: The Physical Self. 


1) E.g., Priming attention for listening has been determined to improve results on language-cognition tasks. Voyer D, Flight J.  Reliability of a dichotic consonant-vowel pairs task using an ABX procedure. Brain Cognition 2000 Jun-Aug;443 (1-3):417-21.
Rabb, C. Attentional effects on reaching in hemispace. Perceptual Motor Skills 1999 April;88(2):701-2.  Priming the person attention to anticipate a happening, overrides lateral motor dominance and reaction time.

(2) Kinsbourne’s discovery has continually been verified throughout the years by new medical research and new technologies such as the fMRI.

(3) E.g., reported in Schiffer, Of Two Minds, NY: The Free Press, 1998  When subjects looked to the left thereby stimulating the right hemisphere, there was a relative drop in the right ear temperature. The opposite occurred with the right lateral looking and these changes proved to be statistically significant. A highly significant correlation between shifts in EEG and shifts in ear temperature was also found.. All shifts were in the predicted direction. This study can be found on page 75 of Dr. Schiffer’s book

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