In neuroscience, it represents various regions in the brain which engage in intersecting activities beyond a normal volume of interplay, and like a superhighway of liveliness, the correlative process of functioning is maintained at an exponential level of rapid-fire inter-connectivity when the human brain is not focused upon a particular task in the “outside” world, but rather, when engaged in the insular universe of daydreaming, thinking, or wandering in meandering thoughts.
Thus, the high-functioning network of synapses and neuro-cognitive hot-wires activates by default when one is at a “wakeful rest” — meaning, when the eyes are open, but focused inward as opposed to the outer environment of external stimuli and purposeful, productive activity.
The default mode is most active when the mind is passive and at rest; it is the anomaly of the brain, where the opposite occurs in relation to a subconscious characteristic of the organism. It is this insular conundrum which also powers other mechanisms; and so when an electronic device falters, we engage a “default” mode where the inner sanctum of the wiring regenerates by reverting back to its original existence.
It is of interest that evolution favored such activity of the brain, where it awaits the quietude of self-reflection on the outside (at least in appearance, if not in reality), when the sudden increase of activity is triggered on the inside. But that type of convex reflection of self paralleling its very opposite is what often happens in all of life; even in the rather mundane example of turning one’s back, when the knives become sharper and the stabbers come out of their cubbyholes.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition may necessitate filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the workings of the Default Mode Network is instructive in the following way: For the Federal or Postal employee, there is always activity even in a state of non-activity. Productivity as judged by the “outside” world is not the only “means-testing” modality to go by. Other things matter — sometimes hidden, otherwise overtly exposed.
The fact that you may suffer on the outside may not impact others into any greater activity of sympathy or empathetic responsiveness. What matters in the end for the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, is to engage the outer world in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with OPM, in order that one may attain a level of wakeful rest which the Default Mode Network is seeking to accomplish.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire