Pole-Bridging in the Brain

Why and how it builds intelligence

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Winsights No. 73 (February 2004)

The key to building intelligence is to get widely different, separate regions of the brain to work more closely together.

John Ertl’s EEG brainwave analyzer, the most purely physiological “I.Q.” test ever devised, found that intelligence is usually high when left and right sides have tightly knit phase relationships, low when they don’t. Later evidence also suggests that the same is true for phase relationships (how quick an interval between the time one side is stimulated and the other side shows response) for front and back of the brain as well.

How to get different regions of the brain into such closer phase relationships? Consider that most of our learning and development depends upon our sensory feedback upon our own actions. Now let’s look at the speed of that feedback —


Through millions of years of our mostly challenging history as a species, and before, we’ve had to be able to respond very quickly to external sensory information. Tiger! — quicker than thought we’re running toward the campfire or shelter or grabbing a weapon. But internal perceptions — adjusting a cramped position, say, or adjusting for warming or cooling of the day, or developing a gradual feeling about a situation… These internal sensory perceptions have not been subjected to the same pressures for speed as have our external perceptions. Processing our feelings, say, takes a while.

So the feedback we get on our own externally expressed actions is immediate. Our internal awarenesses are less immediate. To set up a closer phase relationship between two or more very different, remote regions of the brain, take the characteristic activity of each of those parts of the brain and express those activities externally. Coordinating these with immediate sensory feedback will force those regions of the brain into a much closer phase relationship. Practice — exercise of that closer relationship — builds intelligence.

How Closer Phase Relationships Mean Higher Intelligence

Processing a stimulus or sensory datum that has come into one part of the brain — much rides with how quickly other parts of the brain also get in on the act. If phase relationships are slack, the first region of the brain has done with it before the others receive it, so what they receive is a message of “job done, go back to sleep.” If other regions receive the stimulus or datum faster than the first part of the brain can finish it, they get more involved with it. The person with close phase relationships in his brain characteristically will see more aspects to things, notice more, get more out of each experience because more of his brain is actively involved with it.

Characteristically, powerful pole-bridging activities include:

We also propose specific Pole-Bridging methods to rehabilitate brain-injured patients and stroke victims. Please see Winsights No. 67, “Proposal for Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients” — especially the discussion in the section titled ‘Integration of Brain Functions’ and the section titled, ‘Pole-Bridging Around Specific Injury Sites in the Brain.’