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Intention impacts the brain. In 2006, Scott Frey, a psychologist at the University of Oregon, published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience. He scanned the brains of participants as they watched videos of someone putting together and taking apart a toy made of several parts. One group of subjects simply watched the demonstration. Another group was aware that they would be asked to reproduce the actions they viewed on the video.

Although members of both groups were lying completely still inside an fMRI machine, the brains of the second group showed activation in a region involved in motor learning. Simply knowing that we will be expected to carry out the motions we observe seems to prime the brain to learn better.

The study states that “there was general consensus that the intention to perform a given behavior is one of the immediate determinants of that behavior. The stronger the intention to perform a given behavior, the greater the likelihood that the person will, in fact, perform that behavior.”

When we make our intentions clear, our brains are more likely to move our bodies toward making that intention come to life.


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