Building a Fact Map

For basic information about the Default Mode Network go here:

The Default Mode Network (DMN)

A technique of using the DMN to solve complex problems is described in the book “Halls of the Mind” by the Russian psychotherapist Andrey Kurpatov.

A summary of the technique of “loading” the DMN with the necessary information and receiving a result of its work is described below.

The DMN can not be addressed directly through thoughts. We can not “talk” to it but it can “talk” to us. For that reason it could be referred to as “the subconscious mind” but that phrase is not very approproate because it could be interpreted as implying that the “conscious mind” is superior.

For the DMN to construct an intellectual object (a fully formed model of reality) it must have enough information. If some information is missing the model is not complete and does not reflect reality properly. Note the use of the word “model” – the claim is not that reality itself is being grasped and described by the DNM.

To supply the DMN with all the possible information pieces needed to produce a result one must describe them in a very exhaustive fashion. That means that information needs to be clearly laid out and added to over time. For complex problems (models of reality) that can not be done by just consciously focusing on the pieces of information. What is needed is visualization of the information and time to find all the available details.

Fact Map

The information gathering is done by building a “Fact Map”.
The Fact Map is a visual description of all the information needed to solve a problem.
The information is written, drawn, connected with lines etc.

Building the Fact Map

The Fact Map is built using the following steps:

1. “Loading” the information

It involves recording all known data on paper.

:::;;; a: Tactile and visual experience

  • Facts are recorded on the paper in an interconnected way – not just listed one after the other. Using lines to connect different parts, grouping, outlining etc.grouping, outlining etc.should be recorded on paper, not through a keyboard.
  • Facts are recorded on the paper in an interconnected way – not just listed one after the other. Using lines to connect different parts, grouping, outlining etc.

:::::: b: Distraction-free environment

  • Focusing on the data recording needs to be done in a completely distraction-free environment.

:::::: c: Time line

  • It has been found that an average of at least 23 minutes are needed for the brain to switch from processing all kinds of tasks to focusing on one task – the problem that is being solved.

:::::: d: “Puzzled” state

  • The gathering of information and focusing on it should always end with reaching a state in which question(s) arise about how all the information relates to each other. At this point the “loading” of information should stop.

2. Further information gathering

In this step forgotten, missed, or new facts are recorded. Information gathering is not simply looking for more information. It is also letting the information “settle”.

3. Cyclical repetition of steps A and B

This step could take a long time. It involves cyclical repetions of step A followed by step B. One returns to the initial Fact Map and adds new details and connections to it.

4. Final result

The final result is a solution or a different view of the original problem.
When gathering the information (steps A and B) the DMN builds the model of reality needed to solve the problem. It forms gradually and without a conscious sensation for the growth.

The final result often comes suddenly – during activites not related to solving the problem. The result is a complex model of reality consisting of logically interconnected parts.