Quick notes from a brain fitness program I watched on PBS. It is called the Brain Fitness Program. It is based on the science of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming neural connections throughout life. Also know as brain plasticity. In a nutshell, our brain is not a static organ ( a formely-held position in Neuro-science) but it can change and adapt and even rewire itself. The brain remains highly malleable or “plastic”throughout life and by presenting the brain with proper stimuli, scientist can drive beneficial physical and functional change. I highly recommend you to watch the documentary via PBS Home Video.
I have highlighted the principles (tenets) and concepts of neuroplasticity below:
Change can occur only when brain is in the mood. Paying attention and being alert and ready for action.
Change strengthens connection between neurons engaged at the same time. Trying something repeatedly allows the brain to selectively remember the most effective combinations of small variables contributing to the more effective tries.
Neurons that fire together wire together. Much of the brain’s functioning involves prediction, and the brain improves its ability to predict based on observation of things that reliably occur in series.
Initial changes are just temporary. The possibility of changing the brain’s structure increases when activities are repeated over time.
Brain plasticity is a two-way Street and we can either drive brain change positively or negatively. Malleability can mean vulnerability, as well as the flexibility to change. Persistent bad habits and environmental interference are examples of negative effects.
Memory is crucial for learning. The brain maintains a model in memory of what it is trying to do and evaluates the results of repeated attempts to meet that model.
Motivation is a key factor in brain plasticity. Acquisition of new skills is the primary means for developing the adult brain.
Tips for optimal plasticity
- Your heart need to be in decent shape-cardiovascular health
- Training needs to be incremental
- It also needs to be systematically improving-challenging
- Should be engaging/interesting to motivate your brain
More about Neuroplasticity: http://www.whatisneuroplasticity.com/
Train your brain with Lumosity: http://www.lumosity.com