You can Change your Brain after knowing this !!
The Brain is the most fascinating organ in the body. Your brain is always active even when you are thinking nothing. Advanced technologies like MRI, etc have shown us fascinating facts on changes in the Brain which happens all the time. In fact, when you know the trick, you can always keep it young.
The ability of the brain to physically adapt is called Neuroplasticity or Brain Plasticity.
Neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity, refers to the brain’s ability to CHANGE throughout life. The human brain has the amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells.
Brain changes during Learning :
As per Dr. Lara Boyd, there are three ways a brain changes to facilitate learning. Lets find out what are those :
1. Chemical Change :
When you learn something new, the brain goes through chemical changes by transferring chemical signals between neurons. These further triggers actions and reactions inside which are very rapid leading to short term memory.
2. Structural Change :
When the structure of the brain changes, learning turns to Long Term Memory. The brain undergoes physiological changes. New connections between the neurons are formed and these changes take time to happen.
3. Functional Changes :
The structural changes in the brain lead to different functional changes of the neurons since the physical changes trigger certain areas of the brain which are responsible for specific behaviors. As learning continues, cells that send and receive information about the task become more and more efficient. It takes less effort for them to signal the next cell about what’s going on. In a sense, the neurons become wired together. Different areas of the brain sync, organize, re-organize and function together to facilitate the learning process.
The new chemical reactions (responsible for short term memory) were rapid and prominent. That is why, you could master the skill in a few takes. However, due to some reasons, the chemical signals could not support the physiological changes (responsible for long term memories).
The solution is PRACTICE and PRACTICE resulting in the chemical reactions making physiological changes to support Learning.
The ease with which short term memory gets transferred to long term memory is a measure of the plasticity of the brain. Learning does changes the structure of the brain quite significantly. Whether with spatial knowledge or languages, the brain has a high degree of malleability throughout a person’s life with which one can adapt to new situations.
It is a tough job to be a London taxi driver. In order to pass the driving test, they are required to memorize the whole map of London. When asked, they must be able to immediately recall the route from any two points in the city.
Research has shown the posterior Hippocampi of London Taxi Drivers are significantly larger than average human brain. As a result, they not only have a very good spatial understanding, but also are able to process large amounts of information.
The Changes in a Child’s Brain :
Just within six to seven months of formation, the embryo(inside the mother’s womb) starts forming different parts. These parts play different role in the future. Like the region behind your forehead i.e. the prefrontal cortex is where you solve your problems. Other parts of the cortex help process sight and sound. Deep in the brain, the hippocampus helps store memories. It also helps you figure out where things are located around you.
From a neuroscience perspective, Learning and Instructions are very important part of a child’s brain development. This occurs by continuous interaction of the child with the external world. Studies have shown that Learning to Read enhances the development of the brain in many critical ways.
Infants may have an innate knowledge of the basic structural foundation of language, a sort of universal grammar. The knowledge of the universal grammar seems to disappear after childhood, and an adult can never achieve the same fluency in any new language.
The Effect of Music on Neuroplasticity
Studies have shown that gray matter (cortex) volume was highest in professional musicians, intermediate in amateur musicians, and lowest in non-musicians in several brain areas involved in playing music: motor regions, anterior superior parietal areas and inferior temporal areas.
Music-making engages both halves of the brain equally. By stimulating the left brain, which is the more mathematical, calculating and syntactic hemisphere, and the right, which is the more creative, musicians build a strong corpus callosum, which acts as a neural bridge between the two hemispheres.
Musicians, athletes and quiz bowl champions all have one thing in common: training. Learning to play an instrument or a sport requires time and patience. It is all about steadily mastering new skills.
Learning to speak different languages also changes the structure of the Brain. The brain always has the ability to adapt to new situations, such as learning Braille after become blind. The use of specific brain exercises can make the process of adaptation more expedient.
Studies have even shown that 45 minutes of exercise, three days a week, also increases the volume of the brain.
The Power of REPETITION on the Brain :
When children are asked if some false event has occurred, they would correctly say that it has never occurred to them. However, repeated discussion about the same event spread over time, gradually make them believe those events as true occurrences. Hence, specific experiences also change the structure of the brain.
Sleep and Neuroplasticity:
Cells involved in learning new information are most likely to fire in reverse during sleep. The next day, they will be wired more tightly to each other. Although scientists don’t know for certain, it is likely that repeated cycles of reverse firing create a strong network of neurons. The neurons relay information faster and more efficiently. As a result, those networks reflect an improvement in understanding or physical skill.
So the next time you study for a test, start learning new information a few days ahead of time. The night before, give your brain a break and go to bed early. It will allow your brain a chance to cement that new information into its cells. And that should boost your chances of doing well.
The AHA moment :
All of a sudden, in the midst of confusion, you get your answer! Even an “aha!” moment, when something suddenly becomes clear, doesn’t come out of nowhere. Instead, it is the result of a steady accumulation of information. That’s because adding new information opens up memories associated with the task.
Extensive practice can allow a person to perform a task while thinking about other things or about nothing at all. So now that you know the trick, would you influence your brain to change it in a way favorable to you ?
Do let me know your thoughts !!
Click here to know how the nutrients you consume effect your Brain.