How to Increase Brain Power
How to increase brain power means doing more of what enhances our brain's inherent capacities called neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.
Neurogenesis means that we grow new neurons every day. They can move into existing neuronal circuits if not hampered or blocked by stress hormones or ethyl alcohol, for example.
Neuroplasticity describes your brains incredible ability to reconnect and rewire itself, depending on what you are paying attention to.
So we need to pay attention to our brains health, its nutrition, make sure it gets enough physical exercise, which could be the most important aspect of the how to increase brain power concept.
We need to make sure it is fed well, getting enough vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, glyconutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Your brain power is dependent on appropriate sleep and stress management, and it must be challenged with novel learning experiences.
Novel learning experiences might include learning a new language, or learning to play a new instrument, or starting a new career, or it might include practicing one of the new computer based brain fitness programs, like Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro which is based on the dual n back task, or the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program.
Those are two of the available programs, and I mention them because I have read about the research done on the tasks they ask our brain to do, and the very interesting results for those two programs.
The research on the dual n back task, which is what Mind Sparke challenges us with, says that IQ can be increased with training.
Or course I bought it, not for the IQ factor, but because I wanted to experience it.
Mind Sparke made a noticeable difference in my ability to stay on task, which is an issue I have struggled with all my life.
When I get excited I generate lots of ideas, and not all of them are followed through on.
I also bought the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program because I read an interview with Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. in the book by Norman Doidge,MD, called The Brain That Changes Itself, in which Merzenich talked about his concept of what the brain can do.
His Brain Fitness program has been subjected to research, and the most recent publication about it is the IMPACT study released in April of 2009.
Senior Citizens, older than my 61 years, were evaluated in a double blind study, and the results were very impressive to the researchers.
So if you do not have time to learn a new language or a new instrument, then the Mind Sparke Brain Fitness program or the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program will do quite nicely in the novel learning experience category of how to increase your brain power.
Another of the computerized brain fitness programs is Lumosity, which is available through an online subscription.
I like to keep Lumosity booted up on my computer, and use it between phone calls or clients as a brain brightener.
It delivers increasing levels of challenge, and offers excellent progress reports.
Those progress reports help me to understand how my brain fitness is impacted by stress, for example.
If I find myself worried, and my scores suffer, I get some real time feedback about the value of learning to relax.
And Simon Evans, Ph.D., author of Brainfit for Life, says he likes the some online tools.
Brainfit for Life is an excellent book for information about brain fitness written for the layperson, rather than the neuroscientist, with an excellent index of neuroscientific resources if you want to take your research a bit deeper.
Professors Evans and Burghardt speak of the importance of omega 3 fatty acids for the health and well-being of neurons.
It turns out that neurons are mostly omega 3 fatty acid, and without regular uptake of omega 3 fatty acid, neurons can get hard and brittle, and do not receive or send signals as effectively as they could, which means garbled communications and mistakes in life.
If you want a blue print for how to increase brain power, then I suggest you get the
Brainfit for Life and follow the plan for nutrition, physical exercise, sleep, and stress reduction laid out there, and try out one of more of the computerized brain fitness programs with links below.
There is a great deal to gain for minimal expense. Good luck. Mike
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