Nov 24

Julie ChahalResearch results continue to show that brains remain capable of learning and improving performance throughout our lives!  It turns out that you can teach an old dog (and mouse and human) new tricks.  That’s the good news.  We know that muscles atrophy without use and so do the capabilities of our brains, so we need to consider mental fitness as well as our physical fitness.

Lifelong learning of information and especially skills is enriching and fun and now we know that it is also essential to brain plasticity.  We offered some ideas in Chapter 10 of our book but they are just the beginning of what is possible

Dr. Michael Merzenich, considered the father of brain plasticity, suggests that “the key to brain change is close, serisoft-wiredous, highly attentive engagement at a level on which you are continuously challenging yourself.”   He gives examples of painting and jigsaw puzzles that encourage close attention to shape, colour, texture and shifting between details and (literally) the big picture.

We can supplement a mentally healthy lifestyle with focussed exercises to stave off the cognitive deterioration that may come with age.  A training program developed by PositScience can be found here.

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