Adjust-o-mobility in the brain

I’ve noticed that I can analyze and solve problems faster than any other time in my life. I attribute this to my years of computer programming. I’ve also noticed my social skills are not as good as they used to be. What happened? Did I lose them? No, my brain chemistry changed. My brain created new neural pathways to make me better at solving problems.

Did you know that your brain chemistry can change over the long term and adjust to the conditions you need most? Why is this important? Because if you are anti-social you can learn to be social (and comfortable socially). If you are a very logical analytical person you can learn and practice and become a creative person. Or you can be creative and learn to be logical. Your brain has the ability to adjust and reconfigure itself. Modern brain imaging tools are proving this. Both temporary and long term changes can be developed. Changes in behavioral habits and addictions both indicate that it takes roughly two weeks to a month of doing a new thing or going without a substance to reconfigure or adjust (don’t know the word for what happens).

People that go into other countries for long periods of time have told that at first there is some difficulty adjusting their mind to its new environment and constantly speaking a new foreign language. This can be expected. What is interesting is that there is another difficult adjustment process when they come back out from that environment. The mind changed its state.

I’ve been reading the work of Dr Ryuta Kawashima, a doctor in neuroscience. Based on his information we can garner a few facts. If you don’t use our brain, it will age quickly. Your brain will not be as strong as it was. It’s just like exercising. A healthy body must work out regularly. You can train your brain, like you train your body! Quick simple exercises in reading, writing and arithmetic can help.

Brain Scans indicate a brain in idle thought has very little blood flow. A brain watching tv has slightly more blood flow near the back of the brain. A brain solving simple math problems shows dramatically increased blood flow throughout many parts of the brain. Speaking out loud also shows dramatically increased blood flow throughout many parts of the brain. Solving simple calculations and reading out loud activate the brain. Training your brain activates your prefrontal cortex. It also improves your general brain power.

Brain Age is a game created by Nintendo based on the work by Ryuta Kawashima. Although it is in the form of a game for Nintendo DS many adults are playing it as well. Brain age contains many games that train the brain. Modern imaging tools suggest that they are all quite effective.

The most exciting part of this game comes when you see and notice your progress. A built in graph keeps track of your progress and shows daily and monthly results. Your “brain age” quote un quote is broken down into a number with 20 being the ideal number. When I started my brain age score was 80. I’m now around 25 with my best score being 21.

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