Keep Learning

March 24, 2009

in Learning,Process,Thinking

From a story on NPR about measuring the structural integrity and speed of the brain’s white matter:

Haier says the good news is that we’re not necessarily stuck with the brain, or the brain speed, we inherit. He says thinking is like running or weightlifting. It helps to have certain genes. But anyone can get stronger or faster by working out.

The brain is like a muscle, Haier says: “The more you work it the more efficient it gets.”

So people who practice the violin, or do math problems, or learn a foreign language are constantly strengthening certain pathways in their brains.

And Thompson notes that our brains, unlike our bodies, peak relatively late in life.

“The wires between the brain cells, the connections, are the things that you can modify throughout life,” he says. “They change and they improve through your 40s and 50s and 60s.”

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