Smart For Life - PCC - ebook

A guide to sharpening mental abilities discusses foods that enhance brain development and includes exercises for stimulating memory, flexing spatial abilities, and improving reasoning

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Main Idea

The human brain is exactly like a muscle . . the more exercise it gets, the better it performs and the quicker and sharper it becomes.

Therefore, improving your brain power simply requires that you take the time regularly to exercise so that you will enhance your mental capacity to visualize, recall, create, communicate and reason. And, analogous to a physical training program, a good supply of proper nutrients and enough rest must also be provided if your brain power is to increase significantly.

Interestingly, anyone, at any age, and from any background, can improve their quality of life by sharpening their mental abilities. The practical benefits of just such a mental improvement program include an enhanced ability to think quickly, the opportunity to inject more creativity into your life and high-quality recall of important facts and figures.

Being smart for life isn't just an esoteric dream . . it's a realistic goal within the grasp of every person willing to pay the price.

IntroductionCan Mental Exercise Actually Improve Brainpower?

The brain responds to exercise in just the same way as any other part of the human anatomy. Therefore, a structured mental exercise program can be developed that will help you:

Improve your ability to solve problems.

Increase your fluency and communication skills.

Bring greater levels of logic to bear.

Remember more details.

In short, to be smarter and better at whatever you do, adopt a systematic mental exercise regime.

The academic field focused on the mind is called neuroscience since it focuses on the brain neurons or nerve cells.

Prior to the 1960s, neuroscience held that intelligence is directly proportional to brain size in humans . . the larger the brain, the better. Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, academic studies have focused on the synapse . . the connection between nerve fibers. Studies have now shown that while the number of nerve cells may be fixed, the number of nerve synapses can be altered by experience, including mental exercise. Therefore, brain exercise can change and shape the ability to act.

Neuroscience next focused on whether intellectual abilities were hereditary or variable in response to external stimuli. Early studies favored the hereditary approach to IQ, but more recent studies have definitively established IQ is only about 25 - 49% based on genetic factors and the balance on other factors such as nutrition, alcohol, drugs and the quantity of information flow.

Neuroscientists have now learned that the same proteins used in muscle exercise . . actin and myosin . . are used by brain cells when they communicate. Further, calcium, sodium and chemical energy which are used in muscle exercise are also used in mental exercise. In other words, brain cells use the same physical processes as muscle cells . . and therefore, they adapt in response to exercise the same ways muscles respond.

Brain function can be divided into five main categories:

1. Language skills.

This area includes verbal and written communication skills, meaning of words, clarity of expression, vocabulary.

2. Spatial ability.

Incorporates the ability to comprehend, move within and perform specific tasks in the physical world. The basic motor skills.

3. Logic.

The ability to think things through to their natural conclusions, as well as the ability to analytically predict the future based on present or past experiences.

4. Memory.

The capacity to recall past events in various levels of detail and complexity.

5. Creativity.

The power to see things in an unusual way or to make unexpected combinations of conventional elements.