You are the master of your brain

July 12, 2011barnali 227 Comments »

Nothing is impossible. The book I am reading right now;” The Brain that Changes Itself” is surely life-changing .Each chapter describes the power of the brain as experienced by people of different walks of life  . I am astounded all over again by the possibilities of this 3 lb mass sitting inside our skull. Its been a decade since scientists have found out that the brain is not ‘set in stone’ after all. And much more. Nothing is as ‘hardwired’ as it was thought to be.

Just the will to do it goes a long way in achieving almost anything under the sun (maybe beyond too !) Look up ‘ Barbara Arrowsmith Young ‘ if you dont know already who she is. To be concise, she has lived all her childhood and early youth with severe learning disabilty . She could not distinguish between ‘son’s father’ and ‘father’s son’. Today, she is the founder of a leading school chain which treats children and adults with cognitive impairments. Her path connecting her past and present is an overwhelming story of determination, will and of course, magic of the brain.

Lets put it simply,sans the neuroscientific jargon. There is nothing ‘fixed’ in this organ. It is ‘plastic’. It can change the way we want it to. Each action or task or thought is processed by the brain in different areas. In other words, each brain area represents all our actions and thinking processes. For eg, when we are on a task involving memory, the hippocampus gets to work. The brain follows the elementary rule of ‘use it or lose it’, which in essence is, the brain areas used most get stronger and those rarely used get weaker. If a pianist decides to forgo his art, his brain area responsible for those music and fine motor skills might even shrink in course of time. On the contrary, If someone decides to make piano his living, the practice and the effort makes the causative brain areas to get stronger by the day making him/her a better pianist in due time.

Most limitations of mind and psyche can be overcome, according to neuroscientists of this era. “You can be what you want to be” is not just a saying any more. If someone wishes to improve on basic skills like reading, writing, speaking or memorizing, one can work with a neuro-therapist to identify the brain ‘exercises’ he would need. Its just like working on toning specific muscles in a gym.

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