Modern Science Is Teaching Us That The Brain Is Not Static It Changes Every Day And You Can Be The One Directing That Change
It might seem like a weird question, but how much time do you give your brain a fair consideration? Do you stop to marvel at its supreme cleverness and incredible power? That it’s a giant electrical muscle controlling your entire body? Or at the minimum, check in and give your brain a spring-cleaning and an occasional refurbish?
If you’re like most people, your answer is probably a ‘no’. Your brain’s working overtime for you, and you barely give it a thought.
Most of us rarely think to invest in a bit of brain-training now and then. For a long time, scientists thought we were trapped with the brain we were given. Thankfully for us, that theory went out the window with the advent of a new theory.
Enter neuroplasticity–the theory that has proven one extremely amazing fact: Our brains have the ability to change. It means that if you aren’t that smart in one area, that’s totally fine! You possess the option to “change” that region of the brain via a bit of training. One simple way to think about it is just like this:
The brain is a muscle. It requires regular exercise.
The thrilling thing is that you do not have to be a millionaire to boost your brain power, nor do you have to go back to school or invest in expensive technology. All you need is to invest a bit of time to consistently train the brain. With that in mind, here are seven simple methods to boost your brain capacity and improve intelligence.
Are You Ready For Tech That Connects To Your Brain
Imagine having telepathic conversations with loved ones, instantaneously accessing superhuman computational power, playing back memories and dreams, or immersing yourself and every sense you possess into a virtual entertainment experience. In the distant future, if brain-computer interfaces are successful at reading and writing information to the brain, and if humans adapt to the technology, we could experience some pretty amazing scenarios. But, there are many outstanding questions for how we could ensure a bright future: Who will own the data generated by our brains? Will brain data be bought and sold by data brokers like other personal information today? Will people be forced to use certain BCIs that surveil their brain activity ? Will BCIs put peoples brains at risk of being hacked? As with all new technology, more of these philosophical questions will need to be investigated and answered before there is widespread adoption and use of BCIs in the future.
BCIs can connect to a humans brain either internally or externally. They read the brain activity and process the activity into information, and can also communicate information back to the brain. BCIs have the potential to amplify human intelligence to superhuman levels, which is exciting for technologists and entrepreneurs, but begs the question: Are we, our businesses, and our technological systems ready for this change?
More On How To Train Your Brain
Do you ever feel like your brain can function better than it is currently? Have you ever had moments of laser sharp focus and wished they stayed with you forever?
We have all had those moments where we found ourselves being super productive and having lengthened periods of concentration and focused attention, and if there was a way we could make such kind of mental state a permanent state for us, we would definitely go for it.
And while we cannot make the state come back and stick with us forever in just an instant, there is a way we can slowly cultivate it in our lives in the long term.
One of these ways is by being keen on eating brain boosting foods. Some foods enhance the regions of the brain that are linked to concentration, focus, reasoning, thinking abilities, and overall brain health. By eating these foods regularly, you can also improve your brain function and slowly work to a healthy and well performing brain.
Lets take a closer look at the 12 best brain foods to take to boost your focus and overall mental health.
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Tip : Identify And Treat Health Problems
Do you feel that your memory has taken an unexplainable dip? If so, there may be a health or lifestyle problem to blame.
Its not just dementia or Alzheimers disease that causes memory loss. There are many diseases, mental health disorders, and medications that can interfere with memory:
Heart disease and its risk factors. Cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, have been linked to mild cognitive impairment.
Four: Use Caffeine Properly
This is the hack most closely related to the drug NZT in Limitless.
Most of us use caffeine to wake us up after a late night and early morning. Just think of how many Facebook messages you see from friends that say something along the lines of dont talk to me yet, I havent had my caffeine.
Its true: when we become addicted to caffeine , its effectiveness is severely diminished, and we have to use caffeine to get us up to our normal baseline. Without it, we are distant, irritable, and awkward.
Instead, try aiming to use caffeine for bouts of hyper-focused activity.
As we point out in our Guide to Caffeine, we need to closely manage our tolerance to caffeine. Personally, I try not to have it every day, and oftentimes take a week or two off from consuming it at all. Then, when I need to get hyper-focused and accomplish a ton of writing , black coffee, green tea, or Yerba Mate tea is enough to get my brain focused on the task at hand Its now 3pm and Ive been writing since 8AM!
caffeine can significantly affect cognitive performance, mood and thirst at doses within and even lower than the range of amounts of caffeine contained in a single serving of popular caffeine-containing drinks.
I actually wrote this article following the exact principles laid out above:
I now lay down a challenge for you:
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Ten Percent Of The Brain Myth
The 10 percent of the brain myth asserts that humans generally use only 10 percent of their brains. It has been misattributed to many celebrated people, notably Albert Einstein. By extrapolation, it is suggested that a person may harness this unused potential and increase intelligence.
Changes in grey and white matter following new experiences and learning have been shown, but it has not yet been proven what the changes are. The popular notion that large parts of the brain remain unused, and could subsequently be “activated”, rests in folklore and not science. Though specific mechanisms regarding brain function remain to be fully describede.g. memory, consciousnessthe physiology of brain mapping suggests that all areas of the brain have a function and that they are used nearly all the time.
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Is It True That You Get New Brain Wrinkles When You Learn Something
Not all brains are wrinkled. In fact, most animals have fairly smooth brains. Some exceptions are primates, dolphins, elephants, and pigs, which also happen to be some of the more intelligent animals.
The human brain is exceptionally wrinkled. Thats probably why people conclude that we gain more wrinkles as we learn new things. But thats not how we acquire brain wrinkles.
Your brain starts developing wrinkles before youre even born. The wrinkling continues as your brain grows, until youre about 18 months old.
Think of the wrinkles as folds. The crevices are called sulci and the raised areas are called gyri. The folds allow room for more gray matter inside your skull. It also decreases wiring length and improves overall cognitive functioning.
Human brains vary quite a bit, but theres still a typical pattern to brain folds. Research shows that not having the major folds in the right places could cause some dysfunction.
- motivate you to do things you probably wanted to do anyway
Learning entirely new things is far more complicated.
Say youve been studying a foreign language. Theres only a small chance that listening to vocabulary words in your sleep can help you remember them a bit better. A 2015 study found that this is true only under the best of circumstances. The researchers noted that you cant learn new things during your sleep.
How To Become Limitless
The point of becoming Limitless is to completely satisfy our curiosity and accomplish all of the things we hope to cross off our list:
If we want to read more often, we can fly through books at a rapid pace while retaining all of the knowledge required.
If we want to write a book, it can be done in a matter of days or weeks, instead of years .
If we want to learn a language, within a few weeks we can speak the language and interact with native speakers. No need for years and years of studying
If we want to get in better shape, we can do so in an efficient way, without spending hours on a treadmill struggle to see results.
Im sure if you have a bucket list like I do your goals probably revolve around some variation of the above.
So, how can we start accomplishing more and sucking less?
It comes down to a few key things:
- The ability to retain more information.
- The ability to spend more time learning.
- Making the time you spend learning be more efficient.
- The ability to learn lots of different things quickly.
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What Would Happen If We Could Use 100 Percent Of Our Brain
The idea that we only use 10 percent of our brains is a pernicious myth. The brain is always active. It makes a bit more sense to say that we use 100 percent of the brain all the time, but even this is misleading. Both the 10 percent or 100 percent estimates are not even wrong.
Brain function depends on qualitatively different patterns of activity, rather than quantities of activity. These patterns change depending on what you are doing, so some neurons or groups of neurons become active when others become inactive. Activating all neurons world be like pushing the break and the accelerator of a car at the same time – not a very good idea.
It can actually be dangerous if too many excitatory neurons become active simultaneously. Hyperactivity of groups of neurons is associated with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. When people say “you are only using a fraction of your brain” they are giving a pseudoscientific veneer to a piece of age-old folk knowledge: The perfectly reasonable idea that we are not realizing our full potential as people.
But improving our thoughts and behavior is not a matter of amplifying neural activity. Instead, it is about creating new and beneficial behavioral patterns, which correlate with altered neural activity patterns. So if you want to explore what else you are capable of just look around at people who have changed their habits.
Two: Seek Out Incredible Thinkers
If you want to know how to use more of your brain, you really can just let it rub off on you.
We know that people learn by modeling others, so one of the easiest and fastest activities for stimulating mental expansion is simply to be around great thinkers.
Now, do you really have to be in the same room?
Yes and no. Obviously, listening to podcasts and watching videos of great debates can play a role.
But Im pretty confident youll pick up more thinking skills when youre together with people who regularly use more of their minds.
- Going to a memory competition
- Hanging out with smart friends and family members
If you really cant find people offline, seek out online discussion groups and forums where people demonstrate their expertise.
It can take some time to find the right mix, but its worth the search. The search itself should expand your mind too.
Just keep this principle in mind:
If youre the smartest person in the room, its probably the wrong room.
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The Magic Of Upwiring
A well-established law in biology states that it’s impossible for living organisms to stay the same — we’re always either rising and growing or we’re fading and falling. This law applies to our brains as well. Each one of our 100 billion neurons is faced with a choice to grow or die. This result is phenomenon known as “livewiring.”
Cooper explains: “Every single day… every one of your neurons is remaking you – you’re reforming the structure and function of your entire nervous system in real time. That’s livewiring.”
For Cooper and his colleagues, this begged the question: If we’re always remaking our brains in real time, in which direction? Are we crafting better brains or worse ones? Are we downwiring or upwiring?
Cooper and his colleagues discovered that with practice, we can harness the livewiring phenomenon in a directed, purposeful way. The concept of upwiring was born.
Sounds simple enough. But how exactly do you go from awareness to action? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Here’s how to do it:
How Do Bcis Benefit Us
BCIs fall into two categories: invasive and non-invasive. Invasive BCIs are implanted into the brain and connect tiny electrodes to neurons to measure their activity. Invasive BCIs, like Neuralink, require brain surgery doctors drilling into the skull to implant the device and high-precision surgery robots to correctly attach the microscopic electrodes to neurons. Invasive BCIs capture better data and can be implanted in various regions of the brain. Invasive BCIs have been effective in treating spinal cord injuries, controlling prosthetic limbs, and treating depression. Non-invasive BCIs require no surgery, but depend on noisier signals from electroencephalogram and infrared devices worn on the head. AI is used to isolate the brain signals that the BCI devices capture, as well as synthesize signals back into the brain.
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One: Juggling With Added Challenges
Hang on, you might be thinking.
Well, yes. It expands your mind for quite a few reasons.
Research shows that it:
- Improves memory
- Improves oxygen and blood flow or improvement cognition
To get all the research in one highly readable account, check out The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture by neurologist Frank R. Wilson.
To take your juggling to the next level, include other skills, such as reciting from memory. I share how I learned to do this here:
To get started, get yourself some suitable balls and make it simple. Add one level of complexity at a time.
When youre ready to supplement juggling with memorized material, I suggest you start with a song you already know.
Then increase the challenge by reciting new content youve only recently memorized. You can also juggle while completing many of these powerful brain exercises.
Practice at least four times a week for best results.
/7learn To Play A Music Instrument
Singing or learning to play a new instrument requires both logical attention and an intuitive feel for the music. Even listening to a new type of music is considered good for the right side of the brain. Playing music, in fact, is an excellent great whole-brain exercise. It stimulates the auditory cortex of the right cerebral hemispheres and increases creativity.
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The 5 Types Of Brainwaves
Now heres where it gets fun: Brainwaves are grouped into five distinct categories, each of which is associated with a very specific type of task and mental state.
The most high-frequencyand, some may say, high-vibeof the bunch are gamma waves. Gamma waves are often associated with insight, peak focus, and expanded consciousness, says Winters. These waves are generated when the brain is learning new information, sharply concentrating, or storing memories. She adds that this hyper-focused, tranquil attention is characteristic of Zen meditators and master musicians.
A step down are beta waves, which is what most of us experience most of the time in our always-on society. Their upside is that they allow us to concentrate hard on tasks at handand theyre critical when we read, write, and socialize, says Winters. The downside of beta waves is that they can zap our energy and reduce emotional awareness and creativity.
Once we get home at the end of the day, if we’re lucky, we shift into a relaxed, reflective alpha wave pattern. If you daydream, wind down for bed, or sit down with a good book, your brain is likely in an alpha state, says Winters. On the other hand, if your brain has trouble shifting from beta to alphaa stress-induced phenomenon called alpha blockingyou could suffer from insomnia, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms, says Winters.
Seven: Learn Ars Combinatoria
Ars combinatoria is a big topic, but here are the broad strokes:
Basically, you create a Memory Wheel. On this wheel, you place individual letters. These letters represent larger concepts.
For example, if you want to remember how to act in certain situations, you would place letters on your Memory Wheel to remember those actions.
Instead of arguing, for example, you might choose to:
S: Say nothing
T: Take a deep breath
O: Open the dialog with a new question after suggesting a quick
Now, you might be thinking
Hang on! Learning acronyms sounds like limiting the mind, not expanding it.
I understand the objection, but in this case, nothing could be further from the truth.
Sometimes by limiting ourselves to pre-memorized options, we wind up increasing our options. Then were able to learn more and enjoy the benefits of objective reasoning as a result.
Its a big topic and there are more ways to use this technique for expanding your mind. Learn more about ars combinatoria today.
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