MindScape Expands Your Neural Network

Jul 09, 2010

By Submitted by Andrea Carter, Certified MindScape & BodyTalk Instructor, Calgary, Canda

Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise.

The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by…

disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.

Throughout life, your neural networks reorganize and reinforce themselves in response to new stimuli and learning experiences. This body-mind interaction is what stimulates brain cells to grow and connect with each other in complex ways. They do so by extending branches of intricate nerve fibers called dendrites (from the Latin word for "tree"). These are the antennas through which neurons receive communication from each other.

A healthy, well-functioning neuron can be directly linked to tens of thousands of other neurons, creating a totality of more than a hundred trillion connections – each capable of performing 200 calculations per second! This is the structural basis of your brain's memory capacity and thinking ability.
As a product of its environment, your "three pound universe" is essentially an internal map that reflects your external world.

When we are young the world seems filled with curious wonders, delightful discoveries, and daunting challenges. Our brains are taking in countless bits of information and we are developing lifetime skills. This burst of learning is like the brain Olympics of our human journey. Yet unlike the Olympic athletes who have a limited time to demonstrate their peak performance, the human brain can continue to grow and improve with exercise.

Research on the physical results of thinking has shown that just using the brain actually increases the number of dendritic branches that interconnect brain cells. The more we think, the better our brains function – regardless of age. The renowned brain researcher Dr. Marian Diamond says, "The nervous system possesses not just a 'morning' of plasticity, but an 'afternoon' and an 'evening' as well."
Dr. Diamond found that whether we are young or old, we can continue to learn. The brain can change at any age. A dendrite grows much like a tree – from trunk to limbs to branches to twigs – in an array of ever finer complexity.

In fact, older brains may have an advantage. She discovered that more highly developed neurons respond even better to intellectual enrichment than less developed ones do. The greatest increase in dendritic length occurred in the outermost dendritic branches, as a reaction to new information.

As she poetically describes it: "We began with a nerve cell, which starts in the embryo as just a sort of sphere. It sends its first branch out to overcome ignorance. As it reaches out, it is gathering knowledge and it is becoming creative. Then we become a little more idealistic, generous, and altruistic; but it is our six-sided dendrites which give us wisdom."

Contrary to popular myth, you do not lose mass quantities of brains cells as you get older. “There isn’t much difference between a 25-year old brain and a 75-year old brain,” says Dr. Monte S. Buchsbaum, who has scanned a lot of brains as director of the Neuroscience PET Laboratory at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Cognitive decline is not inevitable. When 6,000 older people were given mental tests throughout a ten-year period, almost 70% continued to maintain their brain power as they aged.

MindScape is a course that teaches individuals through experiences to engage the mind, while engaging all senses. The experience of learning how to engage your mind and brain simultaneously is a key element in decreasing the amount of cognitive decline experienced in today's society. The course will teach you how to engage mental activities, enable you to access areas that have not been exercised effectively, as well as teach you how vast your mind can be. The average person uses only 5% of their brain's capacity, what do you think you could do if you learned how to engage more? Learning the techniques is the first step, then you have the rest of your life to improve upon it!

For more information or details on courses please click on the links below. Get your mind engaged and see what you can change – health, direction in life, an easier way of thinking – all are possible once you learn how to engage your brain!

Andrea Carter, Certified MindScape Instructor, continues to research the newest scientific evidence and adds it to her classes. Andrea also has monthly telecalls for all her students to participate in and stay engaged in the MindScape energy. Calls are typically 45 minutes in length and have approximately 200-250 participants on the line. They are incredible to experience as the energy of the call is amplified by all of the participants. Contact Andrea to be able to access these calls, audit the course with Andrea or take the MindScape initially with her!

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