Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dendrite Growth and the Internet

ACTIVATE: With these blogs and my upcoming manual for brain health, I want to help you understand how much you can do – and how fun and satisfying it can be – to keep your brain in a generative state throughout your entire life. To Activate is to trigger your neurons to grow. Until less than twenty years ago, it was thought that this was not even possible. Now we know the brain responds to certain kinds of demands by growing dendrites. This activity can offset other effects of aging, such as the decrease in the neurotransmitters necessary for thought – a cognitive decline which actually begins around the age of 25!

When you reach for understanding, such as learning a new language, a new instrument, or switching from PC to Mac (who’s doing that?!!) – you trigger dendrite growth. Reaching for connection in your community is another excellent way to generate more brain power.

Computer software programs, and the exponentially increasing forms of connection on the internet, are similar to our brain’s “outreach.” The unrelenting demand by consumers for more connectivity, more flexibility, more innovation, more accessibility, and more novelty are precisely the kinds of demands we can make on our brains in order to keep those dendrites expanding in complexity and length.

What would you like to reach for in your life?

Be well,

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