Use it or lose it
12th February, 20140 Comments
Written by: I-Lan Hamilton - ilancoaching
“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing”~ Albert Einstein.
Recently I attended a training day to learn more about Neuroscience, a fascinating and vast area looking at the science behind how different parts of our brains work and interact and its impact on our learning, behaviour and cognitive functions.
What became clear is that the more we understand about how our brain works, the more able we are to optimise its performance by creating the best conditions for it to develop. Neuroscience wonderfully supports the work I do in coaching and personal development, by revealing clear scientific evidence to explain why the tools, strategies and approach found in a good coaching relationship are so effective.
There is much to gain from this immense subject area, but a key message I wanted to share with you today is the truth behind the phrase ‘Use it or Lose it’.
Neurons (nerve cells) are the building blocks of the brain.
Each brain cell (neuron) has receptive branches (dendrites), which are extensions like arms that connect to other neurons and so on to form a network of pathways.
These pathways are formed through brain activity; when you think you spark an impulse in the centre of the brain cell, that travels out along the dendrite arms seeking to make a connection with another arm, so that your thought can spread to form a pattern of understanding, a train of thought.
These pathways grow in number the more you use your brain, and decrease in number with disuse, the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ definitely applies to this process.
It is true that there are periods in life where the development of pathways are most fertile such as the first 10 years, and then from puberty to your early 20’s, but it is also true that even at a very old age we can create new pathways as long as we are enriching our mind. Naturally we are all different, and the range of inspiring and challenging activities for us individually will be endless. Whether you enjoy research or problem solving, creative ideas or interacting physically with objects, what is important is your active engagement with your environment to ensure greater brain power, growth and learning.
One way to be certain of continued development is to stimulate and maintain curiosity throughout a lifetime!
With positivity and love,
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