The brain is a fascinating organ, from which every day new data are known. Thanks to advances in micromanaging techniques, today we know that there are many situations that change the brain and potentiate it or make it deteriorate.
The interesting thing about knowing those situations that change it is that it allows adjusting the lifestyle. Some habits make you smarter, while others only hurt you. This is a guide for you to be able to distinguish one from the other.
“Neuroscience is, by far, the most exciting branch of science, because the brain is the most fascinating object in the universe. Each human brain is different, the brain makes each human being unique and defines who he is. “
1. Reading novels
It seems incredible, but reading novels is one of the situations that change the brain. In fact, an investigation by the Emory University of Atlanta (Georgia, USA) established that the reading of a novel changes the connectivity of the brain.
2. Sleeping badly
Sleeping badly is another of the situations that change the brain. In the School of Medicine of the University of Harvard (USA), they were able to verify that spending more than three days sleeping only four hours a night, leads to the death of some neurons.
Likewise, lack of sleep affects the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure that acts as the center of emotional control. Therefore, not sleeping well causes a person to have their emotions affected as well. Basically, he is more irritable, intolerant and pessimistic.
3. Physical pain
The physical pain generates important changes in the brain, which often last, even after having overcome the ailment. A study by Northwestern University found that pain of more than six months causes structural changes.
The most significant changes were observed in the hippo campus, a grey matter structure that is related to learning and memory. This not only affects the intellectual functions but also affects the control of emotions.
4. Learn something new
Learning something new generates changes in our neural connections. By acquiring knowledge that was not previously available, various areas of the brain enter into action. In that process, called myelination, nerve impulses begin to travel faster and this increases neuronal activity.
Research conducted at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) found that the white matter of the brain is increased by up to 5% when juggling.
In the study, we worked with 24 volunteers, who juggled balls for 30 minutes a day. After a while, all of them had changes in it. Particularly his peripheral vision and speed of stimulation capture increased.
6. Accumulate fat
Accumulating fat is another of those situations that change the brain in a negative way. Paul Thompson is a researcher at the University of California and after several kinds of research concluded that obesity reduces the size of the brain in the elderly.
From a certain age, overweight people have a brain that looks 16 years older than they should have because of their chronological age. The fat usually clogs the arteries and this affects so that less oxygen reaches the brain.
7. The meditation
There are many studies that prove the excellent effect that meditation has on brain functioning. In fact, an investigation by Dr Sara Lazer, an expert from Massachusetts General Hospital (USA), proved that half an hour of meditation, during eight weeks, produces lasting changes in the brain.
What clinical trials have shown is that meditation increases the density of grey matter in the hippo campus and other areas. In addition, the effect is a greater capacity for learning, less stress, greater awareness and capacity for introspection, among others.
In summary, it is important that you be aware of the situations that change your brain, both for good and for bad. Basically, it is what we are and its essential function depends on our life.