"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gray Matter and Genes vs Environment

Watching the PBS Special The Brain Fitness Program

recently about recent discoveries in neuroscience about keeping the brain agile and fit, among the many importants points the show made were:

  • the adult brain can in fact change its structure and function in a significant way, even after the age of 60
  • there are two factors: genetics (or family history), and environment. The relationship between those two: genetics and environment, dictate the degree of gray matter loss. There is not much we can do about the former, but we can be proactive about our brain's environment. We can exercise it. Being active about exercising our brain is just as important for the fitness of our brain, as is being active about exercising our bodies ... see also today's article in Exercise staves off age-related brain changes in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine that states "Regular exercise increases cerebral blood flow and helps to stave off age-related brain changes"

  • the brain is not hard-wired in childhood

  • we are not doomed by our DNA

  • the brain is flexible and plastic (remember the term neuro-plasticity) throughout our lifespan

  • the brain can frequently heal itself (see also Dr. Norman Doidge, in previous posts on this blog)

These and many other questions and issues and new discoveries on the leading edge of neuroscience are grappled with in this fascinating video. Take the time to watch it in its entirety, and not only the ten minutes that I have posted here.

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