Is your brain switched to autopilot? If you’ve hit age 25 or so, it probably is.
Time to start exercising.
The notion of fitness for the brain has arrived — via video games, Internet sites and best-selling puzzle books. The lexicon includes terms such as “neurobics” and “brain calisthenics.”
Brain training may be trendy, and some of it questionable in terms of effectiveness, but it’s not a hoax.
It stems from what science is discovering about “neuroplasticity.”
They know about neuroplasticity at serious places such as the Brain Fitness Center at St. Luke’s Hospital.
“For decades we thought that you couldn’t form new connections in the brain,” said Marilyn Rymer, director of St. Luke’s Brain and Stroke Institute.
Brain research based on magnetic resonance imaging and other technologies is showing otherwise.
“We know now the new connections can be formed,” Rymer said. “It’s analogous to building muscle in the gym. But you have to do things you’re not used to doing.”
Adults tend to settle into routines in almost every aspect of their lives, she said, from jobs and friends to exercise routines and hobbies. They don’t embark on much new learning.
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