a ceiling fixture is installed

Learning Something New Makes You Smarter

31 Days of Resolutions – Day 14

The cat’s out of the bag – learning new things doesn’t just occupy your free time during this pandemic, it also makes you smarter.

Studies have shown that primates develop new neural patterns as they learn new skills. Think of this as making new links between brain cells, and you get the picture. 

Your Brain Has Limits

There are some caveats.

The researchers noted that the new skill should be taught over time.  Learning a skill in one day did not result in the same connections being formed as resulted in learning over a series of days.

Their hypothesis is that the brain’s capacity to learn in a single day is limited. This seems to be confirmed by a research study out of Caltech.

Also, this research focused on the primate learning to align a cursor with targets on a screen. The manual aspect of the skill is important to the brain effects.

This jives with studies showing that brain-training tasks learned online (for example, memory tasks) did not transfer to other similar brain tasks. 

Brain Boosters

What does it mean for those of us who want to expand or preserve the brainpower we’ve got?

First, don’t rely on online brain-booster programs to actually boost your brain.

Second, learn to do something new that you can sustain over time and involves using your hands. Make it something you enjoy or that you get satisfaction from so that you keep doing it.

Learning how to complete home projects is good for your brain and your home’s value.

Crafts, home projects, hobbies, or games that involve manipulating game pieces come to mind.

Sounds like the perfect cure for Covid boredom, right?

Finally, don’t forget to exercise. We have known for a while now that physical exercise makes your brain grow.

So if you are dragging a bit during this winter weather, boost your mind by incorporating some exercise and an enjoyable, new hobby into your daily routine.

That way, you can show everyone just how smart you really are!

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