Can You Retrain Your Brain?
The idea of being able to retrain your brain to make yourself smarter sounds amazing, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to do daily brain exercises that can boost your brain function and broaden your vocabulary. Maybe doing 100 crossword puzzles a day could turn you into the next Albert Einstein. Eat blueberries and you will become smarter than the next person who doesn’t eat blueberries. How about a good nights sleep or an extremely healthy diet? These are all theories or old wives tales that I have heard in the past about becoming smarter. But the real question is: Can we retrain our brains and what will make us smarter?
According to Begely, (2011) “ A 2010 evaluation of purported ways to maintain or improve cognitive function, conducted for the National Institutes of Health, shows how many if the claims for cognitive enhancers are as sketchy as a Wild West poker player with a fifth ace up his sleeve. Vitamins B6, B12, and E; beta carotene; folic acid; and the trendy antioxidants called flavenoids are all busts, and the evidence for alcohol, omega-3’s (the fatty acid in fish), or having a large social network is weak.” So all these drinks, foods and vitamins out on the market that claim to make you smarter are all useless. As far as crossword puzzles go, they are also a no go in the “building a smarter brain” area. “The rules that “neurons that fire together, wire together” Suggest that cognitive training should boost mental prowess. Studies are finding just that, but with a crucial caveat. Training your memory, reasoning, or speed of processing improves that skill found a larger government sponsored study called Active. Unfortunately, there is no transfer: improving processing speed does not improve memory, and improving memory does not improve reasoning. Similarly, doing crossword puzzles will improve your ability to do what? Crossword puzzles” (Begley, 2011). According to Fox (2011) “Human intelligence may be close...