Our brain is our strongest asset, but as we get older many people fall into the trap of thinking that it cannot be changed. Sometimes we blame our genetics for the shortages we are feeling, other times we blame our childhood for creating a learning gap.
But what if we told you that your brain can change, no matter how old you are?
Of course, it’s true that our genetics and our childhood have a massive impact on who we are, shaping our brains and our personalities. However, through targeted exercises and the power of neuroplasticity, we are able to change our brain by strengthening our cognitive ability.
With that in mind, in this blog we are going to take a look at what neuroplasticity is, how we can leverage it to strengthen our brains and why our brain’s plasticity can always be used to enhance our cognitive capabilities - no matter what our age is.
What is neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s plasticity, which is its ability to change its physical structure and its functional organization in response to training and new experiences.
It is the brain’s ability to strengthen existing connections and to form new neural connections throughout our lives. When we leverage our brain’s neuroplasticity to strengthen areas of weakness, we are able to fundamentally change the brain’s capacity to learn and function.
Why is neuroplasticity important?
In theory, neuroplasticity is neither good nor bad - it just means our brain can change and this can happen in either a positive or negative direction. Change is constantly occurring in all of our brains, no matter how old we are and no matter how we are using our brain. The important thing is, that we can use our brain’s neuroplasticity to enhance our functioning..
Every individual has a unique learning profile based on our own combination of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Our cognitive profile shapes all areas of our life, from how we learn academically, how we behave socially, how we perform in our professional lives, as well as how we feel emotionally.
Our cognitive capabilities impact all of our day-to-day tasks from memory, executive functioning, decision making, reasoning, language, math, art, writing, socializing, and many more.
Through the power of neuroplasticity, we all have the capacity to strengthen our cognitive functioning and enhance our brain’s ability to complete specific tasks. There are two ways we can control the neuroplastic effects on our brain.
Firstly, we can reduce factors that negatively impact neuroplasticity (such as chronic stress, prolonged anxiety, sleep deprivation or social isolation) and increase factors that positively impact neuroplasticity (such as self challenge, exercise, mindfulness, proper sleep and social interaction).
Secondly, we can strengthen our cognitive ability by using cognitive exercises and cognitive programming.
How Arrowsmith helps strengthen cognitive functions through the power of neuroplasticity
To leverage the power of neuroplasticity and improve the lives of both students and professionals alike, Arrowsmith has developed cognitive programs that develop the cognitive capabilities of our students.
Just like a bodybuilder would work out in the gym to slowly gain muscle over time, cognitive exercises work by strengthening our cognitive functions, enhancing our capacity to communicate, problem solving, reason, interact and organize ourselves.
We leverage the principles of neuroplasticity to strengthen our greatest asset - the brain.
Most importantly, neuroplasticity never stops
One of the most common questions we get here at Arrowsmith is when does neuroplasticity stop? The answer is never. For as long as we are alive our brain has plasticity, meaning it is constantly changing and adapting to new stimuli.
According to a study conducted in 2018, Aging and Brain Plasticity: “Practice leads to improvement in and refinement of performance on motor - or any other -tasks and this dynamic behavioral process is associated with altered brain activity, occurring in a similar manner in young and older adults. Besides functional brain changes, practice also induces structural changes, such as alterations in regional brain grey and white matter structures that are typically recruited during task performance.”
There is clear evidence for lifelong brain plasticity, and it’s now understood that the brain’s plasticity occurs for both the young and the old.
Arrowsmith is able to help you build a stronger brain through the power of neuroplasticity and cognitive programming. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our team of specialists today.
February 14, 2023