ADULT BRAIN CAN ALSO GROW

Researches and researchers had believed that the physical brain size – number of brain cells, weight etc. is based on heredity. New experiments have now proved that external stimulation of brain or “enriched environments” can significantly increase the brain size, size of neurons, and number of certain cells.In one such experiment, rats were divided into three group. Group 1 was kept in ordinary cages. Group 2 was kept in cages that had less sound and less light called “poor environment”. Group 3 was kept in cages that had games, challenges etc. called “rich environment”. Many experiments gave these results–in all cases the rats raised in enriched environments showed

  • increased thickness of the cerebral cortex or “grey matter”·
  • 15% increase in the actual size of individual neurons (brain cells) in the cortex
  • increase in the protein in the brain proportional to the increase in the cortex weight, proving that the growth was on brain tissue rather just fluid content.
  • increase in the. dendrite branching. (Each brain cell connects with other brain cells by dendrites.)
  • increase in the number of dendritic spines per unit length of dendrite. (Dendritic spines are thousands of little projections covering the surface of dendrite.)

In other experiments, scientists discovered that rats that were raised in poor environment for long time, quickly developed intelligence when exposed to enriched environment. If rats were put in an environment that was too challenging and stressful, the rats did not show enrichment and they suffered mental problems

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People can become more intelligent with age: – Against the popular belief that intelligence decreases with age, it has now been proven that with proper nutrition, the brain does not loose cells but in fact keeps growing, resulting in more intelligence even after 70, 80 or 90 years of age.

Brain Waves, Brain States and Brain Chemicals: – When you drop a small stone in water, you see waves. Similarly, our heart and our brain have wave patterns. The wave pattern of the heart is measured by ECT (electrocardiograph). The brain waves are measured by EEG (electro encephalograph).

Using the brain wave studies, scientists have discovered that our brain waves are of four types. The brain waves also have peaks which are similar to the peaks we see in water waves. The number of times the peak appears in one second is called “cycles”. For example, the electricity in India is of 50 cycles per second.

BETA (13 to 25 cycles per second). This brain wave indicates that your conscious mind is in control. It indicates logical thought, analysis, and action. You are alert and awake talking, speaking, doing, solving problems, etc.

ALPHA (8 to 12 cycles per second). This brain wave indicates relaxation and meditation. It is a state of relaxed alertness good for inspiration, learning facts fast.

THETA (4-8 cycles per second) Deep meditation. This is associated with life-like imagination. This is best for suggestibility and inspiration. This brain wave is dominant in children of age 2-5.

DELTA (0.5 TO 4 cycles per second) Deep dreamless sleep. Deep relaxation.

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