Let’s face it, we’re all growing older every day. If you’re over 30, Scientists say the number of brain cells you have are starting to decline. But, they also say that based on a physical behavior called neuroplasticity, our brain can grow new brain cells throughout our lives, regardless of age. The key, they say, is to continually be challenging our brains. It’s this challenge that causes the growth. Therefore, it is possible to reverse the mental decline normally brought on as we age.
Now, lets take the neuroplasticity concept one step further..
If we were to be regularly challenging our brain, our brain would respond in turn by growing new brain cells and new brain connections. By continuing this habit over time, we not only could reverse the brain-age decline normally associated with growing old, but we could actually be building what’s called a “cognitive reserve”.
This so called cognitive reserve, or brain-buffer, can help protect us against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In fact, studies such as the Nun Study have shown that even if we do contract the markers of Alzheimer’s, our cognitive reserve can help us compensate.
Nun Study Video:
So how do we go about building our brain-buffer? Well, Alvaro Fernandez tells us how via the four pillars of brain health. To learn more about these four pillars, click here.
How big is your brain-buffer? Why not increase it’s size by playing some free online brain games? Check out our list of free online brain games by clicking here.
Alvaro Fernandez shows recent findings in neuroscience that support lifelong neuroplasticity and cognitive reserve.
Duration : 0:5:43
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Scientists, with the help of Buddhist monks are unlocking mysteries of the brain. An interesting reports about brain plasticity and the effect of meditation on brain and emotions. Apr 8, 2008. Original video from : http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4846933362481486227
Duration : 0:10:0
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Scientists have shown that our brains can change throughout our lives. This ability to change is what scientists call neuroplasticity. It is in fact the basis for all learning.
Over on the Sharp Brains website, Dr. Pascale Michelon writes that neuroplasticity occurs in the brain:
1- At the beginning of life: when the immature brain organizes itself.
2- In case of brain injury: to compensate for lost functions or maximize remaining functions.
3- Through adulthood: whenever something new is learned and memorized
So, what does this mean to me? It means I don’t necessarily have to let my advancing age (over 30) negatively impact my brain function. In fact, via my brains neuroplasticity, my brain can continue to develop, grow new brain cells, and make new brain connections throughout my life. What’s needed in order for me to do this is to stimulate my brain with something new and challenging on a regular basis.
With respect to online brain games, playing challenging games can help improve many cognitive functions. Through mentally challenging activities we can train and improve memory, processing speed, decision making, alertness, periphery vision, etc. The key in playing brain games is to be continually challenged. Playing the same game at the same level eventually loses its ability to challenge me, and thus loses its benefit from the perspective of growing and improving brain functions.
Here at the online brain games blog site we have many online brain games to continually keep you challenged. So go play some free online brain games today and grow some new neurons!