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Saturday, March 21, 2009

If I Only Had a Brain

A UCLA study in the Journal of Neuroscience has found that the smarter the person, the faster information zips around the brain And this ability to think quickly apparently is inherited. But, the good news for people who have not inherited "fast brains" is that thinking makes the brain stronger and faster by working it out, much like running or weightlifting strengthens the body. The brain is like a muscle. Richard Haier Ph.D., says: "The more you work it, the more efficient it gets." So, people who practice an instrument, or do math problems, or learn a foreign language are strengthening certain pathways in their brains. The "wires" between the brain cells seem to be what is actually made stronger with such mental exercise. And the research also reports that brains, unlike bodies, actually peak late in life (40's-50's-60's). In another brain study from the University of Pittsburgh, the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that female brain cells exhibited less signs of breakdown than male cells after nutrient deprivation. In other words, female neurons are more able to survive starvation than male neurons. I think this may be the reason males are always hungry and ready for the dinner table. For men, any sign of hunger threatens survival. Of course, this research would also explain why Adam's first words to Eve were, "What's for dinner, honey?" As for the "faster brain" research, the older I get, the more my brain seems to slow down. Maybe I need more brain exercise to have a nice peak somewhere in my 60's. But at 58, I feel I may have already peaked and then some.
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