Brain Power ~ Use it or Lose it


Although it’s disputed by many neuroscientists, it’s widely believed in psychology circles that we only use about 10% of our brain’s capacity in a lifetime and I’ve often wondered, if this is so, whether we were designed to live forever or at least for a very lot longer than we do now. If not, then why are we equipped with such a vast and complex organ of which we use just a small part? Surely, we are designed to utilise the whole of our brain and surely this would take a lot longer than the average 80 years of life that we do get. The neuroscientists who dispute the theory that we only use a fraction of our brain, say that we do use all parts of our brain but not all of the time; they explain that the 10% theory is a misinterpretation of the suggestion that we only use 10% of our nerves cells at any one time. I’m not sure. I find it easy to believe that we don’t actually use our brain to its full capacity but it makes absolute sense that we “use it or lose it”.

An interesting aspect of brain capability is looking at how memory-improving strategies work. And not just for study, exams, work etc. They’re useful for day to day functioning. Linking and association techniques can help us to remember names, lists and so on. One tactic I’ve used now and then to help me remember something (and no sniggering please) is, if I’ve gone off to bed at night and then remembered something that I must do the following day – say for instance, I need to post a letter which has been stuck in my bag for days. Before I go to sleep I will visualise my bag as being a giant dayglo green envelope or something equally ridiculous. I will put this image deep into my mind a few times then fall asleep assured that I will remember my letter because every time I pick my bag up the following day, I will remember the green envelope which will act as a memory prompt to post my letter. Sounds stupid but it’s a credible and highly recommended memory aid. (Will probably have insane dreams about giant green envelopes haunting you all night but you’ll remember to post the letter). But I really should use memory training techniques a lot more to sharpen my mind…I regularly get my own children’s names mixed up!

Point is, not many people go to the bother of practising mind exercises which really do keep our brain cells stimulated and our synapses sharpened. So how much of our brain are we leaving un-utilised? How much potential are we failing to realise?

I suppose our brains are a bit like a hard-drive but I’ve heard it said that the brain is actually far superior to a computer. For example, think of when we try to cross a very busy road…all the details we have to absorb in order to correctly judge the speed and distance of the traffic both ways and then negotiate the crossing. Sounds simple. We do it many times. But it’s actually a very complex manoeuvre and one that would make even the most sophisticated computer system blow a gasket or two.

Apparently, we remember everything. We remember everything and we record everything but the less we use all our stored information, the deeper it gets buried , thus making it harder to recall. This tends to have a reverse effect as we age because the elderly can remember in great detail things that happened in their life years ago, whilst forgetting recent day to day information.

The saying, "my life flashed before me" a saying often cried after an event of a near-death fight is based on the belief that this really does occur and goes some way to illustrating that we do store everything. It's said that just before death or in near-death situations, people do see images of their life flash across like a video of their life. I know someone who was in a road accident. He was on a bicycle and was hit by a car. He was very seriously injured but did thankfully make a full recovery. He claims that memories of his life literally came into his brain at the point when he realised the car was about to hit him. He said it all happened in a flash but hundreds of memories came flooding into his mind.

Moving along, are there parts of the brain that are untapped because we’ve lost touch with our inner selves? We no longer depend on all our senses like our ancestors needed to in order to survive so perhaps the areas of the brain that long ago recieved the necessary messages and re-directed them have diminished through lack of stimulus. Maybe we have or had more than five senses but they’ve been buried deep through lack of use. Thinking about the possible psychic abilities of our brains. Well, if we can listen to our radios and talk on the telephone a million miles apart via radio waves and so on, then why can’t we tune into each others brain waves? We probably actually do tune into each other more than we realise. For instance, when our phones go off we all try to guess who it is phoning or texting and quite often, the first person we think of is the one calling, even when we’ve not heard from that person for quite some time. I do this a lot.

There are millions of talents and gifts that are un-tapped…undiscovered. Yes, every generation has its artistic or academic genius but maybe we all have potential if we only knew how to tap into it or if we really exercised our brain instead of neglecting it.

Think about it.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by clare on April 8, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    Are you on summat????

    Reply

  2. It’s the Omega 3 oils…. they’re not working for me. 😦

    Reply

  3. Posted by clare on April 8, 2006 at 9:28 pm

    May I suggest fluoxetine hydrochloride…..?

    Reply

  4. Noooo you may not. I’m not going near the “happy pill”. I’ve seen what it does to desperate housewives everywhere.

    Reply

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