|Title: Build a Better Brain: Using Everyday Neuroscience to Train Your Brain for Motivation, Discipline, Courage, and Mental Sharpness|
Authors: Peter Hollins
Finished Date: 2019-04-20
Genres: Neuroscience, Neuroplasticity
Publishers: Independently published
Publication Date: 2019-01-19
Most of time, “great” just means practiced or made habitual over a longer period of time
neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to change itself in response to the stimuli it encounters
lobes: subcomponents of the brain
- body movements
- process sensoring information
- process sensoring information
- interpretation of sounds and language through the primary auditory cortex
- process memories through the hippocampus
cerebellum: muscle coordination
- 10% of the brain
- 50% of the neurons
- about 700 new brain cells generate every day
how to enlarge hippocampus
- physical exercise
- eat foods high in Omega-3 fatty acid
- abstaining from alcohol
- learn a new language
- solve challenging problems
- learn a new and complicated subject
|neomammalian complex||the prefrontal cortex||most energy|
|reptilian complex||loosely corresponds with the basal ganglia||energy in the middle|
|paleomammalian complex||the limbic system||least energy|
bad habit (least resistance): listen to the limbic system and build a habit upon it
The limbic system and basal ganglia are subconscious. Neuroplasticity depends on the ability of the prefrontal cortex.
Old people’s brain develop new “circuits” and different connections to their frontal lobes, which in turn open up new understandings and perceptions that only the rare young adult can develop.
structural (the focus of the book): concern the neuronal connections of the brain and strength of the neural network
Neuroplasticity is created through repetitive actions and thoughts that eventually become habits and reinforce neural pathways.
Learning is to create and strengthen connections between independent pieces of information.
If you have a thought, it causes a neural change. If you keep having the same thought, it becomes a positive feedback loop that reinforces and cements the change. 这就是为什么要背书.Hence, your past does not determine your future. What determines it is only what you think in the very moment, and what you think in the future. The more challenge, discomfort, and effort spent, the more neuroplasticity will occur and the higher functioning our brains will be.
Almost any activity that engages the mind has been shown to stimulate the production of brain cells. + physical activities
The production remains definitely in only 2 parts of the brain
- produce more neural cells than any other region in the brain
- eventually new cells are distributed to forebrain
- a personal interest
be methodical, persistent, and repetitive: a systematic and consistent approach + intensive retraining
time, patience, practice
example * Sprinting is more beneficial than leisurely jogging
stimulation/challenge on a deeper level in a controlled and directed manner
The more stimulation => the more neural connections are built => the quicker you think => the more addictional connections you can make between unrelated information and thoughts
Q: What kind of activity stimulates the brain the most?
A: activity and learning things tackles unknown and foreign subjects, are the more challenge and struggle, with less familiarity. The opposite of pleasurable activity.
If it’s easy, it’s not doing anything for the brain.
- enrich your environment
set up environment so that building neural connections automatically happens whether you choose them or not
example * change the language of phone to a foreign language
The brain deals in specificity.
- Practicing math won’t help you write a better essay; it will only help you math skills.
- Practicing the piano won’t help with chess skills.
- Playing brain games improve in ability to play the games, but these skills did not transfer between different tasks.
If you want to get real work done, you are going to have to work a little harder and more deeply.
- mental rehearsal
exposure yourself to as many sides of a topic or issue as you can
- grocery shopping
- memorize the lyrics of songs
- memorize maps
meet a new person, memorize 3 different pieces of information about them in addition to their name
input information in a index card after getting home
review them time to time
take a mental snapshots in a event
- before sleep, think back on the events you experienced over the day that just passed
- use non-dominant hand
- play music
- rotate pictures on wall every few months
- keep house clean and pleasantly scented
motivation & desire: dopamine
mesolimbic pathway: the most vital reward pathway in the human brain
go-getters: dopamine in prefrontal cortex
slacker: dopamine in anterior insular
inhibition: the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC)
- How well you can focus and ignore distraction is directly correlated to how well you control the VLPFC
VLPF is the only part of the brain that inhibits distractions
=> It is hard to break the distraction loop. Once dopamine makes up its mind, it can override every inhibiting factor in its path way with desire for pleasure or gratification
=> 1. You need to deal with distractions before they take hold. 2. It has to happen in relatively short order
We should hyper-aware of whether attention goes, and turn everything that’s distracting off as much as possible. The brain cannot distinguish between an act and a thought.
2 structures of the brain that are especially active in the formation of habits
orbitofrontal cortex: decision-making, plan
- struggle to meet a certain goal
desire to indulge in what’s comfortable, familiar, easy, safe, and lazy
As Conscious decisions are repeatedly made in the orbitofrontal cortex, they become engraved in the striatum.
- striatum: planning of motor activities, rewards, repetitive behaviors
Hebb’s Axiom: cells that wire together, fire together
When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite a cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place in one or both cells such that A’s efficiency, as one of the cells firing B, is increased.
One of the cells has to fire first. But the more constantly that closely related cells interact, the more they become fused in a neural sense and the faster they’ll get as time goes on. Each decision you make is important from the cumulative standpoint.