viernes, 21 de marzo de 2008

The TAO of the brain

As neuroscience knows nowadays, you must use a specified skill in order to improve the neural network in your brain that handles that task.

it seems simple right?, two steps,

1) design a functional neural network (by modelling or by trial and error it doesn´t matter much) and 2) strenghten the network by repeated use.

"too much of a good thing is not always better"

it all seems too easy, however there are things to be considered in order to get the max out of your practice.

These are:
1) Moderation/Overtraining : As you know your brain needs a downtime in which it rebuilds and improves what you have practiced.

Have you ever been suck in some issue that you could not solve, you left it alone, took a nap perhaps, or did something else and when you came back, *PRESTO* you solved it on the spot.

if you keep on exerting and using a certain circuit on your brain, it will cause, over a period of time, brain fatigue on that specific circuit, which leads to our dear friend STRESS, an enemy of the mind and overall health, as you may know.

"too much of a good thing is not always better"

2) The Protoss Syndrome : The Protoss are an old race in the starcraft universe, a civilization that is very old and heavily set on its ways.

how, this relates to brain practice, you ask? Simple, once you´ve reached a high point on your practice that you´ve mastered something to a degree, you´ve reached what is called a plateau of improvement, at this point practice will have little effect,it is advised that you lessen the LENGTH of your practice gradually , and begin a new practice, by doing this you will allow novel experiences to build new networks while maintaining the old.

when a circuit its set strong on your brain it only needs maintenance, heavy practice is only to install a new circuit or enhance the pattern by lowering firing threshold.

remember that the brain tends to ignore redundant information, and habitual tasks become automated.
you can progress anyway if you keep hammering on a plateau, BUT it will take *MUCH* more time and energy, and you make your mistakes harder to refine if you hammer too much.

so in order to maximize your results, it is recommendable that you cycle your trainings when you have achieved a level and are STUCK there. switch to mainenance mode AND do something else, start a new discipline, THEN when the scenario repeats itself, refocus on your previous training, switch back to practice mode and let the new networks aid you on the task.
you´ll see yourself making steady progress again.

remember Einsteins´ wise words " A problem cannot be solved with the same level of conciousness that arose " .

and by all means, NEVER QUIT ON A PLATEAU!
be sure to go back to your training after you fed up your brain.

Remember to refine and change your practice methods now and then.

Above all,
Remember to keep your balance allways while evolving at the same time.
refresh your mental inventory,
Dinosaurs are bound to be exctinct. and Paleontology proves me right.
Bye for now.