Do we all have a “brain age”?

Do we all have a “brain age”? Are all brain exer­cises equal? Does aging mean decline?

Answer­ing these ques­tions prob­a­bly requires to debunk a few myths about the brain.

Under­stand­ing how our brain func­tions can help under­stand how it is pos­si­ble for our brain to change, and what we can do to make these changes hap­pen. This is why know­ing how our brain works is the first habit to acquire on the road to boost­ing brain functions.

Would­n’t it be very hard for a musi­cian to get bet­ter at play­ing the clar­inet if he didn’t know that it is the air that his mouth puls­es into the instru­ment that cre­ates its sounds? In the same way lim­it­ed knowl­edge about the brain may be one of the rea­sons why many peo­ple do not take action to try to opti­mize the way their brain work.

Here are 10 Brain and Brain Fit­ness Myths, debunked for you:

1. Genes deter­mine the fate of our brains. Life­long neu­ro­plas­tic­ity allows our lifestyles and actions to play a mean­ing­ful role in how our brains phys­i­cally evolve, espe­cially giv­en longer life expectancy.
2. Aging means auto­matic decline. There is noth­ing inher­ently fixed in the pre­cise tra­jec­tory of how brain func­tions evolve as we age.
3. Med­ica­tion is the main hope for cog­ni­tive enhancement. Non-inva­sive inter­ven­tions can have com­pa­ra­ble and more durable effects, side effect-free.
4. We will soon have a Mag­ic Pill or Gen­eral Solu­tion to solve all our cog­ni­tive challenges. A mul­ti-pronged approach is rec­om­mended, cen­tered around nutri­tion, stress man­age­ment, and both phys­i­cal and men­tal exercise.
5. There is only one “it” in “Use It or Lose it”. The brain is com­posed of a num­ber of spe­cial­ized units. Our life and pro­duc­tiv­ity depend on a vari­ety of brain func­tions, not just one.
6. All brain activ­i­ties or exer­cises are equal. Var­ied and tar­geted exer­cises are the nec­es­sary ingre­di­ents in brain train­ing so that a wide range of brain func­tions can be stimulated.
7. There is only one way to train your brain. Brain func­tions can be impact­ed in a num­ber of ways: through med­i­ta­tion, cog­ni­tive ther­apy, cog­ni­tive training.
8. We all have some­thing called brain age. Brain age is a fic­tion. No two indi­vid­u­als have the exact same brain or expres­sion of brain functions.
9. That brain age can be reversed by 10, 20, 30 years. Brain train­ing can improve spe­cific brain func­tions, but, with research avail­able today, can­not be said to roll back one brain age by a num­ber of years.
10. All human brains need the same brain training. As in phys­i­cal fit­ness, users must ask them­selves: What func­tions do I need to improve on? In what time frame? What is my budget?

This table comes from The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness. Con­sid­er read­ing the book to learn more brain main­te­nance and what prod­ucts are avail­able to keep your brain sharp.

Keep learn­ing by read­ing more arti­cles in the Resources section

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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