Debunking 10 Brain and Brain Fitness Myths
|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 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 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 is an excerpt from the book The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness (May 2009, $19.95), by Alvaro Fernandez and Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg.