“The Truth About How Your Brain Gets Smarter,” by Christine Camaford, Contributor
This excerpt is taken from Forbes Daily, Tuesday November 11, 2014
The Smarter Secret
Let’s assume “smarter” means making better choices, getting more of what you want and less of what you don’t. Let’s assume “smarter” means learning things faster, having more “ah ha” moments, breaking through mental barriers swiftly and with deep fulfillment.
Here’s how it works.
Roughly half of your brain is made of grey matter (where neural pathways are forged and reside) and the other half is made of white matter. First it’s key to know that neurons that fire together, wire together. This means to learn something new, to set a new habit in place, repetition is required. When you practice something deeply, intentionally and with some element of struggle a neural pathway is formed. Neurons are now firing together in a new sequence, and thus are wiring together as a collective. Repeated firing signals that this neural pathway is important. Repeated firing with deep practice and either struggle or ecstasy, alerts oligodendrocytes and astrocytes that this pathway needs to be upgraded, or insulated, and the process of myelination begins.