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Zireael

How the Brain Rewires Itself

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How the Brain Rewires Itself

It was a fairly modest experiment, as these things go, with volunteers trooping into the lab at Harvard Medical School to learn and practice a little five-finger piano exercise.

Neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone instructed the members of one group to play as fluidly as they could, trying to keep to the metronome's 60 beats per minute. Every day for five days, the volunteers practiced for two hours. Then they took a test.

At the end of each day's practice session, they sat beneath a coil of wire that sent a brief magnetic pulse into the motor cortex of their brain, located in a strip running from the crown of the head toward each ear.

The so-called transcranial-magnetic-stimulation (TMS) test allows scientists to infer the function of neurons just beneath the coil.

In the piano players, the TMS mapped how much of the motor cortex controlled the finger movements needed for the piano exercise. What the scientists found was that after a week of practice, the stretch of motor cortex devoted to these finger movements took over surrounding areas like dandelions on a suburban lawn.

The finding was in line with a growing number of discoveries at the time showing that greater use of a particular muscle causes the brain to devote more cortical real estate to it.

But Pascual-Leone did not stop there. He extended the experiment by having another group of volunteers merely think about practicing the piano exercise. They played the simple piece of music in their head, holding their hands still while imagining how they would move their fingers.

Then they too sat beneath the TMS coil.

When the scientists compared the TMS data on the two groups - those who actually tickled the ivories and those who only imagined doing so - they glimpsed a revolutionary idea about the brain: the ability of mere thought to alter the physical structure and function of our gray matter.

For what the TMS revealed was that the region of motor cortex that controls the piano-playing fingers also expanded in the brains of volunteers who imagined playing the music - just as it had in those who actually played it.

"Mental practice resulted in a similar reorganization" of the brain, Pascual-Leone later wrote.

If his results hold for other forms of movement (and there is no reason to think they don't), then mentally practicing a golf swing or a forward pass or a swimming turn could lead to mastery with less physical practice.

Even more profound, the discovery showed that mental training had the power to change the physical structure of the brain.

 

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Neuroplasticity

From Wikipedia Website

Neuroplasticity (from neural - pertaining to the nerves and/or brain and plastic - moldable or changeable in structure) refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury.

Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly-held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how - and in which ways - the brain changes throughout life.

Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. The role of neuroplasticity is widely recognized in healthy development, learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage.

During most of the 20th century, the general consensus among neuroscientists was that brain structure is relatively immutable after a critical period during early childhood. This belief has been challenged by findings revealing that many aspects of the brain remain plastic even into adulthood.

Hubel and Wiesel had demonstrated that ocular dominance columns in the lowest neocortical visual area, V1, were largely immutable after the critical period in development. Critical periods also were studied with respect to language; the resulting data suggested that sensory pathways were fixed after the critical period.

However, studies determined that environmental changes could alter behavior and cognition by modifying connections between existing neurons and via neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other parts of the brain, including the cerebellum.

Decades of research have now shown that substantial changes occur in the lowest neocortical processing areas, and that these changes can profoundly alter the pattern of neuronal activation in response to experience.

Neuroscientific research indicates that experience can actually change both the brain's physical structure (anatomy) and functional organization (physiology).

Neuroscientists are currently engaged in a reconciliation of critical period studies demonstrating the immutability of the brain after development with the more recent research showing how the brain can, and does, change.

https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_brain33.htm

Your thoughts are more powerful than you have ever imagined until now! I want to link this great thread created by poster @Amanda Lee, because it ultimately goes way much deeper than just the brain. A recent Harvard study as demonstrated that a small, daily period of meditation will actually trigger changes in gene expression. These studies are corroborated by the science of Epigenetics.

Here's a link to the study; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29616846

Article: http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2018/04/06/harvard-study-relax-genes

Amanda Lee's thread:

 

 Since Epigenetics have been mentioned I want to dress a quick parallel with the conscious/subconscious duality of the mind. It is directly linked to the wiring of the brain.

 you can see your physical mind as being 90 to 95% subconscious, programs, and only 5 to 10% being the conscious, creative side. The subconscious does not think, it does not project itself into the future, it does not solve problems. That's the creative side job. The subconscious simply records everything that is going on around you, good or bad. Even what your conscious mind is not picking up because you're directing your attention elsewhere will be stored.  

In a world of distractions, where we spend most of our time projecting ourselves into the future, and solving problems, the conscious mind finds itself to be easily saturated, and operating functions are then relayed to the subconscious.

In order to fully operate at the conscious level, one must completely detach his self from distractions, focusing only and at all times on the present moment. 

Actually, your brain is in a constant, perpetual state of remodeling itself according to the environment it is part of. So what will you program yourself with, today? Even your time spent on Conspiracy Outpost is brainwashing you. But it's up to yourself to determine whether it is positive brainwashing or not! We all know that the brain is the laziest organ of our body and its always looking for shortcuts or easier/faster ways of doing the same things. In fact, studies have shown that when going on about their daily routines, humans are only operating at the conscious level for about 10 minutes out of an hour. This represents about 17% of your time. Here's a quick example of how it sometimes plays out;

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Your brain makes up its mind up to ten seconds before you realize it, according to researchers.

By looking at brain activity while making a decision, the researchers could predict what choice people would make before they themselves were even aware of having made a decision.

The work calls into question the 'consciousness' of our decisions and may even challenge ideas about how 'free' we are to make a choice at a particular point in time.

"We think our decisions are conscious, but these data show that consciousness is just the tip of the iceberg," says John-Dylan Haynes, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, who led the study.

"The results are quite dramatic," says Frank Tong, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ten seconds is "a lifetime" in terms of brain activity, he adds.

https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/archivos_pdf/unconscious-determinants-free-decisions-human-brain.pdf

 

The sole goal of this thread is to make you realize that you are only one thought away from starting to create the perfect existence that you have ever dreamt of! You already have every required tool within yourself! You just have to think about it!

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Zireael said:

TMS revealed was that the region of motor cortex that controls the piano-playing fingers also expanded in the brains of volunteers who imagined playing the music - just as it had in those who actually played it.

"Mental practice resulted in a similar reorganization" of the brain, Pascual-Leone later wrote.

If his results hold for other forms of movement (and there is no reason to think they don't), then mentally practicing a golf swing or a forward pass or a swimming turn could lead to mastery with less physical practice.

 

 

If you want success swimming you should visualize success IMO but truly you need to jump in that pool to get experience. You just can not read a book about swimming you actually need to get into the water.

On the other hand~ people visualize success, make written lists, pray for success, have set goals in mind are seemingly more successful but always they have to physically do something.

 

This was interesting ...

32 minutes ago, Zireael said:

In a world of distractions, where we spend most of our time projecting ourselves into the future, and solving problems, the conscious mind finds itself to be easily saturated, and operating functions are then relayed to the subconscious.

In order to fully operate at the conscious level, one must completely detach his self from distractions, focusing only and at all times on the present moment. 

But you still have to do something..

IMO I have to set time apart to read my scripture to feel connected to Heaven/meditate if I do not take that time then I am as you say easily saturated.

 

It still comes down to self-discipline of the body and the mind. IMO

 

I love this information.  Thank You for sharing.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Amanda Lee said:

 

 

If you want success swimming you should visualize success IMO but truly you need to jump in that pool to get experience. You just can not read a book about swimming you actually need to get into the water.

On the other hand~ people visualize success, make written lists, pray for success, have set goals in mind are seemingly more successful but always they have to physically do something.

 

This was interesting ...

But you still have to do something..

IMO I have to set time apart to read my scripture to feel connected to Heaven/meditate if I do not take that time then I am as you say easily saturated.

 

It still comes down to self-discipline of the body and the mind. IMO

 

I love this information.  Thank You for sharing.

 

I agree, Amanda.

Visualization is one mental key to outperforming people that are equally skilled and trained. (Physically)

90% of high-level athletics and most other pursuits as well.

Edited by VonLud
Ceriiit
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Amanda Lee said:

If you want success swimming you should visualize success IMO but truly you need to jump in that pool to get experience. You just can not read a book about swimming you actually need to get into the water.

On the other hand~ people visualize success, make written lists, pray for success, have set goals in mind are seemingly more successful but always they have to physically do something.

I agree, and this is entirely true. 

Just like simply practicing will not be enough, simply visualizing will not be enough either.

Instead, a good and continuous balance between the two will turn you into a master of your own art. 

Thank you for your interest!

Edited by Zireael
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El Duderino

Playing "The Witcher 3" rewires the brain too. Right "Zireael?" :D

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7 minutes ago, El Duderino said:

Playing "The Witcher 3" rewires the brain too. Right "Zireael?" :D

We're all guilty! Lol. :gsbrnint:

I have all the books at home, and yes, I am a fan of the series. 

Good catch, El Duderino.

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