I know when you read this you might think, well that’s no big thing, but believe me it is!
The other day my daughter said, your hand writing is really coming on. I didn’t think that much about it, other than I was pleased at the support. My right hand is no good at doing fine stuff, so I now predominantly use my left. I practice writing and drawing, or more like scribbling, most days and there is an improvement. It has become easier, more natural. Still a long way to go, but it’s getting there. Then it struck me…. Why am I improving? The first thought is, the more I practice, then more I get better, but what processes are going on to make that happen? It is so obvious, the answer is my brain. Something inside my brain is improving and enabling me to improve in anything I’m doing, as long as I keep working at it.
There seems to be a several things that can be happening. My brain could be making new connections, using parts of my brain that are still intact. These connections are then forming new memories and these memories are becoming stronger with continued work over time. My brain could be rerouting my neural network of connections, this is called, neuroplasticity and is a growing area of research. This is where your brain uses other parts of the brain to form connections and memories, bypassing damaged areas. It also could be using the newly created neurones, or brain cells. This is a process called, neurogenesis, another area of growing research. It is now becoming an accepted theory that the brain continually makes new brain cells throughout life. Initial findings show this is predominantly in the Hippocampus, the part of the brain that has a lot to do with memory. These new brain cells do appear to die quite quickly, but I think this is because the brain does not want to waste energy on cells that are not used. So, maybe, learning makes use of the new brain cells and this helps the brain as a whole. I believe that the brain is doing all of these things in unison, it does not make decisions based on some hierarchical type process. The brain works holistically, it works as one unit and that includes being apart of our body as a whole.
So I have a challenge for you. Try something new and see if you can improve. If you do, then your brain is telling you it likes what you are doing and working as it should. That has to be a good thing, no … a Great thing!
Please let me know what you try and how you get on?