Brains are like ice crystals

In order to become a taxi driver in London, you will need 4 years of intensive training to pass the final test called “Knowledge of London”. It is one of the world’s most challenging memory tests. To pass the test, aspiring taxi drivers must memorize London’s extensive road system. The test covers 320 different routes, 25,000 street names and 20,000 destinations such as hotels and sports facilities. A group of brain researchers from University College London have examined the brains of these taxi drivers and found that there are major differences between the taxi drivers’ brains and other brains. he hippocampus was significantly larger in the taxi drivers, which is the part of the brain that is important for memory and especially the spacious memory – the sense of direction.
Brain scientists have always been very interested in studying the brain of Albert Einstein, to find the secret of his ingenious thinking. This secret has not been found, but they did find something else. One found a fold in his cerebral cortex, on the side that controls the left hand. Einstein was a very diligent violinist, and when playing this particular instrument, one uses mostly the left hands fingers. In people who have played a lot of piano, you find the same fold on both sides in the cerebral cortex, as here you use both hands fingers.
The brain develops throughout life and we call that for plasticity. Experiences, things we practice, experiences, knowledge, etc. make traces in our brain. Brains are like ice crystals. They can look alike but they are never the same, because all lives are unique.
And what does that mean? This means that we can change our brain throughout life. If there is something we want to be good at, we can train it, and if there is something we don’t like about ourselves, we can also change it. As Peter Lund Madsen says, the first step is the awareness that would do something different.
It is not only our behavior that puts its mark on the brain. Our thought processes do the same. We have behavioral habits and we have habits of thought. You probably think many of the same thoughts every single day. If it’s good thoughts that make you feel good, it’s perfect. But if you experience stress, feeling sad, losing energy, etc., it may well be because you give the negative thoughts and feelings too much attention every day, so they fill you up.
Can you learn to do something about it? YES. Just as Einstein’s brain changed by playing the violin, and the taxi drivers’ brain changed by training places and routes, your brain can change by changing the thought processes that takes up space in your life.
Does that sound complicated? It is not. It is actually quite simple. And everyone can learn it.
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