Myelin Miracle Grow: Your Brain is a Muscle That Can Be Made Stronger

Your brain is a muscle that can be made stronger. It continues developing into your mid-twenties, and it has enormous plasticity, or the ability to change. It is too bad so many people believe they are "stuck" with being only so smart. Your intelligence is NOT set in stone. You can do several things to boost brain power and improve your learning potential. Let's start with a few simple changes you can make today.



Take a quick look at images of a healthy brain and a "not-so-healthy" brain.  Please return to this page when you're done.  (Source:  AMEN Clinics)

Next, look at the brains of different teenagers and 21-year olds. 

   [Drumroll, please]

And for the finale,  watch what happens in YOUR brain when you learn something new, stick with it, and practice.  You do not need a high IQ to learn something complicated.  You need PERSISTENCE, a stubborn determination not to quit when things get tough.   Why?   Because you have the POWER to make the following process happen in your brain:

1.  Your brain takes in new information and makes new neural connections.
2.  You activate this web of neurons by repeating the desired activity numerous times.
3.  With every repeated exposure, you fire the circuit and special cells called Oligodendrocytes reach out and wrap the nerve with a layer of fat, called MYELIN.
4.  With many repetitions, the myelin layer gradually increases in thickness until the nerve is covered, protected and insulated.   An insulated nerve carries MORE electricity FASTER, which means that your neural pathways become more efficient and transmit information at faster speeds!

Now that you understand the process, watch the video again and look closely to see the myelin layer increasing in thickness.  BOOM!  You can make this process happen in your brain with repeated exposures and plenty of practice.

WARNING:  Your old neural connections are stronger than the new ones, and it is easy to fall back into old habits.  Myelin can both grow and decay.  In new pathways, where little or no use takes place, the connections become weak and the myelin covering is thin.  The phrase "old habits die hard" is true. 

BEWARE of practicing the wrong way using the wrong information or the wrong procedures.  You will only succeed in myelinating the wrong pathways.  Always ask for immediate feedback about what you are doing right or wrong.  Don’t wait around to find out.  Researchers know that people who are given immediate feedback show a SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER increase in performance than those who must wait for it.

Also, don’t settle for feedback like, “Good work!” or “You’re almost there!”  Ask for very specific information about your performance and how you can move closer to the goal. 


----> Educators and Parents:  The way you give PRAISE can Make or Break a Child.  Here is the proof.




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