“Use It or Lose It”: what is “It”?

Who has not heard “Use It or Lose It”. Now, what is “It”? And, is “It” only one thing or a number of integrated elements, each of which are heavily involved in specific “brain exercises“, and all of which are important to maintain Brain Fitness (click here for more information).

Let’s review at a glance (you can check a 5-minute clip on these “3 Evolutionary Brains“):

The brain is composed of 3 “brains” or main sub-systems, each named after the evolutionary moment in which the sub-system is believed to have appeared, and after which species we share that structure with.

Theropod A) Neocortex, or Human Brain, is the most recent area, where we perform high-level thinking and complex integrative tasks. Other mammals do have this part too, but in much smaller proportion of the whole brain volume.B) Limbic System, or Mammalian Brain, critical for emotions and for memory,C) Cerebellum and Stem, or Reptilian Brain, that regulates basic vital variables such as breathing, heartbeat and motor coordination (Credit for pic: Arnold Keyserling and R.C.L.)
Theropod B) Limbic system: emotions are generated here, as well as the appetites and urges that help us survive. For instance, the amygdala gets triggered to prepare us to deal with a threatening situation, resulting in our feeling of fear. The hippocampus is key in the formation of memory. (Credit: Sandhills College)
Theropod A) The Neocortex is composed of-Frontal Lobes: or the CEO of the Mind, for sophisticated brain functions such as planning and conceptualizing.-Parietal: deals with movement, the senses, and some forms of recognitionTemporal: auditory processes and language-Occipital: visual processing center (credit: Morphonix)
In action When we exercise our brains, we put our Neurons in action. “Cells that fire together wire together”, meaning that synapses, or unions between neurons, get solidified the more often the respective neurons “talk” to each other. (Credit: Peter Furstenberg)

You can check a 5-minute clip on these “3 Evolutionary Brains“. Please remember that you can find our new blog on Cognitive Fitness and Training Topics by clicking Here.

Advertisements

27 Comments »

  1. Elona said

    Great post. You have made a very complex topic very accessible. I teach a unit on the teenage brain to my grade nine students in my Learning Strategies Class. I think they will “get it.” more easily after viewing this. I tell them they have to use all parts of their brain all the time, not just the video, tv watching part. So I have them do all kinds of different puzzles to keep their brain “strong”.

  2. Alvaro said

    Very good take-away. Yes, we need novelty and variety to exercise our brains. I see that once we understand the basics of brain anatomy and functioning, the implcations are clear.

    Good luck, and please let me know how the experiment goes.

  3. […] Let’s now exercise our Frontal Lobes (that deal with working attention, among other things), and Parietal Lobes (visual interpretation). (Basic brain anatomy) […]

  4. […] Here are some of my favorites from his posts so far: 1) The “It” in “Use It or Lose It”: what are the different parts of the brain that people should think about exercising? 2) Physical Fitness and Brain Fitness: this post includes the super-interesting quote: “rats that get regular exercise literally grow bigger brains than sedentary rats.” 3) The Brain and Mind Fitness Revolution is here with us: how do you improve brain fitness and waht in terms of neuromarketing affects decision-making? […]

  5. […] Let’s now exercise our Occipital Lobes (visual interpretation and rotation). (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  6. […] These 3 pictures represent a simplified image of brain activity taken from right above our heads, with our Frontal Lobes at the top of each image. Dark color indicates most activity, light color some activity. (Basic brain anatomy here). […]

  7. […] Further information on a number of these and other areas covered in the article: – Neuroplasticity and brain exercise – On being “smart” and building neural connections – “Use It or Lose It”: what is “It”? (simplified brain anatomy) – Ready to learn? – Working Memory Training and Attention – On attention, trading psychology and open minds – Emotions and Decision-Making – Brain Fitness Programs and the Brain and Mind Fitness Revolution – Physical fitness and Brain Fitness – On being positive […]

  8. […] These 3 pictures represent a simplified image of brain activity taken from right above our heads, with our Frontal Lobes at the top of each image. Dark color indicates most activity, light color some activity. (Basic brain anatomy here).The 3 images show the brain activity happening in 3 different moments in time when one person is doing exactly the same thing. Question: How is that possible? how come we don’t see the activation of the same areas? […]

  9. […] Let’s now exercise our Occipital Lobes (visual interpretation and rotation). (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  10. […] (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  11. […] Using your brain to solve creative challenges is excellent practice and will help slow down the effects of aging. The limitation with your current brain workout program is that it does not have enough variety or novelty to work out all your mental muscles. Have you ever seen the guys in the gym with the buff upper bodies supported by little chicken legs? The same thing can happen in your brain. Just as you crosstrain in your physical fitness routine (mixing cardio with strength training and flexibility) to get a balanced workout, you need to crosstrain your mental fitness to exercise your brain through motor coordination, emotional understanding, memory, focus and attention, sensory communication, language skills, and mental visualization. […]

  12. […] Let’s now exercise our Frontal Lobes (that deal with working attention, among other things), and Parietal Lobes (visual interpretation). (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  13. […] Let’s now exercise our Frontal Lobes (that deal with working memory and attention, among other things), and Parietal Lobes (visual interpretation). (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  14. […] Further Links Mind/Body, Emotions, and Decision-Making Social Intelligence and Mirror Neurons Social Intelligence and the Frontal Lobes An Ape Can Do This. Can We Not? “Use It or Lose It” : What is “It”? The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind by Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg Brain Exercise at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute […]

  15. […] Links: Basic Neuroanatomy Brain Map Visual Perception […]

  16. […] Links: Executive function Executive Function Disorder Basic Neuroanatomy […]

  17. […] Related Links Brain Anatomy Physical Fitness and Brain Fitness Glossary of Brain Fitness Terms […]

  18. […] Links: Basic Neuroanatomy Brain Map Visual Perception […]

  19. […] Let’s now exercise our Frontal Lobes (that deal with working memory and attention, among other things), and Parietal Lobes (visual interpretation). (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  20. […] Using your brain to solve creative challenges is excellent practice and will help slow down the effects of aging. The limitation with your current brain workout program is that it does not have enough variety or novelty to work out all your mental muscles. Have you ever seen the guys in the gym with the buff upper bodies supported by little chicken legs? The same thing can happen in your brain. Just as you crosstrain in your physical fitness routine (mixing cardio with strength training and flexibility) to get a balanced workout, you need to crosstrain your mental fitness to exercise your brain through motor coordination, emotional understanding, memory, focus and attention, sensory communication, language skills, and mental visualization. […]

  21. […] Further Links Just Forget It! Mind/Body, Emotions, and Decision-Making Social Intelligence and Mirror Neurons Social Intelligence and the Frontal Lobes An Ape Can Do This. Can We Not? “Use It or Lose It” : What is “It”? The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind by Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg Brain Exercise at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute […]

  22. […] Links: Executive function Executive Function Disorder Basic Neuroanatomy […]

  23. […] Related Links Brain Anatomy Physical Fitness and Brain Fitness Glossary of Brain Fitness Terms […]

  24. […] Using your brain to solve creative challenges is excellent practice and will help slow down the effects of aging. The limitation with your current brain workout program is that it does not have enough variety or novelty to work out all your mental muscles. Have you ever seen the guys in the gym with the buff upper bodies supported by little chicken legs? The same thing can happen in your brain. Just as you crosstrain in your physical fitness routine (mixing cardio with strength training and flexibility) to get a balanced workout, you need to crosstrain your mental fitness to exercise your brain through motor coordination, emotional understanding, memory, focus and attention, sensory communication, language skills, and mental visualization. […]

  25. Hi, my name is Michael and fitness is very important for me. I\’m always looking for good tips, too. For this reason I\’ve put together some news and infos about fitness at Fitness
    Cheers
    Michael

  26. […] Let’s now exercise our Occipital Lobes (visual interpretation and rotation). (Basic brain anatomy here) […]

  27. bcpfriend said

    Staying healthy and using proper nutrition is going to keep the neocortex functioning properly.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: