How to Develop Cognitive Skills & How They Help In Brain Training
Thousands of scientifically researched articles have been written by highly educated people fascinated by how the brain functions. The single organ responsible for building civilization, for raising humanity out of the muck and dirt, the human brain is an extraordinary organic computer that no billion-dollar supercomputer can ever hope to match.
Look at a three-dimensional representation of the brain and we see an electrical storm of activity that looks similar to mock-ups of the universe itself. These layers of complexity are built on the synapses and neurons eternally sparking to transmit thoughts and control autonomic systems of the body. A thought can lead to a voluntary movement, an intake of breath, or the discovery of a new element in the periodic table.
While the fundamental operation of the human brain is mostly known, there are still mysteries, areas of the brain that defy description. Psychologists and neurologists spend decades mapping out the facilities of the brain, seeking the point where thoughts are born, the area of the brain where the mind resides. The comparison of the brain to the universe begins to feel apt, especially considering the amount of exploration remaining.
The fact is, the human brain may never be fully understood, but we know enough to help train the brain, to teach it to eliminate distractions and focus on A task. Such training can lead to many enhanced facilities, including speed-reading, increased retention of knowledge and greater memory access. Both short-term and long-term memory can benefit from brain training, allowing us to leap forward, magnifying analytic and logical abilities, cognitively boosting performance.
Beginning Brain Training
There’s no need to accept the human brain as it is. Imagine instead a muscle that performs only so well in a young athlete because it’s untrained. Work out that muscle day after day and its strength is increased and endurance is heightened. The brain is similar, responding to mental workouts and developing in turn.
Lack of activity means fewer connections form, with less synaptic activity, but mental exercises, specially designed by scientific methodology, create greater connectivity within the brain, speeding thoughts and raising mental acuity. Beginner chess players used to observe how their performance in the game improved exponentially as they played more, but they also noticed that a few weeks without playing chess resulted in poor play, more mistakes and a greater amount of lost games.
To continue to perform well, the brain has to be fed a constant stream of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients, but, almost as important as oxygen, the human brain must be exercised and worked with logic and memory strengthening exercises. Memory isn’t necessarily an indication of a strong, cognitively able brain. For instance, there are masters of memory who exhibit skills to retain encyclopedic volumes of knowledge, but they’re certainly not as smart as an Einstein or Stephen Hawking. Memory is simply one element in the truly cognitive mind. High functioning cognitive thinking involves processing the knowledge, linking it to other concepts and ideas to form new thoughts, creating an awareness of new possibilities and solutions. This is cognitive thought at its most basic but also its Most Unexceptional, solving problems and making advanced decisions in fractions of a second based on one or many initial factors. These are the skills that create leaders and presidents, surgeons and scientists.
How to Develop Cognitive Skills
The Average skill of the brain is its plasticity, its ability to adapt and change when new inputs are applied from our senses. Mathematical puzzles stretch the logical parts of the brain, while drawing and painting, as well as geometric puzzles, activate parts of the brain that deal in both processing logic and spatial awareness. There are many games and skills to accelerate the growth of brain training, with one example being the old Rubik’s Cube made popular back in the 1980’s. This three-dimensional puzzle exercised the brain in powerful ways, across several dimensions. Speed solvers even used advanced motor skills to solve the puzzle in competitive times.
Neuroplasticity is a science under deep investigation by several branches of science. On one hand, applying puzzles and memory tests works to increase cognitive abilities, but the brain has also amazed us by completely rewiring areas to take over functions that have become damaged. Stroke victims lose the use of speech and the ability to move limbs, but, with practice and hard work, they can recover most of this lost ability. This is a function of the brain that can stop medical experts in their tracks with fascination and wonder.
Cognitive ability is related to the total comprehension of a task and all of its implications, recruiting memory and solution skills to process data. This may sound like a computer but the faculties involved are more complex the interplay more subtle. We have the ability to act and react, to decide or deny and to create entirely new actions, something a computer simply can’t do.
A student of brain training must always focus on a task with every fiber of their being, letting the brain process and finesse its decision-making skills until complete comprehension has been achieved. A puzzle or obstacle that at first seemed so complex and impossible becomes easier to master. The amount of steps between the start and completion of a problem become less and less, the brain making new connections to accomplish an exercise in a fraction of the time it first took.
Advanced Cognitive Skills
The potential to accomplish anything is possible with work and focus. Speed-reading comes with heightened comprehension. Memory retention comes with constant training, expanding the brains near limitless capacity. In some ways the poets are right, imagination is our only limit. Visualize being able to memorize complex number sequences, calculate equations completely in our heads and the brain will endeavor to make the skill a reality, sending finely tuned electrical impulses through new bundles of synapse connections. No drugs are required, no special electronic tools, just the dedication and focus to reach beyond what we believe we’re capable of.
About The Author
Not everyone is a puzzle lover, which was certainly true for Jason Scotts. But over time, he became one and can’t stop doing them now. He has no complaints about it because he has learned that figuring out puzzles is a great way to help him concentrate better and keep his mind focused. He likens it to learning a new language or reading sheet music. These are all great brain stimulators and stretch your brain power so to speak.
Now that Jason is really into doing puzzles, he hopes to encourage others to get into it as well with his puzzle book. Really what he wants is for you to get hooked on doing them as he is and in return you’ll have better focus and concentration on things that are more of a serious nature where forgetting can really cause problems that you would prefer to avoid. So he will continue to enjoy puzzles and looks forward to coming out with additional puzzle books in the future. Stay tuned.