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Improve Memory with Healthy Neurons

This article discusses how to improve memory by strengthening neurons through creating an enriched environment for yourself.

To understand your how to improve memory you have to understand how the basic building block of the brain works. That incredible block is called a neuron. This cell allows you to feel every sense, emotion, and experience throughout your life. Neurons wrap themselves around your entire body to form the complex network of your nervous system. They are also the principle cell that deals with memory. So in order to improve memory, you must create a healthy environment for neurons.




Let’s start at the beginning. The birth of a neuron is studied in neurogenesis. Until a couple decades ago, most scientists thought that a human was born with all the neurons he or she would ever have. This is still a popular myth that floats around. Today we know that the brain is capable of continually producing neurons. Newborn neurons come into the world similar to children. They are fragile and readily moldable. These newborn neurons need chemical-electrical stimulation to survive. This stimulation acts like their food. Many neurons die soon after birth because there is not enough of this electrical-chemical food stimulus to go around. The neuron gets this stimulation when it connects to other neurons that are activated. When we learn new things, we create electrical-stimulation for new neurons. That insight is key to improve memory.

The Growth of a Neuron

Environmental enrichment creates larger brains and more complex neuron arrangements. This has been proved numerous times in laboratory experiments. A wild mouse has a much larger brain than a caged mouse. A mouse with extra stuff in it's cage (like a running wheel, a ladder...etc.) grows a larger brain than the mouse with nothing in its cage. This means the mouse with more stuff to do in their cage create more electrical-stimulation which in turn supports more neurons.

Another way you can think of your brain is a giant pattern producing machine. Each action you do stimulates a unique pattern of neurons in your brain. Fewer patterns mean less electrical-chemical stimulation and neurons die. Therefore, if mice are placed in a cage with nothing to do, they grow very dumb, and their brain shrinks. There aren’t enough patterns of movement and thought to stimulate new neurons; without chemical-electrical stimulation, the neurons die soon after birth. More challenges = bigger brain, less challenges = smaller brain. Let’s apply this to humans. First, this finding means that we aren’t born with a static brain. If we choose to tackle complex problems then we provide our brains with an enriched environment. An enriched environment grows our brain, and we improve memory. If we choose to sit at home, and do nothing, our brains shrinks and we don't improve memory. So get out there. Try something new! Add variety to your life, and enjoy a healthy brain.

That's all for today's article but keep your eyes open for more insights into how to improve memory from!

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Series: "How to Improve Memory"