Everything Changes Your Brain
Almost every week, I see an article like this.
And every time I see one of these articles, I’m overcome with a sudden feeling of despair.
Because I’m sad that people are still duped by this kind of jibberish.
These articles always make the point that some common activity, such as learning a new language or skill, actually changes the brain… and that this is, somehow, new and surprising information.
Here’s the truth: EVERYTHING changes the brain.
Every moment your eyes are open your brain is changing.
When you walk out your door and down the same street you’ve strolled down 200 times before, a huge number of motor and visuospatial neural pathways are being strengthened.
Each time you meet a new person and study their face for a moment, you’re forming new visual and conceptual memories.
Each time you hear a new song, you’re forming a web of new synaptic connections which can later be re-activated (this is what we do when we recall a memory).
The brain is a constantly adapting system. It’s always in flux. It’s continuously updating its representation of the world.
So the next time someone tells you that something changes your brain, tell them: "Yeah, I know. And you know what else just changed your brain? These words."