Take a Break – 04.19.23 (let’s do some brain remodeling)

A study led by the UNIGE, HES-SO Geneva, and EPFL revealed that music practice and active listening could prevent working memory decline. Such activities promoted brain plasticity, they were associated with grey matter volume increase. Positive impacts have also been measured on working memory. This study was conducted among 132 healthy retirees from 62 to 78 years of age. One of the conditions for participation was that they had not taken any music lessons for more than six months in their lives…The participants were randomly assigned to two groups, regardless of their motivation to play an instrument. The second group had active listening lessons, which focused on instrument recognition and analysis of musical properties in a wide range of musical styles. The classes lasted one hour. Participants in both groups were required to do homework for half an hour a day.”

After six months, we found common effects for both interventions. Neuroimaging revealed an increase in grey matter in four brain regions involved in high-level cognitive functioning in all participants, including cerebellum areas involved in working memory. Their performance increased by 6% and this result was directly correlated to the plasticity of the cerebellum,” says Clara James, last author of the study, a privat-docent at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of UNIGE, and full professor at the Geneva School of Health Sciences

Université de Genève. “How music can prevent cognitive decline.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/04/230417142520.htm (accessed April 18, 2023).

Journal Reference – Damien Marie, Cécile A.H. Müller, Eckart Altenmüller, Dimitri Van De Ville, Kristin Jünemann, Daniel S. Scholz, Tillmann H.C. Krüger, Florian Worschech, Matthias Kliegel, Christopher Sinke, Clara E. James. Music interventions in 132 healthy older adults enhance cerebellar grey matter and auditory working memory, despite general brain atrophy. Neuroimage: Reports, 2023; 3 (2): 100166 DOI: 10.1016/j.ynirp.2023.100166

I could feel my brain grey matter volume increasing when listening to this album.

Exercise Alters Brain Chemistry – May Protect Aging Synapses

When elderly people stay active, their brains have more of a class of proteins that enhances the connections between neurons to maintain healthy cognition.

University of California – San Francisco. “Exercise alters brain chemistry to protect aging synapses: Enhanced nerve transmission seen in older adults who remained active.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/01/220107100955.htm (accessed January 8, 2022).

I was about to write a snarky comment but I forgot what it was.

Journal Reference – Kaitlin Casaletto, Alfredo Ramos‐Miguel, Anna VandeBunte, Molly Memel, Aron Buchman, David Bennett, William Honer. Late‐life physical activity relates to brain tissue synaptic integrity markers in older adults. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2022; DOI: 10.1002/alz.12530

Read a Book a Week – 2009 Results

1.0 per week in 2009.

Experience matters.  Now I know why from the following NYT article.

Better pattern recognition, significance recognition, and faster solutions.

I hope you kept some of your older underwriters on the payroll.

Adult Learning – Neuroscience – How to Train the Aging Brain – NYTimes.com

Recently, researchers have found even more positive news. The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can.