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Neuroplasticity Sheds Light On The Amazing Fertility Of The Older Mind – How The Brain Can Change Itself

It is a popular misconception that people can’t learn new things as they age. Emerging research shows that we are in fact capable of learning anything we desire, at any age, if we only put our minds to it.

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If you are anything like me, you may have thought to yourself over the years, Man, I really wish I would have learned another language in high school, or wondered, Why didn’t my mother put me in guitar lessons? Now I’ll never be able to learn how to play. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right?

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This common misconception couldn’t be further from the truth, and older minds are still very much capable of learning and mastering new skills.

Emerging studies in psychology and neuroscience are now proving this very fact. They are also showing that continuing to learn and experience new things may actually help you to maintain good mental health and cognitive functioning as you age. It’s time to reconsider any previously held beliefs that we are simply incapable of learning new things after a certain age.

Where Did This Assumption Come From?

This pessimistic view of the ageing mind can perhaps be traced back to the ancient Greeks. In his treatise De Memoria et Reminiscentia, Aristotle compared our memories to a wax tablet; at birth the wax is hot and pliable and can take on whatever shape you give it, but as it begins to slowly cool down, it becomes tough and brittle, making it difficult to mould or imprint upon.

Enter the Exciting Realm of Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity refers to “the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.”

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This essentially means that the brain is capable of regenerating new cells, a process once thought to be impossible. The concept of neuroplasticity is not new, but the ability to observe it in action is, thanks to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, which has allowed us to confirm the incredible morphing ability of the brain.

Even though your brain may become a bit more plastic as you age, certain practices can trigger neuroplasticity and regenerate brain cells.

How to Encourage Neuroplasticity

Change happens when you make the effort and are motivated to learn. This conscious effort causes the brain to release the neurochemicals necessary to facilitate change. In other words, you have to have interest in what you are doing; it has to be something that you truly want and desire for yourself. The harder you try and the more motivated and the more alert you are, the greater that change will be.

Every single instance of learning strengthens and stabilizes the brain. So, every time your brain strengthens a connection to the mastery of a skill, it will also weaken connections to neurons that weren’t being used at that moment. This helps to change or erase some irrelevant or interfering activity within the brain.

It is important to remember that neuroplasticity is a two-way street. While you can wasily create positive changes, you can also create negative ones just as easily. This is important to keep in mind every time negative self-talk comes up or you tell yourself that you can’t do something. You are just convincing yourself that you can’t and your brain takes note of that, which means you’ll have to reprogram that belief system first in order to accomplish whatever you thought was impossible for yourself.

Amazing Example of the Capacity of an Older Mind

In 1993, John Basinger decided to memorize the 12 books, 10,565 lines, and 60,000 words that comprise the second edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Nine years later, he achieved his goal, performing the poem from memory over a three-day period.

In some recent experiments, Dayna Touron from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro showed that adults aged 60 and over frequently underestimate the power of their own memories, and this lack of confidence — not lack of ability — prevents them from harnessing the full capacity of their minds.

In one study in particular, Touron’s participants were asked to compare a reference table of simple word pairings with a second list and then identify which words had not appeared on the original table. She saw that the older participants were more reluctant to rely on their memory and chose instead to cross reference the two tables, despite this method taking much longer. They seemed unsure of whether they could actually remember the pairs, so without even trying, opted for the more time consuming strategy.

A Lesson in Remembering How Capable We Really Are

This really goes to show that we are capable of anything, so long as we put our minds to it (no pun intended). Instead of just assuming that you won’t be able to do something, try believing in yourself, and then dedicating some time to it, and see how it goes. If you want something badly enough, you can and will achieve it. We are more powerful than we realize, and it’s time to start acting like it!

Much Love

 

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Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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