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A thinking person's month
Now we have embraced the coming of winter, whilst we still have memories and energy of the long summer days, I thought it would be a great time to really exercise and strengthen the prefrontal cortex.
It is my favourite part of the brain, and something that we cannot just leave to its own devices.
Did you know that thinking and thinking well is a neuropotective exercise?
As a neuroscientist seeing so many executive function diseases and conditions that are preventable is extremely concerning.
So I am proposing that for one whole month.
The whole month of October, I introduce to you daily thinking exercises that are going to be exactly what you need to keep your prefrontal cortex eminently human, less animal and healthier than it has been for a while.
That is 31 days of the best exercises, interventions and hacks that I know of - and believe me I have a fair few up my sleeve - that will stop the cognitive decline and promote neurogenesis for all.
Neurogenesis is the growth of new neurons (cells) in the brain and this is what we want as well as new synapses, which is the ability for those cells to communicate with each other.
We want good global connection and plasticity to support our cognitive capacity and in particular improve our executive function.
Executive functions make possible mentally playing with ideas; taking the time to think before acting; meeting novel, unanticipated challenges; resisting temptations; and staying focused.
Core executive functions are inhibition [response inhibition (self-control—resisting temptations and resisting acting impulsively) and interference control (selective attention and cognitive inhibition)], working memory, and cognitive flexibility (including creatively thinking “outside the box,” seeing anything from different perspectives, and quickly and flexibly adapting to changed circumstances).
The good thing about the brain is that often when we control the environment then we can improve how it functions and performs. That is the beauty of the brain. It is extremely responsive and reactive to the data/information that it gathers on a daily basis.
I want to give some key facts about the prefrontal cortex -
It is a third of the cerebral cortex
It does top down processing
It is not fully mature until a person is over the age of 25 years old
The ability to listen to and tell stories is a prefrontal cortex function that enabled homo sapiens to thrive
It relies on a lot of energy to keep itself functioning
It is often the first brain functionality to be stopped or reduced in time of stress
So this is about giving a heads up that October is all about Thoughtober.
For paid subscribers I will be providing you with a month long thought book to keep all your thinking together.
Everyone will receive a daily exercise or thought provoker to help their execution function, function better.
There is nothing mild about cogntive decline or executive function disorders, and there is always something that we can do to improve things.
Neurodiversity as localised and specialised as the brain can be also can be supported by Thoughtober.
Changing the environment to be more supportive, more thoughtful and more inclusive of individual need is exactly what everyone needs.
So there is your heads up for thinking up.
Look out for information coming your way of the logistics of Thoughtober. If you have any questions or queries then please do get in touch.
“It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.”