Contrary to popular belief, a mind is not a terrible thing to waste. You get what you use and you lose what you don't. Just like the rest of our body, our mind works according to the design principle of probability and potential in servitude to our instinct to survive and our will to thrive.
Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
In one of the more encouraging scientific discoveries from recent years it was suggested that our mental ability could be saved from the rising incidence of senility by using our mind. At first it seemed as if certain mental activities worked better than others, but as research continued we found that our brain adapt to just about anything we put our mind to, even if it means rewiring a part of the brain, as it is commonly found in people learning to use cellphones for the first time.
I suppose it is easy to see how our morbid fear of getting old turned fact into a general belief that the brain is a muscle that can be strengthened, indeed must be strengthened should we want to save ourself from the permanent loss of faculty and reason, or even worse, drifting slowly off to land forgot and into the obscurity of Alzheimer's.
Easy too to understand the all too eager helping hand of those who saw a market gap, and before you could say snap, had just the remedy to guarantee the clarity and mental agility you last had as a teenager. It's an assumption that has spawned a multi-million-dollar computer-game industry of electronic brainteasers and memory games, and according to the research findings of a recently published paper, it seems that it may be an assumption that is wrong. According to the article in TIME:
in the largest study of these games to date, a team of British researchers has found that healthy adults who undertake computer-based "brain training" do not improve their mental fitness in any significant way.As you may expect, the research was immediately met with a barrage of doubt and disbelief, particularly from the companies making a lot of money with their mind enhancing schemes. It remains to be seen who will win the battle for our sanity, but to me it seems that a simple review of the facts on hand suffice to show what we have always known as true, not only of our mind, but nature all around.
Use it, or lose it
But that's just me I guess. If you have a different point of view I'd love to hear from you. (Even facts are welcome too!)