What you study wires you up shaping your destiny

if you study law you change your brainPeople definitely show different patterns of thinking. An artist thinks very differently from a lawyer, a scientist “sees” the world in a totally different way form a business person. I know !

But what comes first, the thinking or the career ?

Most people would agree that the thinking, is what shapes career choices, but that is not the full story. What you study also impacts your wiring.

This week’s Neurotechnology Tip encourages you to think differently, so you build a better brain. Practice really does make perfect.

Thinking like a lawyer

All it takes to create a lawyer like reasoning capabilities, is to study a law book or two.

Researchers from the University of California (Berkley) discovered this, when they looked inside want-to-be lawyers brains, before and after they prepared to take the university’s law entrance exam (LSAT exam).

Learning law changed their brains

The stint of studying law books, rewired the want-to-be lawyers brains, not just figuratively, but literally.

The team looked inside the brains’ of 24 college students, before and after they completed their preparations for the “law exam”, using sophisticated brain imaging technology (diffusion tensor imaging). The DIF scans, found structural changes to the area of the brain connecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain, this area is involved in “reasoning”.

The structural changes were seen after only a 100 hours of “thinking” law.

NOTE : Students not studying law, did not show the same changes to their brain microstructure.

Brain circuits get training

This research is good news for brain’s that don’t think according to the career you desire.

Embarking on a rigorous training programme, can whip your brain into shape and improve it’s thinking capacity.

So ……

  • if you need to get good at maths – do maths problems, lots of them.
  • if you need to think logically – study a little law or play a game or two of Cludo™
  • if you need to see patterns – solve puzzles

IQ test is just a moment in time

“Smartness” can be cultivated, practise really does help.

If you perform poorly on a test today, this reflects your prior history of cognitive engagement, not just your biology. It reflects how prepared you were in that moment in time, but it is not a record of your inherent potential.  If you prepare more, you’re likely to do better.

So no matter how old you are – make thinking a little, part of your routine.

Experience-dependent plasticity in white matter microstructure: reasoning training alters structural connectivity. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy (2012); 6 Allyson P. Mackey, Kirstie J. Whitaker, Silvia A. Bunge 

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Further reading

exam in progress readers rise to the top of the corporate world thinking on the loo
Exam remembering takes practice under pressure If you want to be the boss, you need to read now Make you next loo break a brain breaks too

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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