by David H. Freedman
Medicine may allow us to challenge our genetic inheritance and repair insults to the brain, whether as Alzheimer’s sufferers or moody, forgetful people and hazy thinkers. Some researchers are hoping to develop more natural methods that could have the same IQ-boosting effect in healthy people as drugs and other treatments. The adult brain has turned out to have a surprising ability to extensively reconfigure its connections through mental exercises. Most of us have parts of our brains that are relatively neglected, says Daniel Siegel, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA Medical School, and we can restore them by techniques such as focusing on nonverbal cues when we’re conversing with other people, being more aware of what we’re thinking, and easing up on the multitasking. “When you do several things at once you tend to do them on autopilot, and fail to engage the parts of the brain that form strong neural connections,” explains Siegel.
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