How Does the Brain Affect Our Lives? (Part 1)

By Maggie Dail, MA, Learning Specialist


As a part of my ongoing journey to understand how our brain works and how we learn, I began reading Younger Brain, Sharper Mind by Eric P. Braverman, MD during a quick get-away / Spring Break.


In the introduction, Braverman explains the problem behind our “senior moments” – it’s biology.  However, he gives hope that it does not have to be this way. xii – xiv


“Neurogenesis is the answer….Neurogenesis teaches us that we can repair, recover or even improve the aging brain.”  xiv – xv


“Cognitive energy = voltage (number of neurons) x processing speed (the speed at which they’re fired) xvi


  • Part 1 – Explains how the brain works.


  • Part 2 – Explains the “6-Step Plan”


  • Part 3 – “Your Brain, Your Body”


In addition to his own research, Braverman uses extensive other sources listed in the References section at the end.


  • (Part 1: A Balanced Brain —Chapter 1 – Brain Basics)


“The brain is the most remarkable organ in the body: It not only controls how you think, feel and perceive, it manages all aspects of your health.


Some say that the brain is like a supercomputer, but I imagine it more like the circuit box in your home.” p. 3


To further use the circuit box analogy:


Voltage – measures brain power and output


Speed – determines the speed of the processing


Balance – “The Balanced brain creates and receives electricity in a smooth rhythmic flow.” p. 4


Synchrony – “The brain’s electricity moves as waves.” (beta – 12-16 cycles – active; alpha – 8-12 cycles – creative; theta – 4-8 – drowsy; delta – 1-4 cycles – sleep) p. 5


“True synchrony occurs when all four brain waves are coordinated throughout the day and night. When these brain waves get out of sync at night, you will not experience restful sleep; during the day you’ll find that your mind is wandering and your concentration is affected.” p. 5


Certainly many of us of all ages experience times when our mind wanders and we lack concentration.  I look forward to continuing to read what Braverman has to say. Join me in this journey.


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