If you watched Todd Sampson’s 3-part documentary Redesign My Brain and thought you’d like to get in on the action yourself you’re not alone. So we thought why not go to the source directly? Dr Michael Merzenich, the scientist who helped Todd Sampson redesign his brain in the show and one of the leading experts in brain plasticity shares his top tips for training your brain…
1) Go to BrainHQ
Spend 20-30 minutes each day atcompleting “Todd’s Challenge”. You can do exactly what Todd did. There’s no more efficient way to grow your brain power.
2) Pay really close attention to details
Spend at least 30 minutes each day on a vigorous walk or run or bike ride and most critically, while you walk (or run, or pedal along), record the details of your local neighbourhood/landscape and aggressively commit them to memory. Reconstruct your walk, in as much detail as possible, a time or two or three later each day. In time, become a real master of the details of the world that you live in!
3) Learn how to juggle
If you play ping pong or tennis or juggle, get better at it. If you don’t, take it on. Fast vision leading to fast action with exquisite control is on the path to a faster, stronger, and more reliable brain!
4) Try to memorise your surroundings
When you play a card game (or operate in a social setting) where there are a lot of cards (or people) to remember, work aggressively every day to develop strategies for tracking and remembering the details of all of the actions and actors that are performing on your own human stage. You’ll know that you’re improving when you realise that you remember everyone’s cards and names, even after the hand or the party is over!
5) Actively listen
Hone your skills of active listening. In music, this is all about understanding the details of composition, arrangement and nuance that are the essence of true music appreciation and understanding. In conversation, it is all about really listening, on a level in which any conversation can be repeated verbatim, in your mind, well after that conversation has ended. Remember that better habits of “mindfulness” in which you hear, see, and feel the details of your world and continuously look for variations and surprises in it – just as if you are a child again – can help you grow and retain your brain power.