"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Friday, September 7, 2007

Your Brain Might Be Falling Apart

According to Neurologists there are three main factors that contribute to neuroplasticity. This is the ability of the brain to reorganize itself, adapt, and grow. Neurogenesis (a form of neuroplasticity), explains Ernest Rossi is activated through novelty, environmental enrichment, and physical exercise. In his landmark book The Psychobiology of Gene Expression, Dr. Rossi attributes this adaptability to the action of genetic mechanisms, termed activity-dependent gene expression. Thus by taking in a hefty dose of these three brain growth elixirs we become more mentally capable, more healthy, and in a more harmonious state.

Novelty involves new information, or learning. New information is the very substance of all growth and development. Whether we're talking about innovation in business, governmental reform, or personal development; new information yields growth, learning, and possibilities. The deluge of information disposable to the average person on earth today in general is astounding. Never before has information been so disposable. Information is the most valuable commodity in existence; its return on investment is staggering. And rightly so; not only do we use information to grow and to gain knowledge consciously, but all organic life is dependent on information for existence. What is the opposite of information increase?

Entropy...remember that from biology class, it has to do with the breakdown, decay, of systems; the weary second law of thermodynamics that dooms all matter to death by loss of information and energy. Eminent biophysicist Werner Lowenstein, in his work The Touchstone of Life, poignantly explains how to battle the malaise of time's arrow, "There is only one way to keep a system from sinking to equilibrium: to infuse new information...Thus, to maintain its high order, an organism must continuously pump in information."

So we thus have a clearer understanding of the need and tremendous benefits of novelty through information. We also tend to see more insights and knowledge from fields such as physics and biology. Which give us incredible models of efficacy. We tend to see a pattern though, or a lag time between the time we discover an insightful method in the working of nature and the universe, and the time we see the same pattern arise while studying ourselves, our business, economy, and other sociological systems.

It might make more sense to study the ways nature has developed schemes to deal with progressive existence, as opposed to studying the subject within itself; and closely mimic, or devise models that cultivate the insights gathered by such inspection. In a recent interview with the Harvard Business Review, economist and business consultant Paul Ormerod compares business strategy with evolution, he says, " Companies should embrace the inherent randomness that drives success and failure...The companies that are most able to explore and innovate - something akin to random mutation - and then rapidly and flexibly adapt when an innovation succeeds or fails, will do best."(italics added).

To "explore" and "innovate" is precisely what novelty is about. So by directly participating in neurogenesis by learning, creativity, or gathering new information you are putting yourself in a better position to succeed in business, and life overall.

excerpt, Untitled, by
Angel Armendariz

1 comment:

Heresiarch said...

Sensorimotor feedback is the key ingredient in neuroplasticity.

Additional fun regarding NEUROPLASTICITY is yours for the swilling in the Space Brains arcade at http://www.starlarvae.org/Space_Brains_The_Enrichments_of_Weightlessness.html

and at


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