Published: January 25, 2004
Researchers in Germany report that the brain is similar to muscles in that if you exercise, it will grow:
Both studies show how malleable the brain is under training, a finding already hinted at by the brain's own internal representation, or mapping, of body parts. In monkeys trained to use their fingertips for some task, the areas of the brain devoted to mapping the fingertips will enlarge, suggesting that the brain's various maps of the body are "plastic," in the parlance of neurology, not hard-wired.
Since they can't observe what's going on at the cellular level, the scientists don't know if the new weight is due to new cells or new connections. The people the Times spoke with think it's the connections. There are plenty of them:
Prediction: This finding will appear in Training, T+D, and the other vehicles of the training industry's popular press with the fervor of The National Enquirer reporting Michael Jackson's affair with Liz Taylor.
Does reading garbage, memorizing the ball scores, looking at porn, and watching Harry Potter movies a dozen times make one's brain heavier? Just thinking about that makes it hard for me to hold my head up.
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