The human brain is an extremely complex organ, which has a network of billions of neurons which are constantly sending signals to be interpreted by the brain. Through the efforts of many researchers today we know that the brain is capable of learning and changing throughout the lifetime of an individual. Out of this knowledge the brain theory of “use it or lose it” has been proposed. This theory is based on the idea of neurogenesis, which is the process by which new neurons are created (Jacobs, Van Praag, & Gage, 2000). As new neurons can be formed in adulthood it is important that signals are firing to these neurons to ensure that they are working optimally (Shors, Anderson, Curlik, & Nokia, 2012) As well, research has shown that in an enriched environment with lots of stimuli, this increases the frequency of neurogenesis, which in turn results in an increased number of neurons (Jacobs et al., 2000) Also in support of this concept is a recent study that was conducted in adults using brain training games on the Wii (Ackerman, Kanfer, & Calderwood, 2010). In this study the authors found that over the course of 20 one hour sessions using Wii Big Brain Academy software the participants were able to improve their results on the tasks being completed on the gaming system . However, this did not result in an improvement in any other cognitive tests. This indicates that through practice individuals are able to improve their performance on a particular task, however this does provide proof that you must “use it” to improve it. Overall, there is still much to be learned about the human brain (Ackerman et al., 2010)#_ENREF_1″ t “Ackerman, 2010 #563. But, from previous research we know that the best way to keep a brain healthy is to continually stimulate it.
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