One of the most stubborn misconceptions related to brain performance and live quality in general is the idea that all skill and potential is pre-determined and hard-wired into your genes and brain in the form of ‘talent’. Put in another way, people would refer to it as ‘you’re either born with talent or you’re not’. This misconception is, fortunately for all of us, a misconception, hence a rather tricky one for people to deal with.
Recent developments in neuroscience and brain supplements in the past decades have shed light on the mechanics behind talents and learning and have shown that the brain is a highly dynamical system. Matter of fact, your brain is capable of adapting itself every day, hour and minute of your life and is actually changing just by reading this sentence. The main concept responsible for this phenomenon has Synapse xt only quite recently been discovered by Nobel Prize winner Erik Kandell and is called ‘synaptic plasticity’.
Synapses, the microscopic-sized communication lines of the neurons in your brain, are fully capable of changing and adapting to new and different stimuli. As you learn and remember new things, new synaptic connections are being created in your brain to facilitate the flow of electrical impulses in your brain through the specific circuits that are being used by the things you are doing at that moment. Moreover, it has been acknowledged that the brain never loses its’ synaptic plasticity, meaning the capacity to learn new things never fades away!
In the age of neuroscience there are thus no valid reasons anymore to avoid learning and expressing your true potential. Of course, it cannot be denied that some people are inheritably predisposed toward a certain skill or behavior, yet without proper practice even this talent goes to waste. Talent is only a small contributor in the way to success, as your brain can fully adapt itself to any new desired behavior or skill regardless of existing talent or not. Effort and persistence go a long, if not the entire way, and nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential due to limited beliefs about one’s own capacities.
As said, the brain maintains its unimaginable flexibility through synaptic plasticity, which, if we really want to go deep in this, involves signal transduction pathways and altered gene expression in the synapses between neurons.
Still, its’ flexibility does deteriorate gradually overtime. This explains why it is so much easier for a young child to learn a new language or to play a new instrument; its’ brain is basically still a nice and soft piece of clay which can easily be molded into a desired structure. This piece of clay hardens during the years, but no worries, as even the tougher pieces of clay remain moldable, it just takes a little more effort. Learning how to play the piano while in your thirties is not impossible, far from it, all that is needed is some willpower and effort to mold that piece of clay into a masterpiece.
Fortunately, with the most recent developments in neuroscience, it is becoming possible to improve the quality of the clay and increase its’ flexibility; good nutrition, exercise and mental well-being all help tremendously in improving new skills and memory by providing a better functioning and more flexible brain. Also, with the emergence of new brain supplements and cognitive enhancers, learning is becoming more and more easy and fun.