This is going to blow your mind, so I’ve linked all my sources at the bottom of this article because if you see it, you might believe it. This was a hot topic back in 2004, and then it went away for a while, but now with a new study from Oxford University, its back in the news again.
Up until recently, scientists believed that the size of our brains was something that never changes, other than maybe deteriorating a little when we get old. A study in 2004 showed differently, it proved that the actual matter inside the brain could increase. A follow up report in 2009, after a very intense study by Oxford University, showed the same thing. Now everyone seems to be interested in this again. “The brain is like a muscle, we need to exercise it,” says Dr. Arne May, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Regensburg in Germany.
These studies show that there are two groups of people that tend to have larger brains:
Cab Drivers and Jugglers
Memorizing a large number of streets and juggling three or more balls is now scientifically shown to make your brain grow in size. Some of the articles below report that if you stop juggling, then your brain decreases back to the original size; however, that has since been proved false. Sex, listening to music, meditation and certain drugs are also shown to improve brain function, but not necessarily change the size of it. Watching TV is not on the list, yet another reason to turn it off.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up my GPS system any time soon to start memorizing all the streets in Atlanta like a cab driver, so for me, it will have to be juggling. Here is a video to get us started. Please check out my sources for this story below, those articles are fascinating. Let’s make our brains big!
Sources (all linked):
Original 2004 report
Follow up 2009 report
Can Juggling Improve Your Brain? ABC News Jan. 2010
Juggling Shown to Change Wiring of the Brain
Interesting Ways to Boost your Brain
Toss Your Balls for Bigger Brains
Why juggling is more than just a party trick for your grey matter
I could list more, but you get the idea. ;)