Be a Seeker of New Things

One way to continue to improve your cognitive skills is to seek out novelty. It’s no accident that geniuses have a tendency to constantly seek out novel activities and learn new domains. Einstein, for example, was skilled in multiple areas.

When you seek novelty, several things are going on. First of all, you are creating new synaptic connections with every new activity you engage in. These connections build on each other, increasing your neural activity, creating more connections to build on other connections—learning is taking place.

Novelty also triggers dopamine, which not only kicks motivation into high gear, but it stimulates neurogenesis—the creation of new neurons—and prepares your brain for learning. All you need to do is feed the hunger.

Researchers in Sweden found that after 14 hours of training working memory over 5 weeks’ time, study participants showed an increase in the dopamine receptor associated with neural growth and development. This increase in plasticity, allowing greater binding of this receptor, is a very good thing for maximizing cognitive functioning.

So it pays to continually seek new activities to engage your mind and expand your cognitive horizons. Learn an instrument. Take an art class. Go to a museum. Read about a new area of science. Be a knowledge junkie. 

If you are interested in growing your brain, Optiminds can help you improve your cognitive skills—the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn.

Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds has been helping to improve the study, reading and cognitive skills of clients of all ages. Find out more about Optiminds brain fitness programs and cognitive skills training by calling us today at (248) 496-0150 or email us at: And be sure to visit our website at


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