In spite of continuing challenges to the validity of neuroscience, and the deeply held conventional wisdom that intelligence is hardwired, block by block and study after study have shown that intelligence and the brain are profoundly affected by enrichment. Of the various findings, two are especially fascinating.
In the 1960s, laboratories at both Purdue and Berkeley had found that the cerebral cortex from rats living in enriched environments had more glial cells than those living in non-enriched environments. Glial cells establish brain circuits, and play a key role in regeneration and plasticity (adaptability). Marian Diamond of Cal Berkeley acquired blocks of tissue from Einstein’s brain, making it possible for her to compare his tissue to that of normal males. In so doing she saw that Einstein had more glial cells in all the important areas of the brain.
This catalyzed Diamond and her team to research proving that enrichment can profoundly alter the brain’s structure. Furthermore, the research reveals that the ongoing effects of environmental complexity show up powerfully, not only in birth and childhood, but throughout all of life.
It has become accepted that the better connected a brain is, the better it can connect new facts with old facts, retrieve older memories, and even see links between very different facts. This is a superb setup for complex pattern thinking, problem solving and creativity. The research revealed, and continues to reveal that in stark contrast to the traditional perspective on intelligence, brain circuits will continue to develop in response to the changing demands of technology, evolving business processes, and unique and difficult decision making—the typical setting of many leading-edge businesses in a competitive environment.
But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The research is pouring in from Berkeley, the National Institutes of Health, the Salk Institute, the University of Illinois, Florida State, Yale, and the University of Virginia, revealing fascinating and extremely helpful insights to directly influence our career potential. On this site, we’ll regularly update readers on the research related to our personal and professional success.
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