Growing old is just a fact of life. But does that mean our brain has to get old too? Reporter David Schechter is taking a viewer on the road to find out if brain training works. They'll visit with an expert on brain training, learn new techniques and explore the connection between brain health and things like sleep, exercise, diet and supplements.
Pat and I are starting our journey at The Center for Brain Health, in Dallas. Stacy Vernon is checking our brain function by giving us a series of tests. She’s a clinician here with experience in neuropsychological and psychological assessment.
The first thing we're learning is not to get hung up on the word “memory." She's saying what can be trained, that's more helpful for you than memory, is brain function.
“Think of the brain working much better as a processor of information than a storage unit of information,” Vernon said.
The Center for Brain Health uses a training strategy called SMART: Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Tactics. They teach it to adults, kids, CEOs, veterans and more.
And here’s the idea behind it:
Unlike multi-tasking, where your brain is bouncing between several unrelated things, Vernon says you exercise your brain by eliminating distractions and identifying just one thing to work on.
Now that you’re focused on your one thing, go deep into observation mode. What does this thing look like? Feel like? Sound like?
Once you’re seeing the thing in a deeper way, try connecting it with other ideas, concepts and theories you know about.
Finally, by re-assembling the thing together with outside concepts, the brain can make something new.