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-   -   Rewiring Neural Circuits - "Old Dog, New Tricks" (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=8063)

CoachStuartMcDougal 05-28-2015 06:54 AM

Rewiring Neural Circuits - "Old Dog, New Tricks"
 
This is quite revealing how hard-wired our neural circuits can become. They can be rewired for new skills with focus and mindful practice, but certainly takes months and a lot of patience. The older the circuits, the more time and patience is required to rewire.

http://dailyliked.net/backwards-brain-bicycle/

Stuart

jenson1a 05-28-2015 10:39 AM

What an interesting video! Also very frustrating to us older people who are trying to wire new ideas into our muscle memory. Terry has spent many many years developing new ways to swim better. He himself admits that some things take months or even years to imprint in our system.

I think as we age, we have to consider what is feasible in the years we have left and concentrate on those skills. What are the low hanging fruits for us senior citizens?

Sherry

CoachBobM 05-28-2015 07:48 PM

Norman Doidge, M.D., in his book The Brain That Changes Itself, documents many ways in which patients have, essentially, rewired their brains, usually to compensate for damage to their bodies' sensory and/or motor functions. This rewiring is by no means restricted to younger patients, though he notes that, for each brain function, there is an ideal time in a person's development when it is easier to rewire that particular brain function than it will be later on. But there is no evidence that there is any age at which this rewiring becomes impossible.


Bob

CoachStuartMcDougal 05-28-2015 09:07 PM

Hey Bob,

I'll have to pick that book up. The brain is so fascinating and capable of rewiring at any age, and important to challenge more and rewire as we age too. I still do Emily's "brain gym" exercises from the Coaches Summit last year, they are still revealing.

Hi Sherry,

It really is an interesting video, and quite hysterical too, I'm still giggling (watched it 3x now). It reveals how much processing our brains are doing and its complexities when doing something that *seems* as simple as riding a bike. Good news though, you are an adult onset swimmer (I believe), not having swam years and years with poor form. Although as we age we lose some of the neural plasticity, learning new skills takes longer, but we don't necessarily have spend a lot of time shutting off the old ones that are mostly not present. I believe in this bicycle example, we have built those circuits from an early age and have never seen someone ride a bike like that one (perception circuits hard-wired), which required Destin several months of shutting off old neural circuits (and perceptions!) before new circuits could start to take over.

As coaches it's quite amazing to witness how quickly those circuits can be rewired with students, or the initial framework laid out, broken into mini-skills that are integrated slowly into the complexity of all movements in freestyle. Once perception or perceptive circuits can be put aside long enough to allow a new motor skill or circuit to start, one small step at a time. The brain is amazing, most powerful and adaptable processing unit on earth - if we allow it to do its job. I believe continuous improvement is all about exercising and refining those circuits every day especially as we age.

Challenge the brain, you are far more capable than tackling low hanging fruit. It really is quite fun - and I think it's the fountain of youth :-)

Happy neural networks (and rewiring)!

Stuart

lloyddinma 05-28-2015 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachBobM (Post 53236)
Norman Doidge, M.D., in his book The Brain That Changes Itself, documents many ways in which patients have, essentially, rewired their brains, usually to compensate for damage to their bodies' sensory and/or motor functions. This rewiring is by no means restricted to younger patients, though he notes that, for each brain function, there is an ideal time in a person's development when it is easier to rewire that particular brain function than it will be later on. But there is no evidence that there is any age at which this rewiring becomes impossible.


Bob

I think I read that. That's the book that has an account of an individual who died of natural causes, but upon examination had a huge tumor in his head that had no impact

They actually found that even in older people, brain cells (neurons) are still being born (neurogenesis) in certain parts.

Is it a given that older circuits are synonymous with older people? I tend to think it has more to do with aged and pre-existing habits, skills etc.

I am not aware that older people have it more challenging picking up new skills or rewiring (neuroplasticity). Some evidence seems to suggest that being inquisitive, aka childlike is the ultimate panacea. Most older people tend to be less inquisitive. In my opinion then it is not biology but mindset.

lloyddinma 05-28-2015 09:22 PM

Coach Stuart... LOL! I just saw your post. You made my comment redundant. Anyway, check out Joe Dispenza's Evolve Your Brain. He covers this well. He was a chiropractor who suffered a serious accident that crushed his vetebrae. He recoverd.

CoachStuartMcDougal 05-29-2015 05:31 AM

Hi Lloyd!

Haaa! Not redundant, just a different perspective - exercising the brain as panacea to long life, perfect! I will pick up that Dispenza's book too, especially how his brain and neural circuits adapted after a crushed spine. Thanks for the tip and recommended reading!

Stuart

jenson1a 05-29-2015 10:20 AM

Coach Stuart

You assumed wrong: Good news though, you are an adult onset swimmer (I believe), not having swam years and years with poor form. Although as we age we lose some of the neural plasticity, learning new skills takes longer, but we don't necessarily have spend a lot of time shutting off the old ones that are mostly not present.

I learned to swim at a local YMCA at five years old. I am now 71! I started TI in 2010
which means that I had 66 years of learning to overcome. Granted not all of it was a waste. That engineer is probably in his 30s and it took him 8 months to relearn riding a bike. Too bad he didn't try the experiment with a much older person. Wonder how much longer it would take for that person to relearn.

As Dara Torrez's book is entitled, Age is just A Number. I am not saying that it is impossible to relearn some skills, but at my age, they will take longer. What I do have going for me is that I am curious and not afraid to ask some seemingly stupid questions. Also Mat Hudson pointed out to me that learning TI is something like eating an icecream sundae. Some people just devour it and others take the time to eat slowly and enjoy every bite. I am trying to remember that!

Anyway, that video was really enlightening. Leave it to an engineer to think up something like that. I especially like his statement that knowledge is not understanding. How true.

Sherry

igorner 05-29-2015 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal (Post 53233)
This is quite revealing how hard-wired our neural circuits can become. They can be rewired for new skills with focus and mindful practice, but certainly takes months and a lot of patience. The older the circuits, the more time and patience is required to rewire.

http://dailyliked.net/backwards-brain-bicycle/

Stuart

You state that it takes the older person more time etc. to develop new circuity. Is this statement based on evidence? Is it a supposition based on popular belief?

I would really like to see the neuroscience that supports that statement..not saying that you are wrong, but there is a possibility that we are fostering "old wives tales". There was a time when we were told that by a "certain age" the human brain had basically reached its maximum potential. Such adages no longer are taken seriously in the neuroscience community.

I wonder what else we know, that we actually don't.

CoachEricDeSanto 05-29-2015 04:19 PM

Hey All,
It has been a long time since I have been on the forum. I love this video because it points out a hugely important concept that I love about TI. First, some background. I began my athletic career at age 6 as a martial artist because I could not yet walk correctly and my parents believed the training could help. I now have two black belts. I have long been intrigued by the image a lot of people have that martial arts can have such life changing affects on people, but most other sports can't. I don't share this belief.

I believe martial arts, or in this case riding a crazy bike, can teach us so much because the consequences of failure are immediately obvious. If you fail in martial arts, you get hit. If you fail on this bike, you fall. But, unless you are careful with your metrics, if you fail in the pool you slow down a little. Slowing down is far less traumatic than a fist in the face so most people don't notice the small slips in focus that slow our learning. My swimmers usually make a big jump in their learning when they learn to see an added stroke like falling off this bike. It tightens their focus.

The second point I like is in response to the age issue. I had the overwhelming honor of meeting Keiko Fukuda, the oldest living student of the founder of Judo (she passed in 2013) while she was teaching at 99 years old. One of the main ideas she left me with was that the techniques that worked for her when she was young ("at 80") don't always work at 99. She continued to learn because failure to protect herself was not an option as her body changed. Our bodies are changing constantly. But only through intense metric focus can realize that on a daily basis. Only when we are open to change can we accept that the focal points that lead to success now, will not be the same ones that lead to success in a couple years.


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