10 Steps to Brain Fitness

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by: Diana Bocco
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Sure, you remember the smell of grandma's apple pie like it was yesterday. But do you remember where you put the bill that's due tomorrow? Memory is selective and complicated -- like grandma's apple pie recipe. Learn more about how your brain works.

The brain is an amazing machine, one we still know very little about. Memory is an even bigger puzzle. You might have trouble remembering the time for a meeting, but you can still remember the smell of your grandma's apple pie or the intrinsic plot twists of a novel you loved. This is because memory most likely is selective. We remember or forget things based on a complex association of emotions, interest and importance. 

When new information enters the brain, it triggers the release of chemicals and electrical signals. The more cells that are involved in the communication process, the longer the information remains in the brain. Short-term memory causes a temporary response in the brain, but long-term memory causes an anatomical change in the brain [source: NOVA]. These are visible changes; scans of your brain today and tomorrow will look different, simply because new information is now there.

So is there anything you can do to improve your brain's capacity? Experts believe that we can exercise our brains, just like our bodies. Keep your brain in top shape and your memory, capacity for learning -- and even your IQ -- might improve. Read on to learn more about how to put your brain on a fitness plan.

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