Have you ever thought about this?
I recently stumbled upon a video from Daniel Wolpert (neuroscientist and engineer). What he spoke about was quite fascinating to me.
He starts off by asking:”Why do we and certain other species have brains?”
He stated that this is for one reason and that is to produce adaptable and complex movements.
I have always – and even more so now – believed that by challenging the movement patterns system, learning new physical complexities and exploring what patterns the body can perform and adapt to, are what make learning for the mind better and easier.
A very simple principle that I have to agree with Professor Wolpert.
The idea that humans were made to move and adapt to certain patterns is what drives our mental status and cognitive processes. I have seen this in practice over and over again, for example when groups of people come together and move together, it makes them happier and it creates enjoyment. When these individuals learn new movements, there is a natural instinct to try and adapt.
Professor Wolpert explains that in nature there is evidence to support this theory through one animal, the sea squirt. This animal has a nervous system and a brain. It swims through the ocean and its primary goal is to implant onto a rock. Once it has done that it digests its own nervous system and brain.
No more movement is required, hence the brain is no longer needed.
The brain and the nervous system are there, so that we can express ourselves through movement. However, are we really using them for what they were designed for? In the fitness and bodybuilding industry we move in single linear patterns by targeting muscles instead of making the brain adapt to movement complexity and therefore grow. Once a pattern has been adapted, the brain and the nervous system will never forget it (except through trauma). It is true what they say “it’s like riding a bicycle.”
To sum it up: go out, learn something new and live through the adaptive complexity of our brains.
I leave you with a quote from Daniel: “I believe that to understand movement is to understand the whole brain. And therefore it’s important to remember when you are studying memory, cognition, sensory processing, they’re there for a reason, and that reason is action.”