The term “neuroplasticity” has become somewhat of a buzzword lately – but how familiar with the details are you?

According to Merriam-Webster, neuroplasticity is the “capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behavior in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction” [1]. Or in layman’s terms, it is your brain’s ability to change for better or for worse!

Described further, “Neuroplasticity occurs when neurons in the brain sprout and form synapses. As the brain processes sensory information, frequently used synapses are strengthened while unused synapses weaken. Eventually, unused synapses are eliminated completely in a process known as synaptic pruning, which leaves behind efficient networks of neural connections” [1]. So quite simply, neuroplasticity occurs as individuals study and learn new ideas and habits. By doing so, these individuals are strengthening certain synapses while weakening others. This ultimately leads to the modification of the “wiring” in their brains.

Before neuroplasticity was accepted by the scientific community, the brain was viewed as a static organ that could not be changed. Under this older premise, it was thought that brain would continue to develop through the early stages of childhood and then hit a stopping point. Thus, it was thought that adults could not form new neurons or modify their neural networks. Essentially, your brain could only get worse! What a rather gloomy concept, right?

With this older viewpoint becoming invalid, there has been a tremendous amount of growth in the number of studies and amount of research being performed on neuroplasticity. More specifically, scientists and researchers are working to better understand how mental illnesses, learning disabilities, and cognitive performance can be improved through therapy and training programs.

Now, how is this related to THINQ Golf and your mental game? Well, the big key is that your mental make-up as a golfer can be customized by you. Poor thought patterns involving anxiety, the inability to stay in the present, and wild emotions can be eliminated as long as you are willing to put the time and effort into re-training them. Hebb’s Law says, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” So, you must make sure that you are training and reinforcing the right skills on and off the golf course. Otherwise, you are at the risk of further engraining poor habits.

The research behind the THINQ Games has shown that players who practice the skills of attention, awareness, intention, and synchronicity are able to attain more synchronous brain maps, and in turn, hit better shots. Players who have altered their brain maps have essentially changed the way in which their brains fire during a performance situation – that is, they have modified their brain activity levels through a conscious effort to train new cognitive skills and patterns.

With that being said, those of you who train regularly are literally in the process of re-wiring your mental game, so next time your fellow playing partners ask, “How are your scores improving?” – smile wryly and simply say, “Through neuroplasticity!”

References

[1] “Neuroplasticity.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 12 July 2014.



…………………………………………………………………………….

WHAT DO YOU THINQ?
Are you ready to dramatically improve your golf game by training all of the mental skills required for maximizing on-course golf performance? With THINQ Golf’s Premium Membership, you will have access to: (1) ALL of the THINQ Golf Games (2) Monthly Prize Competitions (3) THINQ Golf Experience Workbook (4) THINQ Golf Leaderboards  (5) Educational Webinars (6) Online Journal (7) Online Vision Board and MORE!

Become a THINQ Golf member and start Gaming Your Brain today!

THINQ Golf offers a discount rate for PGA & LPGA Golf Professionals and special rates for golf teams and academies. Inquire at thinqteam@thinqsports.com.

CONNECT WITH THINQ GOLF
Get the latest THINQ Golf news and updates, as well as great golf tips!
Sign up for the THINQ Golf e-newsletter at the bottom of this blog post.

Follow THINQ Golf on FaceBook 
Follow THINQ Golf on Twitter
Follow THINQ Golf on Pinterest
Follow THINQ Golf on Google+
Visit THINQ Golf’s YouTube Channel

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Neuroplasticity 101 | THINQ Golf | neologism | ... - July 15, 2014

    […] The term “neuroplasticity” has become somewhat of a buzzword lately – but how familiar with the details are you?  […]

  2. Gregory Smith - October 12, 2014

    I love your blog

    I have read this article and enjoyed it

  3. Vanessa Smith - March 5, 2015

    I liked your blog very much.

    I want to thank you for the contribution.

Leave a Reply