I remember reading a study a while back.
It said something about a group of rats. They trained these rats to perform simple dexterity exercises.
(I like to think they had to solve tiny Rubik’s cubes, but that seems unlikely…)
Compared to a control group, these rats rewired about 60% of their brain.
That number might confuse you. Does that mean if they trained them to do two things with their paws, they’d rewire 120% of their brains?
Of course not.
My guess is it would still rewire 60% or so… only the part rewired would be much richer, stronger and more deeply interconnected.
This is how the brain works. We think of it as a series of connected processing centres – a vision centre, a language centre and so forth.
There’s truth to that model.
It’s also wildly simplistic.
Remembering the definition of a specific word happens in one place in the brain. But any complicated mental task – from writing a sonnet to imagining your new living room – activates your whole brain.
Folk say the left hemisphere of the brain is logical while the right is creative. But to think logically or creatively uses everything you have.
This is how the rats rewire most of their brain from a simple physical exercise. It takes everything their brains have to learn it.
And it works the same in humans.
When you first learned to write, it ignited neural connections all across the brain. Something that complex – simple as it seems now – went beyond one lobe.
And if it happened before, it’ll happen again.
There are a lot of things you can do to improve your hand-eye coordination.
Sports, knitting, origami, drawing, tying knots…
You could even learn magic tricks – the ultimate dexterity exercises.
It doesn’t matter what you choose.
What matters is you practice it. Because the more you practice it, the stronger, healthier and better interconnected your brain becomes.
Training your hands trains everything else. Your memory, your vision, your spatial reasoning…
I could go on.
All I’ll say is this:
Hand-eye coordination is one of the quintessential human skills. Even other primates struggle to tie simple knots. We can finely manipulate everything from cutlery to lockpicking tools.
Levelling up your dexterity does more than sharpen your brain. It enhances one of the great human skills. You have these abilities, so rare in the animal kingdom – wouldn’t it be a shame to waste them?
You can begin that simple self-improvement technique now.
And enjoy its benefits for the rest of your life.
If you really want to take your mind to new places? To improve more you dreamed possible?
You might want to read about this mind training program: