Improving mental performance
Over the years records in all sports continue to be broken, and the level of human athletic performance continues to improve. We do not know what or where the limits lie or when they will be reached. I would like to suggest that a similar condition and situation is possible with the human mind. Is it not possible, even logical and probable, that we can find ways to improve and increase the performance of our minds? Good nutrition combined with exercise leads to improved athletic performance. By lifting weights we can become stronger and lift more weight. What about nourishing, training, and flexing our mental muscles? Can it be done?
Research shows that it is indeed possible, but we need to make the same level of commitment to intellectual excellence as does the champion athlete to physical performance. We do not yet know what optimum levels of intelligence are, but research is showing us the way to increase intelligence and mental capabilities. I am not suggesting that we can go beyond either maximum athletic performances or similar maximum intellectual capabilities. What I am saying is that since very few people even approach their maximum capabilities, we need to maximize the potential that we do have.
Just what do we need to do to accomplish this?
Exercise and proper diet are the foundation in both improving and maintaining high levels of both physical and mental performance. However, this section will focus primarily on cognitive enhancers, herbal preparations and nutrients that are capable of enhancing memory, learning, recall, and other mental functions. There are a number of ways that substances can act to improve cognitive functions. They can:
1. Increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain.
2. Improve brain cell metabolism.
3. Optimize the action of certain enzymes.
4. Increase the supply of oxygen to brain cells.
5. Dissolve and remove cellular garbage deposits from cells.
6. Improve the level of electrical activity in the brain. Advances in modern technology are responsible for the sudden emergence of this new area, cognitive enhancement. For example, the new high-powered electron microscopes enable us to see smaller, look deeper, and understand more than we ever have. Until recently, we could only look at brain cells. Now we can actually look inside brain cells. We are now able to look at both the structures and the processes of the brain and learn how they function. This is giving us clues on ways to enhance information processing capabilities and improve the brain’s memory, storage, and retrieval processes.