Change is Possible
A behavioral riddle: You are in a cage, behind bars. The bars are made of titanium, and your cage is empty. TO survive you must consume 240 tiny pellets of food every hour. The pellets are provided to you but unfortunately are located in very small holes outside of your cage, so the process of reaching through the bars and actually grabbing a pellet initially takes you 30 seconds per pellet. If you can’t learn to complete the task faster, you will only consume half the amount of nutrition you need, and will eventually starve. What do you do? The answer: Expand the part of your brain in charge of this task so you can become faster at retrieving pellets. Impossible, right? Well, not so fast. This riddle is based on a famous study from the field of neuroscience, only the subjects in the experiment were not humans but squirrel monkeys. After 500 tries, the monkeys had become very adept at retrieving the pellets, even as the size of the hole continually decreased. So even though the task became harder, through practice they began to master it, like a young piano student who learns to master a scale. Intuitively, this makes sense. We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” But where it gets really interesting is when researchers looked at what was happening in the monkeys’ brains as they got faster and faster at retrieving the pellets. Recent advances in neuroscience have proven that this process works identically in humans. Call us, we can assist you.