Until relatively recently scientists weren’t sure that adults were able to generate new neurons in their brains.
Even more recently, they’ve discovered that not only are neurons generated in the adult brain but also that there are environmental factors (things we can do, pretty easily) to generate MORE neurons.
Without going into the detail, more neurons = improvements in mood, memory and learning. Not bad, eh?
So how do we increase production of new neurons? It’s painfully simple and you know the answer: exercise, eat vegetables and spend time with people who make you feel good.
These make sense and don’t really come as much of a surprise, however, it’s the extent to which they have an impact that I find incredible.
In a study on mice who were either given a running wheel, or weren’t, those who had a wheel to run on had a 30% increase in neurogenesis.
Even in mice and rodents this change translates to increases in their learning and memory abilities and improvements in their mood.
Time to go for a run?
Or, if you fancy something else, these are the factors which impact neurogenesis for better and for worse: