Why I write & some random Sciency thoughts at night.. (if you’re interested!)

I’ve never seen myself as a good writer. To be honest, it’s more probable that the opposite is true instead. But somehow whenever I write, it helps me think. Writing helps me organize and sort out whatever thoughts I may have in this overly-excited monkey brain of mine that never seems to tire (especially at night of all times when I need to sleep!). Writing helps me pen down and document memories and these thoughts of mine into something tangible, something physical that I can look back upon next time and either cringe really hard at what I’ve written, or think.. “Oh wow, that’s pretty impressive. I didn’t know I could come up with something that good!” I tend to forget stuff really easily, and sometimes when I read something that I’ve written in the past, I may even learn something from my past self again! How ironic is that. I’m learning from myself HAHAHA okay ignore me i’m weird.

Speaking of learning, this reminds of something I’ve learnt from a neuroscience paper I took last year.

The word “Engram” refers to “A hypothetical permanent change in the brain accounting for the existence of memory; a memory trace”.

Pretty cool ain’t it? We are so used to thinking that memories are something intangible. (I used to think that way at least) Something non-physical that we can’t touch with our fingers. But no! Our thoughts do take upon a physical form, and that takes place within this awesome, miraculous brains of ours. Its so cool! Whenever we learn something new, a new neuronal synapse (connection) is made within our brains. This is also known as brain plasticity. Fascinating isn’t it? Scientists and academicians used to claim that the brain is an organ that DOES NOT have plasticity. This means that it is unable to change its structure of form and will always stay the same. However in recent years, the more we have studied and researched into our brains, we are now discovering and know that the opposite is true! The human brain does indeed have brain plasticity and in many cases, has been shown to re-wire itself and adapt to changes under differing situations. (https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-plasticity/what-is-brain-plasticity) Adding this link above makes me feel like i’m writing a scientific report for school all over again.. Ugh. Anyway i’m referencing it wrongly anyway so it doesn’t qualify.

Back to the topic, Brain plasticity can be both good and bad. It really depends. And as discussed previously, an example of something good can be us learning something and it results in the formation of an engram. However, an example of something bad can be us forgetting the name of the person we just met 5 minutes ago! How dare we!! In this case, we had previously learnt something new (the name of the person) and a new neuronal connection was made. But we didn’t put much thought into trying to remember it and 5 minutes later, we’ve totally forgotten that person’s name! Short-term memory is at play. The new neuronal connection has been “pruned” and cut off within the brain, just like how you would on a Bonsai tree. (HAHA don’t you love my analogy) This also is brain plasticity. Our brain is so very special, and since i’m in the mood for it, here’s another fun fact of the day for you lovely people reading my blog. 🙂

Technology has forced most of us to be prodigious multitaskers. But your brain can’t learn or concentrate on two things at once. What it can do is quickly toggle back and forth between tasks. But doing so decreases your attention span, ability to learn, short-term memory, and overall mental performance.

Excerpt taken from (https://bebrainfit.com/human-brain-facts/) if you’re keen for more random brain facts 😉

Knowing this, those of you who think you can multi-task, you can’t really! It’s just your brain toggling back and forth, up and down, just like how you would on an iphone switching in between the phone note and calculator app whenever you need to calculate something complex. You’re just shooting yourself in the foot really, hindering yourself from focusing on the task at hand and doing your best.

Man, I can really go on and on all day sharing about all these fun facts, interesting Sciency stuff especially about the human body in particular, but I really should stop before all you readers of mine who hate Science stop reading my blog hahaha.

Thanks again for reading friends!


Paul Chong

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