Everybody has heard of grey matter:
It’s the brain’s pinkish-grey color, literally containing the brain cells and all the goodies so cells can communicate with each other. Grey matter is especially handy when it comes to memory. (3)
But many have not heard of white matter.
White matter is much deeper in the brain and surrounded by myelin, which gives it the white color. White matter is not only important in protection from injury but it also improves the speed and transmission of nerve signals. (2)
That is, myelin empowers us to:
Think fast, communicate clearly and have great mental strength
Let’s go a tiny bit deeper …
Myelin is responsible for allowing electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If myelin is damaged, these impulses slow down. (4) And, as Dr Rummel shared on Mental Strength and Brain Chemistry (awesome life-changing program if you haven’t listened yet), if too much sugar is in the picture (glycation), then signals may not even arrive — leading to slower thinking, poor memory and far worse! (5)
It’s also interesting to note that this myelin is literally made up of protein and fats. (4) For a great short convo related to this fascinating topic, read “Does Food Change Your Mood”.
Anyway … this is definitely worthy of much more research.
But what does all this have to do with an iPad and staring at screens?
More than we might think.
A fascinating new study recently found that increased screen time in kids may be associated with a decline in reading, writing and communicating. Possibly due to prolonged screen time literally reshaping the deep down foundational white matter — the stuff that is responsible for efficient communication of brain cells. (1)
While this study barely scratches the surface and suggests the need for much more research, going back to basics of putting down the screens, getting dirty in the mud, hitting more tennis balls in the sun and playing catch outside may be …
The new secret to better communication skills and rock-solid mental strength!
If you need anything along the way, we are happy to help!
Until Next Week,
Your team at Mental Strength
- Associations Between Screen-Based Media Use and Brain White Matter Integrity in Preschool-Aged Children: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2754101
- White matter of the brain: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002344.htm
- Grey Matter and White Matter: http://www.indiana.edu/~p1013447/dictionary/greywhit.htm
- Myelin: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002261.htm
- Mental Strength and Brain Chemistry: https://www.mentalstrength.com/mental-strength-and-brain-chemistry/