To train your brain, just do something new

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Be it push-ups or weightlifting, you can quickly find effective exercises to strengthen your muscles. It’s more complicated if your aim is to train your brain though. “We don’t really understand what happens in the brain when we train a particular cognitive function,” says Dr Emrah Düzel, director of the Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Research at Magdeburg University Hospital in Germany. “We don’t even know exactly where the processes take place.” Nevertheless, he says, it’s generally possible to train a particular cognitive skill, such as memorizing telephone numbers. How this …

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