Facebook PixelMake people use awkwardly designed tools to re-learn old skills and thereby improve neuroplasticity in adults
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Make people use awkwardly designed tools to re-learn old skills and thereby improve neuroplasticity in adults

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Apr 11, 2022
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A long-term experiment in which people have to re-learn old skills because the world around them changed. For example, backward goggles, backward bikes, etc. Could this improve one's ability to learn new skills? If yes, develop it into a product.
Why?
  • Extreme cognitive exercises.
  • An experiment to see if this could improve an adult's ability to master new skills faster?
  • Could it improve the brain's ability to adapt to change faster?
How it works
People sign up for a few months of back-to-back reality-shifting experimentation. Their cognitive abilities are thoroughly tested before the experiment begins to establish their baseline.
For the next few months their world changes. They wear gadgets that make everything different. They can't take them off for the entire duration of the experiment.
For example, week 1: redirected field of view to make it feel as if peoples' eyes are in the back of their heads. Week 2: make it feel as if the left and the right eye have switched places. And so on. The goggles use mirrors that direct the light through tubes the same way as miscroscopes do.
Simultaneously have people ride the backwards bike and other devices following a similar concept:


Come up with many such "world-changing" devices.
Every few days, people should switch to a brand new "mind trick" following a similar concept. Change something that causes a person to re-learn a skill they previously mastered. Something major (like vision, hearing, etc) should constantly be affected in new ways. In addition, several minor things should challenge people on a daily basis. Make each day packed with novelty aimed to overwhelm the brain. The idea is to replicate similar circumstances as when babies are learning to master their environment.
The experiment lasts a few months after which people's cognitive abilities are re-tested. Has the neuroplasticity improved? Are they able to learn new skills faster? If yes, come up with a way to make this into a product that people can use on demand.
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Preparation for the exercises

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Povilas S
Povilas S Apr 12, 2022
Before joining the extensive, long-lasting program you propose, people could get instructions on how to prepare for the challenge to come by doing simple, related exercises at home, that don't require special gear.
Examples: doing things that you normally do with your right hand, with your left hand (if you're right-handed and vice-versa) all day; taking your T-shirt off in a different manner than you usually do (pulling by the top vs pulling by the bottom); parking your car by driving backwards, rather than forwards, etc.
This would help the brain to slowly get used to such "stress".
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 months ago
I actually do stuff like this. For example, I brush my teeth with the non-dominant hand
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 months ago
Darko Savic Yes, me too, from time to time:) Also, I learned to write a bit with my left hand. Funny thing is, I was born left-handed, but my family taught me to do everything with my right hand, because it was culturally more accepted, so now I'm right-handed, trying to relearn some left-handedness
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 months ago
Povilas S a few decades ago they used to make all left-handed kids right-handed in my area as well. I'm left-handed too, but they let me be. I've always used my right hand for the computer mouse because that's where I initially found it:)
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General comments

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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa month ago
Does this mean that routines are neuroplasticity killers?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
J. Nikola let's design an experiment on how to test this hypothesis and post it as an idea:) Then maybe look for some lab that would be willing and able to test it
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni25 days ago
J. Nikola Probably. This paper suggests that frequency of different cognitive activities is related to decreased cognitive impairment.
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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 months ago
I can see that these exercises would help a person to use both sides of their brain, maybe equally, and increase brain capacity. My only concern is that the product doesn't train them to think backwards so their regular cognitive capabilities decline.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 months ago
Goran Radanovic How do you mean? Please elaborate
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