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You, too, could achieve amazing improvements
But not every experience can rewire your brain for the better: in order to fully harness the power of neuroplasticity, you need to challenge your brain with training that’s novel, adaptive, and complete. This complex formula explains why some popular games
such as Sudoku and crosswords don’t increase intelligence—the more you play these games, the more you retrace overlearned pathways in your brain. You need carefully calibrated challenges to really strengthen and stretch your brain.
Novelty forces your brain to change
Novel challenges present unexpected obstacles, forcing your brain to work in new ways. When your brain encounters these new challenges, it must remodel its existing circuitry and find new pathways for information processing.
That’s because the brain assigns special neural pathways for each type of task. Just as you use different muscle
groups for running and swimming, so you use different neural circuitry for reading and watching a movie. Familiar tasks simply reactivate existing circuitry—which can keep your brain active, but won’t change or improve it in fundamental ways.