Of the interesting factoids found throughout the article, which you can read here, the most interesting concepts touched upon helping the brain develop greater complexity and deeper understanding.
Strauch writes that adults should work hard to challenge the assumptions they accumulated while young because when adults do that, adults can “jiggle” the synapses of their brains.
Kathleen Taylor, a professor at St. Mary’s College of California, and a source for the article, is quoted saying this about the brain and established thoughts.
There’s a place for information. We need to know stuff. But we need to move beyond that and challenge our perception of the world. If you always hang around with those you agree with and read things that agree with what you already know, you’re not going to wrestle with your established brain connections.
Jack Mezirow, another professor, this time from Columbia Teachers College, says that for adults to remain sharp, they must look at their insights critically.
He made this conclusion after ending a study he completed 30 years ago about women who had gone back to school. He found that the women in the study had only decided to go back to school after having many conversations that challenged their own ingrained perceptions of the time of what women could and could not do.
So help your brain and “bump up against people and ideas” that are different; challenge your assumptions, your brain will benefit.