There’s no doubt that the brain is highly involved in our learning process, motor skills, perception, attitudes, and overall results when discussing physical activity and exercise. The electrical activity that the brain conducts is run along the myelin connections of our neocortex. These myelin connections, which are formed by a chemical called myelin, shape largely the way we view and interact with the world. In fact, they are the catalyst behind the theory of cognitive behavioral therapy. The thoughts and actions that we stimulate become reinforced, and the more reinforcement they are given, the deeper the grooves and the more potential energy they are given. This is how habits are made on a very intimate level. What we repeat, will repeat. That includes what we think, and what we do. Common strategies to relieve obsessive compulsive disorders are to reshape these conduction patterns we have created. This is accomplished by quickly changing the thought from something compulsive and anxious to something more aligned with desired behavior. It’s the way we all change, one or two thoughts and behaviors at a time.

Versus (Performance Brain Training) is technology that is on the forefront of neurofeedback. Using some of the same principles described above, researchers watch the brain’s electrical activity. Being able to identify when and where electrical activity is utilized allows researchers to make assumptions on where a subject needs to train their brain. For example, during a speech from a CEO, the hippocampus is highly engaged. The CEO later complains of anxiety and nerves. Well, researchers can now use brain training to reform their experience of public speaking. Perhaps redirecting the electrical activity to the parts of the brain involved in vocabulary and speech. Then researchers can make this association automatic by resituating the experience of giving a speech through what is known as exposure therapy. Similar to the process with Pavlov’s dogs, the subject will eventually make an association between the speech and feeling involved in their speaking. Subtly, this is how all of our experiences are formed, consciously or not. The Versus Certification Program took elite athletes and tested their brains while performing their specific athletic endeavor. They created a brain bank through this process. The assessments they create based on their brain’s activity gives them a detailed idea of what brain training the athlete needs.

Red Bull High Performance brings a video to us called “Pushing the Limits of Endurance.” Likely at least one of the same researchers found working on the Versus program is also involved in this project. What Red Bull wanted to accomplish was to analyze the mismatch between biological reserve and mental fatigue. In other words, is it mind over matter? The range of scientists that were involved in the project is incredible. From neuroscientists to exercise physiologists, the amount of disciplines involved in this project is very ambitious. However, needless to say it had to be ambitious. The Red Bull team is on the verge of proving something that I believe we’ve all known. The term “weak minded”, “mental strength”, “mental toughness”, and other phrases that hint that it’s all in your head have been around for decades if not centuries. Being able to prove that would be ground breaking, and finding a way around that natural phenomenon would be scientifically earth shattering.

Claros Diagnostics designed a small plastic chip with a plastic tube and syringe called the Mchip. The technology allows for testing to occur in remote regions of the world for very little cost. Due to the low cost nature of the product, the Mchip will only cost a couple of dollars to perform tests. It’s accuracy rivaling the large labs found in hospitals, and its time to test cut down to only about fifteen minutes, the Mchip seems like the transition from big box computers to laptops. The testing procedure is simple, and also the instructions are as well. This will be handy when sending to countries that desire different languages, or might be unfamiliar with even the simplest of materials. Especially when assembling the equipment.

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