Every time someone describes making music as a sort of flowery, right-brained diversion, I have to laugh a little. Sure, it can be that, but producing music also is quite mathematical and complex. Scientists point to instrumental music as the one activity that uses just about every region of the brain, which makes it such an important part of education.
On a more personal level, I've noticed that practitioners of music, in their spare time, also tend toward endeavors that challenge the linquistic, mathematical, and analytical parts of the brain, like word games, cards, puzzles and even crafting (ever tried to follow a knitting pattern?). In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness newsletter, “Knitting and other creative crafting activities require the use of multiple parts of the brain, which may help keep you sharp.” Evidently, our nervous systems have the ability to create new connections and patterns throughout our lives, helping to generate new brain cells.
Sounds a little like music, eh?
Then there’s chess. English novelist A.S. Byatt wrote that prodigies are found most often in three fields: chess, mathematics, and music. All three depend upon an intuitive grasp of complex relationships. V.commer Diana Skinner, who suggested this vote, said that her musician father has become veritably consumed with this strategy game in retirement -- and he’s also a daily devotee of the NY Times crossword. It would be tough for him to pick a favorite!
But picking a favorite is exactly what we’re asking you to do in this weekend’s vote.
Please choose the answer that best corresponds to the brain challenge you are most passionate about. Then provide specifics in the comments section. And if you don’t partake of the options we’ve mentioned, please select “other” and then tell us your story in the comments section. It would be of particular interest to note when your passion for the activity began and if you have a close second on the list. Note: While most v.comers are undoubtedly voracious readers, we’re looking for activities that fall more in the brain-teaser category.
What brain challenge, other than music, are you most passionate about?
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