“The Boys Have to Get Back A Little Bored”

Posted on September 22, 2014 by F.M.
Daily One
By Sara González

The brain has become a phenomenon that now everyone wants to know. There is part of the revolution of Why use the brain, the book that wrote Facundo Manes has finished conquering the first positions in the lists of the best sellers. It has already exhausted 105,000 books and is not only a bookstore success in the country, but also in Chile and Uruguay.
Manes was in Mendoza at a conference organized by Telefonica de Argentina, where he gathered about 500 people at the Hyatt Hotel.
He is a neuroscientist, studied in the Faculty of Medicine of the UBA and later in the University of Cambridge, England (master in sciences). Back in the country, he created and currently directs Ineco (Institute of Cognitive Neurology) and the Institute of Neurosciences of the Favaloro Foundation in Buenos Aires.

It was said by the author of the book Uso el cerebro, Facundo Manes. He states that “if children are connected all day, they forget about the introspective, the imagination, the dream”.

Why the popularity of the brain now?
“People today sense that the brain is the frontier of science. This happens in Argentina is being seen in many parts of the world.

Does the great attraction given by the possibility that knowing more about the brain can help us in practical life?
-Clear. Because the brain is what makes us human, understanding it allows us to have some tools to live better. Today we know what makes the brain good, for example we can reduce the cognitive deficit when we reach the third age and we can start working two decades earlier. Today we know that the brain creates reality, creates thoughts; The way we think is the way we feel, then if we can modify some toxic or distorting thoughts, which in turn will lead to toxic and distorting decisions, we will be able to live better. We also know that stress is a normal mechanism. But chronic stress produces anxiety, depression, and specific brain effects such as atrophy and burnout.

What is the most frequent question you are asked?
“They ask me about making decisions, to know if it’s logical or rational.” I tell you that sometimes it is logical and rational, and sometimes not. It’s emotional. They also ask me a lot about memory, about the capacity of memory. And I tell you that memory is not a box where we keep memories, but are neural circuits that are reinforced and associated. I also tell them that forgetting is important and they ask me a lot about the impact of the technologies in the brain, through Twitter, Facebook, the computer.

How does the use of technologies impact on the brain?
-In adults, with moderate use, technology is a fascinating tool. But the use in adults with obsessive and anxious tendencies is like throwing kerosene or naphtha into the fire. In children, the use of technologies is more delicate, because the brain has just matured between the ages of 20 and 25 and the impact of the technology we do not know. There is some evidence that certain games improve attention. But you have to take care of guys who have an obsessive or compulsive tendency.

¿Cuál es la cantidad aceptable de tiempo que se podría pasar con la tecnología sin que eso signifique un problem?
–No se sabe. Lo que sí se sabe es que los chicos tienen que estar aburridos, tienen que estar introspectivos, tienen que imaginar, tienen que soñar. Si están todo el día conectados no pueden hacerlo. Tienen que volver a esa etapa donde nos aburríamos. Los chicos tienen que estar en la mesa mirando a los padres a los ojos y disfrutando del contacto personal con los amigos, sin el teléfono en la mano o siempre con el Facebook o los jueguitos.

The abuse of technology has led people to spread attention on several things at once. Is that good or bad for the brain?
-That is called multitasking, be on the computer, and at the same time read the diary, answer Whatsapp and write a document in Word. There is evidence that multitasking diminishes performance and cognitive efficiency. That also creates stress. Kafka was famous because he closed and wrote a story in six hours. Imagine now Kafka sitting at the computer, writing and at the same time checking the mail and watching Twitter.

¿Cómo no pensar en nada?
–Descansar es muy bueno…


Rest is sleep?
– Being sleepy, relaxed, walking, exercising. The brain always works, even when it falls asleep. At such times the brain works in an organized way, in a rest network, which processes information, so it is very important not to be active all the time in something. It is necessary to eat well, sleep well and exercise, is the best natural antidepressant that exists, reinforces creative thinking, and social connection and rest.