Just finished “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5771014-the-talent-code

This book discusses the theory of myelin being “wired” by repetitive practice (minimum duration approx 10,000 hours for a difficult learned task). In the book, the author outlines techniques used by master coaches and teachers, like “learning in chunks” while gradually increasing the difficulty while providing positive feedback.

Excerpt from Wikipedia on myelin:
“Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, the myelin sheath, usually around only the axon of a neuron. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is an outgrowth of a type of glial cell. The production of the myelin sheath is called myelination. In humans, the production of myelin begins in the 14th week of fetal development, although little myelin exists in the brain at the time of birth. During infancy, myelination occurs quickly and continues through the adolescent stages of life.”

I have read about other brain theory, such as the social influence of Oxytocin in “The Moral Molecule” by Paul Zak, and the importance of the 6-layered cerebral cortex in higher function learning through prediction in “On Intelligence” by Jeff Hawkins, and “How the Mind Works” by Steven Pinker. “The Talent Code” adds another spin to the adaptive learning power of the human brain, crediting the plasticity of myelin.

The more I read about what we know about the brain, the more I realize we DON’T know. I look forward to keeping abreast of developments in this captivating field. I recommended The Talent Code to anyone interested in learning another angle of how the brain works.

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