Most people in America would be interested in learning they could get a mental edge by doing a few simple things. Cognitive performance, or the ability to learn, memorize, and recall information is not something we are simply born with. True, there are some differences in what sort of intelligence and proclivities people are born with, but cognitive performance levels are not set in stone. If you’re looking for ways to stay sharp or improve your mental performance, then you’re in the right place. By following a few easy steps, you can start seeing a real difference in how you perform at work, school, or just learning new things at home. Higher levels of cognitive performance will make taking on new hobbies, processing information, and communicating with friends, families, and acquaintances easier.
The Cognitive Performance Basics
When most people think of cognitive performance, they’re thinking about peak mental performance. The state in which maximum learning capacity is achieved will help you in your career, avocation, and education. The higher cognitive performance will help you achieve better results on everything from higher-level tasks to the most basic mental functions.
Most of the time, we refer to cognitive performance as the rate at which we can do things like process new information, memorize data, and make good decisions.
How to Stimulate Cognitive Performance
There are ways to improve cognitive performance in both the long and short-term. Caffeine, for example, is a short-term stimulant that has effects on cognitive performance. There are many different supplements, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs that affect mental performance short-term. Taking any of these should be done with serious consideration to how it could impact your health and it’s a good idea to seek out professional medical advice before taking any supplement to boost cognitive performance.
Longer-term, things like staying physically fit, eating foods high in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients can lead to higher levels of cognitive performance. Easy things like taking a daily walk to improve your physical condition and clear your head can have a very positive effect on mental performance.
Cognitive Performance and Brain Plasticity
While cognitive performance refers to the brain’s ability to process, memorize, and remember, brain plasticity covers how well your brain can perform and adapt to different situations. You may be great at memorizing facts in the library, but how do you do when you have to sit down for a timed assessment when there are higher levels of stress present and more is on the line? We have all heard stories about how some athletes are amazing in the practice arena, but struggle when it comes time to complete in front of a large audience.
Your brain’s plasticity determines what level of cognitive performance you can access in different environments.
How Peptides Affect Cognitive Performance
Oxytocin is a short peptide just nine amino acids in length. It’s produced naturally in the retina, adrenal glands, thymus, and pancreas. It’s also made in the testes, placenta, and ovaries. Research around oxytocin done on mice indicates that mice treated with the peptide saw better hormone levels and better development in the prefrontal cortex, specifically tied to neuron development. In a research control group, the mice with oxytocin had a better overall cognitive performance as well.
Cognitive Performance and Age
Older people are paying more attention to ways they improve and maintain levels of cognitive performance as they age. One of the keys here is developing ways to slow or prevent age-related mental declines. A lot of time and money is being invested in discovering ways to improve both performance and plasticity to make employees more productive on the job, help students learn better, and make getting older more fun.
It’s believed that regular practice and engaging in things like games, learning new languages, finding new hobbies, and other activities will keep cognitive performance high and slow any age-related declines. The brain is a lot like a muscle in that, the more it is used, the better it will perform over time.
If you are worried about your cognitive performance or you are interested in learning about how you can boost performance, then there are simple things that can be done to get positive results. Doing things like eating a healthy diet, getting better physical shape can have a profound effect on your mental abilities. Likewise, doing things like puzzles, staying socially active, and seeking out mental challenges will yield good results. The key here is to stay actively engaged. Don’t let your cognitive performance suffer for lack of use. Keeping your brain sharp takes effort and constant discipline. Once you start on the path to improving your cognitive performance, you’ll start seeing changes in the way your brain processes and retains information. Remembering things will be easier, and understanding new concepts will not be the challenge it once was.