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21 Science Insight: How challenges shape your brain?

Challenges don’t only awaken us to our highest values. They also literally reshape our brains, primarily through our brain’s glial cells. These are specialised cells in our brains that are in many cases more numerous than our nerve cells, sometimes by a factor as high as ten to one.

When we are fulfilling our highest values and doing challenging work that inspires us, our glial cells support our neurons by myclinization: the strenghthening and thickening of the myelin sheaths that surrounds the nerve cells in our brain and spinal cord. The sheaths, composed of protein and fatty substances, help neurons transmit impulses so that they can move quickly and efficiently within our brains.

Courtesy: The Values Factor by Dr. J. DeMartini

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