Using Play to Rewire & Improve Your Brain | Episode 58

In this episode, I discuss the transformative nature of play—how it changes our feelings, thoughts and actions and indeed, how it can rewire our brain to function better in all contexts. I explain the role of play in childhood, as well as adulthood in skill and social development and describe key characteristics of the mind and body during play. Additionally, I explore how play allows the brain to test contingencies in different roles/environments. Throughout, I discuss the underlying neurobiology of play. I also describe how low-stakes play, and tinkering can broaden and shape your future capabilities. Finally, I discuss how our childhood ‘personal play identity’ informs our adult personality. Throughout the episode, I use the science of play to outline recommendations for using play as a means to enhance neuroplasticity and explore novel situations, regardless of age. Thank you to our sponsors AG1 (Athletic Greens) - https://www.athleticgreens.com/huberman ROKA - https://www.roka.com - code "huberman" Helix Sleep: http://helixsleep.com/huberman Our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/andrewhuberman Supplements from Thorne: https://www.thorne.com/u/huberman Social & Website Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hubermanlab Twitter - https://twitter.com/hubermanlab Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hubermanlab Website - https://hubermanlab.com Newsletter - https://hubermanlab.com/neural-network Article Links Reading on a smartphone affects sigh generation, brain activity, and comprehension In search of the neurobiological substrates for social playfulness in mammalian brains Is chess just a game, or is it a mirror that reflects the child's inner world? A new structural model for the study of adult playfulness: Assessment and exploration of an understudied individual differences variable 5MinuteConsult Journal Club Book Links Personal play identity and the fundamental elements in its development process Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety Timestamps (00:00:00) The Power of Play (00:02:23) Tool: Reading on Smart Phones, Sighing & Learning (00:09:14) AG1 (Athletic Greens), Roka, Helix Sleep (00:13:57) Homeostatic Regulation of Play (00:23:53) Childhood Play & Mindsets (00:29:21) Contingency Testing (00:32:17) The (Power of) Playful Mindset (00:36:13) Body Postures (00:44:03) Rule Testing & Breaking (00:48:24) Role Play (00:50:39) Neurobiology of Low-stakes Play (00:54:22) Expanding Capabilities through Tinkering (01:00:03) Play Is THE Portal to Neuroplasticity (01:04:44) Adulthood Play (01:10:14) Fire Together, Wire Together (01:18:03) Trauma & Play Deficits & Recovery (01:23:25) Competition & Dynamic Movement (01:27:36) Chess, Mental Roles, Novelty (01:32:52) Personal Play Identity (01:37:24) Play Transforms Your Future Self (01:40:55) Recommendations for Play (01:44:25) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify/Apple Reviews, YouTube, Sponsors, Patreon, Instagram, Twitter, Thorne Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

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