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Doctor Diamond’s Love Affair

Doctor Diamond’s Love Affair

Neuroplasticity and Becoming the Master of Your Own Mind
2 minutes read


April 18, 2024

“What plasticity reveals is that we are the masters of our own minds. That each one of us, as individuals, has the potential to change our brains … to become the person we want to be. What we do day-to-day, minute-to-minute, grows and builds our brain. What a gift! And what a responsibility! As we literally create our personal masterpiece … our mature brain.”

–Dr. Marian Diamond (1926-2017)

To understand how certain mushrooms can help us change our brains, we first have to understand neuroplasticity. And to understand neuroplasticity, there’s no better place to start than with the work of pioneering scientist and longtime UC Berkeley anatomy professor, Dr. Marian Diamond.

A brain shining with multiple colors.
The brain is very plastic, that is “capable of change”, this is known as neuroplasticity.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), neuroplasticity is “the capacity of brain cells to change in response to intrinsic and external factors.” Prior to the work of Diamond and her team, the conventional wisdom in the scientific community had been that human brains were static. Academic institutions taught that we were born with a fixed brain capacity, and the general public “knew” that our mental potential was predetermined. It was accepted that we must all succumb to cognitive demise in our twilight years.

All that changed when Diamond and her team – through a series of simple, elegant experiments with lab rats in the 1950s and 1960s – found that subject brains in fact changed significantly based on the environments they lived in and how they were treated – regardless of age. Over time, Diamond found that there are five factors essential to building a better brain:

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Challenge
  4. Newness
  5. Love

In recent years, additional scientific studies (linked below) have built upon Diamond’s work and found that the following types of enrichment activities can measurably grow your brain:

While these types of impairments can shrink parts of your brain:

This new paradigm paved the way for breakthrough discoveries related to how certain mushrooms can play a role in this brain plasticity – and how they can help change the brain to battle addiction, fend off brain fog, and establish new neural pathways to allow us to function at a higher cognitive level.

If you’d like to learn more about the agency we all have to shape our own brains – here is a fantastic 56-minute documentary called “My Love Affair with the Brain: The Life & Science of Dr. Marian Diamond.”

Treat yourself to it when you have the time … and grow your brain today!


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