Practice brains

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
catie
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Practice brains

Post by catie » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:33 am

Forgive me if this subject has been discussed before. I know there are many studies regarding this subject, but short of going to see a medical professional , why in the world does my brain become spacey after an intense learning session? Is it that I'm using only one part of my brain, and the rest just goes to sleep? Ive had it happen when driving, or doing other tasks that require simple actions. My mind is lost and into music, I'm guessing. Today I decided to begin two new songs. My brain is weird.... :|

montana
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Re: Practice brains

Post by montana » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:31 am

I'm guessing that you are still focused on the learning session.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Practice brains

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:49 am

Let's hope it's not endorphins! :lol:
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Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Practice brains

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:15 pm

catie wrote:Forgive me if this subject has been discussed before. I know there are many studies regarding this subject, but short of going to see a medical professional , why in the world does my brain become spacey after an intense learning session? Is it that I'm using only one part of my brain, and the rest just goes to sleep? Ive had it happen when driving, or doing other tasks that require simple actions. My mind is lost and into music, I'm guessing. Today I decided to begin two new songs. My brain is weird.... :|
The answer is substrates and vascularization.

Very much like muscles, when you use your brain, it burns up nutrients and other supportive biochemicals, including electrolytes. These are replaced at a rate dependent on the level of blood supply, or vascularization, to the active areas of your brain. You can see enhanced blood flow on CT scans easily, isolated to the parts of your brain that are working the hardest. And like exercising muscles, the deep tissue vascularization, or blood supply, improves with usage. This means you can build up the "supply lines" allowing you to tolerate longer and/or more intense sessions.

Now realize, that when playing a musical instrument, ALL PARTS OF YOUR BRAIN ARE ACTIVE. So, you will naturally deplete the substrates (supportive biochemicals) more rapidly. Pushing the equation with sugar and caffeine only depletes the substrates more rapidly, risking a crash. When the substrates are used up, and the blood supply can't replenish them fast enough, you get spaced out and need rest. The more intense your focus, the faster you deplete the substrates and cause imbalance of electrolytes.

When this happens, stop playing, stand up, do some calisthenics, maybe eat something healthy. This will get the blood flowing to your brain, reduce consumption of energy and substrates in the brain, and allow the blood supply to rapidly replenish all that good stuff. After extended brain usage, the best rest is a night of high quality sleep.

I hope all this seems like common sense. I mean, I didn't really want to talk about neurotransmitters, mitochondria, waste buildup, and/or the sodium/potassium pump ... I will if I have to... :D
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catie
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Re: Practice brains

Post by catie » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:54 pm

Thank you Andrew so very much for the explanation. I worked in nursing profession for 20 years,and I always appreciated the science behind the symptoms. It makes sense to think of the brain as a major consumer of large amounts of energy. Rejuvenation of the brain as in rest and nutrition is on my must do list after my "work out". :D

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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Practice brains

Post by Rick Beauregard » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:32 pm

:P
Andrew Pohlman wrote:
catie wrote:Forgive me if this subject has been discussed before. I know there are many studies regarding this subject, but short of going to see a medical professional , why in the world does my brain become spacey after an intense learning session? Is it that I'm using only one part of my brain, and the rest just goes to sleep? Ive had it happen when driving, or doing other tasks that require simple actions. My mind is lost and into music, I'm guessing. Today I decided to begin two new songs. My brain is weird.... :|
The answer is substrates and vascularization.

Very much like muscles, when you use your brain, it burns up nutrients and other supportive biochemicals, including electrolytes. These are replaced at a rate dependent on the level of blood supply, or vascularization, to the active areas of your brain. You can see enhanced blood flow on CT scans easily, isolated to the parts of your brain that are working the hardest. And like exercising muscles, the deep tissue vascularization, or blood supply, improves with usage. This means you can build up the "supply lines" allowing you to tolerate longer and/or more intense sessions.

Now realize, that when playing a musical instrument, ALL PARTS OF YOUR BRAIN ARE ACTIVE. So, you will naturally deplete the substrates (supportive biochemicals) more rapidly. Pushing the equation with sugar and caffeine only depletes the substrates more rapidly, risking a crash. When the substrates are used up, and the blood supply can't replenish them fast enough, you get spaced out and need rest. The more intense your focus, the faster you deplete the substrates and cause imbalance of electrolytes.

When this happens, stop playing, stand up, do some calisthenics, maybe eat something healthy. This will get the blood flowing to your brain, reduce consumption of energy and substrates in the brain, and allow the blood supply to rapidly replenish all that good stuff. After extended brain usage, the best rest is a night of high quality sleep.

I hope all this seems like common sense. I mean, I didn't really want to talk about neurotransmitters, mitochondria, waste buildup, and/or the sodium/potassium pump ... I will if I have to... :D
Wow what a great question and answer. Here's a related question. Is there an activity we can excel at during these periods of recovery when our brain is replenishing? For example, are we more lucid and creative during these periods. More free to make connections we wouldn't normally make when we'll rested?
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Re: Practice brains

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:59 pm

Rick Beauregard wrote:Wow what a great question and answer. Here's a related question. Is there an activity we can excel at during these periods of recovery when our brain is replenishing? For example, are we more lucid and creative during these periods. More free to make connections we wouldn't normally make when we'll rested?
That is actually a hard question to answer. In the first place, I have learned in medical science that almost anything goes, so I would not be surprised at all if we achieved a heightened state after mental exertion.

I can answer from a few perspectives:
1) Medically - I've never heard of that. In fact, depending on level of exertion, it is the opposite. After heavy learning, you need sleep so the short term memories are transcribed to long term memory and all the brain chemistry is revitalized. Physical exercise is really beneficial after mental exertion, but I can't say at all you would perform at a peak as a result of mental exercise.
2) Musically - if I had a particularly creative session, when done, I want to record all the cool ideas we/I had, before they vaporize. A heightened work ethic?
3) Humanly - After intense practice, I love to cook a delicious and nutritious meal and share it with spouse and/or friends. If there is a heightened creative state after mental exertion, expression of culinary art would be it for me, or heightened need for socialization. I'm sure it would be different for others.

And at the human level, I'm sure others could comment here too.
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alfaalex101
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Re: Practice brains

Post by alfaalex101 » Mon May 29, 2017 12:03 am

What do you define as spacey? I've never heard of this from a medical perspective.

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Re: Practice brains

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:03 pm

alfaalex101 wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 12:03 am
What do you define as spacey? I've never heard of this from a medical perspective.
"Spacey" or "Spaced out" stated more clinically is a reduced ability to focus and concentrate with simultaneous reduction in ability to handle abstraction and complexity, including temporary memory loss.

When I chart on my psych patients, I often chart "spaced out" because the psychiatrists find that layperson's term so much easier to read than the above definition. :D
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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: Practice brains

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:21 am

So do we need to replenish electroylytes after a long practice?

by the way, low sodium V8 juice has a ton of potassium; and of course so does coconut water.
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lagartija
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Re: Practice brains

Post by lagartija » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:31 am

Anytime I need electrolytes, I choose coconut water. Tastes great, more potassium and magnesium than Gatorade (yuck!), fewer calories and no added sugar. That last may depend on brand. I like O.N.E. which I can find at Whole Foods stores.
I've used it after physical exertion, but never after a guitar practice!
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