The Link Between Brain Plasticity and Eye Exercises

We are living in a localizationist era. Whenever we have a problem, we try to look for the solution right where the problem is. If you have myopia, then it must be your eyes that’s wrong right? Fact is, it’s your brain that’s really the organ that “sees”, not your eyes. Your eyes are merely windows in which light passes.

Those light rays are encoded into a signal that is passed to your brain. Your brain then decodes that signal to form the image. If your brain can’t process those signals… guess what? You wouldn’t be able to see even if you have a perfectly healthy pair of eyes.

In this article, I’m going to talk about 2 very exciting scientific experiments on brain plasticity  (the fact that your brain change its structure through exercises)… and how you can use their results to improve your eyesight.

The first experiment I want to talk about is conducted by Drs Guang Yue and Kelly Cole. They had 2 groups of people. One group perform exercises to strengthen their finger muscles while the other group merely imagined doing those same exercises.

The result? The group who performed the exercises increased strength by 30%. What’s unbelievable is that the group who merely imagined increased their strength by a whopping 22%!

Another experiment was described by Anthony Robbins in an interview he did with a couple of marketers. The experiment had one group of basketball players practice shooting hoops for a prolonged period of time while the other group merely imagined shooting hoops.

When they gather them together to benchmark their improvements… the group that merely imagined outperformed the group who actually practiced!

How can that be?

Because to your brain, imagination and action is not all that different. The same areas of your brain would light up in MRI scans when you imagine and when you act.

Skeptical? Here, try this. Imagine writing your name with your dominant hand. If you are right handed, imagine writing your name with your right hand. If you’re left handed, imagine using your left hand.

Time how long you’d need to finish writing in your imagination. You will need a partner to do this and signal him/her when you start and finish.

Got it yet? Now time the amount of time to physically write your name down. How long did you take? For most people, it’s about the same amount of time.

Try this again with your other hand. You’ll notice it takes longer to both imagine AND write. Isn’t that strange? Shouldn’t you be able to imagine writing them at the same speed? It’s just an imagination!

In fact, some scientific studies found people with various disabilities have more difficulty to imagine what they couldn’t do. For example, people with stroke or Parkinson’s took longer to imagine moving their affected limbs.

So what has this got to do with you? It means you can IMAGINE your way to perfect vision. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the case of the Sea Gypsies.

Sea Gypsies are a hunter-gatherer nomadic people who live half their life in the seas. They often dive into deep waters for pearls and food. They are so good at diving, in fact, that they could dive up to 75 feet without any diving equipment.

What’s amazing is that they could see underwater without any goggles. Sunlight refracts as it passes through water, so if you don’t wear goggles, light rays will not land on the retina as it would on land.

How did they do it? They do it by constricting their eyes by approximately 22%. So what? Right? Consider this: Our eyes reflexively (subconsciously) get larger as we dive deeper into water. In fact, it has long been thought that this is a hardwired human function that cannot be changed.

But just by diving enough times… sea gypsies could change their subconscious brain to constrict their eyes instead of expanding it.

Is it genetics? Were the sea gypsies born with this unique ability? No. The researcher who discovered it, Anna Gislen, was able to train Swedish children to do the same.

Here’s the bottom line: Now you don’t even need to practice. Just imagine practicing and you’ll be perfect.

BOLA TANGKAS