Poker is one of my most favored activities that also happens to have long lasting neurological effects (as a result of extensive playing). I’ve had the fortunate opportunity of playing upwards of 8,500 hands of poker in the last several months alone (online play). While this isn’t a long enough period of time to result in the “burned in” synaptic wiring that corresponds to the many repeated-a-session. It’s certainly a start!
The more I played the more I built up a repertoire of strategy and techniques that I could apply to every succeeding hand after learning something from the previous one . It’s also very true that playing somewhat heavily for hours, I would increase my understanding in almost epiphany like strides where deep understanding merely emerged subconsciously at integral parts, periodically. Kind of like a scientist looking for a big solution when finally all his efforts lead to a result, that just “clicks”. It’s all so clear.
Accomplishing a feat of poker or executing “intermediate” like abilities is quite pleasing and a result of playing such hands technically and intuitively “brilliantly”, releases a surge of dopamine all on its own (Hello! Gamblers Anonymous!).
However the buzz kill most surely occurs in no time at all. Suddenly your confidence is trifled, you make very amateur mistakes. It’s as if you learned absolutely nothing. You’re back at stage one. Much of life is like this. :/
The reason I’ve chosen Poker as the main emblem of this discussion is simply because of it’s many benefits that carry over in to everyday human life. Learning the game/playing often not only hones your intuition and understanding of others, but radically will improve memory and decision making. Above all else I feel emotional control trumps the list. The game will teach you to think with your head, remain calm and not act on impulsive emotions in daily life.
Best of all the game will teach you how to think for the future, deal with failure, and make wise choices throughout the day! You will weigh all options at superior levels.
Added: I haven't posted in awhile. Most often my posts reflect what I'm reading at the time. As of late it's been only poker, or Star Trek fiction!!