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Feed Your Brain Vocabulary Soup

November 23, 2017 Nicole Lyons

Neuroscience is helping us develop new ideas and methods of leadership. When we learn, certain networks become active, but like anything else, they become inactive when not used.

Neuroimaging and neurostimulation studies have shown that networks within multiple-demand cortex (parts of the frontal and parietal cortex) were most active when learning was taking place and declined as the subject matter became familiar (Sliwinska, 2017).


Constant learning is needed to keep your brain in top health. Just like your muscles, your brain needs a regular workout. Fortunately, a plethora of vocabulary games exist that you can play on paper or on a digital device. Instead of mindlessly flipping through Facebook, consider grabbing a vocab game and stretching out on some grass. Your mind and body will thank you!


Make it a game. Pick a new word every day and expand your vocabulary. Many dictionary websites choose a word for you. Try to incorporate this word naturally into a conversation. Some words may be more challenging than others! You can probably use perturbed pretty easily (upset or anxious), but what about defenestrate (throw someone out of a window)?

This creative mind game is good for your brain, and continuous learning will help you build and maintain neural connections. Include your friends and coworkers and make it a collaborative effort. While everyone may not be on board, it’s pretty easy to bring out the competitive nature of others and see who can use a word in the best context.

“Few activities are as delightful as learning new vocabulary.

Tim Gunn

Learning new words should be fun. If you are reading a book or article and happen to come across a word that you don’t quite know the meaning of, take a second to look it up. Your brain is a machine, and feeding it constantly is one way to keep it happy.


Your communication skills can help you become a better leader. Improved communication means improved collaboration—which leads to improved results. Ever-changing virtual teams and changing boundaries mean that you need a new form of communication to ensure that collaboration can even take place.

Embrace the opportunity to give your brain a daily dose of learning, even if it’s just one vocabulary word at a time. Keeping your mind and body in sync will have a positive impact on how you make decisions and how you lead and inspire others. You can be innovative with great communication and collaboration skills.

Enhance your Communication  Ever wondered how to communicate with impact? New advances from different  scientific fields are helping us better understand how our brains and bodies  function and the incredible impact they have on the way we lead.  Learn how our i4 Neuroleader Program can help develop your personal leadership. Download Program Guide

Sliwinska, M. W., Violante, I. R., Wise, R. J. S., Leech, R., Devlin, J. T., Geranmayeh, F., & Hampshire, A. (2017). Stimulating Multiple-Demand Cortex Enhances Vocabulary Learning. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37(32), 7606–7618.

Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons

Nicole is the About my Brain Institute's researcher and blogger. As a writer and science educator she is passionate about sharing scientific knowledge to refute ignorance and misconceptions. Nicole is also a devoted wife and mother to three children, two cats, a dog and frog.