I came across this article in the Harvard Business Review today and wanted to share as it directly links to social interactions and cognitive strength.
There are numerous studies that show (cited) that more social interactions lead to the brains capacity to grow, improving cognitive strength and mental ability.
We are social beings so of course it makes sense that the more social interactions support our development and technology has made this much easier. Whilst face to face social interactions e.g. team work/collaboration are mentioned what is great to see is the correlation between an individuals social networks as the article states
"On this point, I can’t help recalling yet another interesting study, published in Nature Neuroscience in 2011. It demonstrated a positive correlation between the size of the amygdala – a part of the human brain that performs a primary role in the processing of memory and emotional reactions – and the size and complexity of a person’s social network. In other words: Bigger brain, greater social interactions. It’s a correlation, and the first assumption people make is that the larger amygdala supports greater emotional intelligence and better memory, allowing the individual’s social network to expand."
The term PLN (Personal Learning Network) might be something that is familiar or it may not be. You can read more about PLN's here and Steve Wheeler does a great job in explaining how important your networks are in widening your own knowledge and also tapping in to the collective intelligence of others.
I believe that right now and in the future, organisations won't just be looking at your own skill set and experience but also the network and your extended 'brain bank' i.e. the whole package of what you could bring to an organisation including your connections and networks.
What does your PLN look like right now?
Are you widening your social networks and if so how?
How can you/we use the DPG Community to help us grow the capacity of our brains?