Maybe not necessarily smarter but… I remember classes with a neurologist from my studies (the topic was aging). Learning something completely new (playing instruments, a new language) was to be helpful in avoiding early dementia (among other things ofc). I think it has universal application.
Our brains like being trained and learning to play an instrument is like a solid brain gym
I listened to a podcast recently on a long drive about the role of play in brain development.
What I learnt was that as children we lose or prune out nearly 40% of our brain synapses by the time we are 25 and we don’t grow more.
All we do is to refine and strengthen the existing pathways. So we can rewire these pathways by learning new things but sadly we’ll never have as ‘plastic’ a brain as a teenager.
It’s not actually a sad thing at all that we lose synaptic plasticity. In fact we lose synapses all throughout childhood development, and never have more than we are born with. It’s believed that one of the causes of Autism is the insufficient degradation of synaptic connections throughout development.
There is also some evidence that marijuana use between the ages of 13 and 17, when we would lose the remainder of juvenile synapses during puberty, may lead to an increased incidence of mental disorders. This is because cannabinoids have a stabilising effect on synapses and prevent them from being degraded. That’s why they’re being researched as possible mitigators for dementia.
Huh. I used marijuana as regularly as i could in that period of time. I never noticed any degradation, but then again if i had it? Would i then be cognizant of missing it? Or is this one more case of " it kills brain cells", " it lowers sperm count"," it’s a gateway drug" or all the other lines we were fed to justify criminalizing a species? This is, i think a fine line of inquiry. If Only because we know misinformation is a really proactive tool to control behavior.
So i used my (minimal value implied) research skills on this a little.
Everything I’ve found indicates that these studies ( the ones i found ) Are all centered on the new higher strength strains and concentrates. I can buy into that. I think the purification, distillation and concentration of literally ANY chemical is bad for teenagers and other living things.