Saturday, July 18, 2009

What is Neuroplasticity?

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to re-organize itself by forming new neural connections in response to injury, dysfunction, new experiences or sensory stimulation.

Recent studies have showed that the brain ca "rewire" and restructure itself. The neurons located in the brain can build new or remodel old connections, can generate new paths through the cortex and assume new roles. According to this principle if part of the brain is damaged, it can be possible to train other areas to assume its roles and functions. This is often referred to as “rewireing the brain”. Neuroplasticity can result in one region of the brain colonizing another with effects on mental and physical function.

The realization that the brain is plastic and has the capacity to change its maps gives new hopes to individuals suffering from various brain related conditions. If the maps of the brain can change then there is reason to hope that people confronted with different kinds of issues, “including learning problems and psychological problems might be able to form new maps through activities that will allow the new neuronal connections by getting the healthy neurons to fire together and wire together” (Doidge 2007, 63)

Although once believed that as we aged, the brain became fixed, the new studies conducted in the most recent years has revealed that the brain never stops changing and adjusting. Neuroscientists now describe the brain as capable of change and produce new connections at any age.

References:1. Doidge, Norman. The Brain that Changes Itself. 2007. New York: Penguin Group , 2007. Print.

No comments:

Post a Comment