Does Neuroplasticity Change With Age?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This amazing phenomenon was once thought to only occur during critical periods in early childhood. However, we now know that neuroplasticity does not stop after these critical periods it occurs throughout our lifespan.
Research has shown that the brain can continue to grow and change well into old age. One study found that taxi drivers who had been driving for more than two years had an increase in grey matter in the hippocampus, a brain region associated with navigation and spatial memory. Another study found that older adults who participated in eight weeks of memory training showed improvements in memory and executive function, as well as increased grey matter in the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate.
These studies suggest that even though our brains may change less dramatically as we age, we can still experience significant changes in brain structure and function throughout our lives. So if you’re looking to keep your brain sharp, don’t forget to keep challenging it at any age!