How Do Biology And Experience Interact In Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt in response to experience. This means that the brain is constantly rewiring itself in response to what we do and think. Every time we learn something new, our brains create new connections, or pathways, between neurons. This process starts in childhood and continues throughout our lives.
There are two main types of neuroplasticity:
Structural neuroplasticity This is when the actual structure of the brain changes. For example, when we learn a new skill, the part of the brain responsible for that skill will grow larger.
Functional neuroplasticity This is when the way the brain works changes. For example, if we lose a limb, the part of the brain responsible for controlling that limb will start to control another body part instead.
There are many factors that can affect neuroplasticity, including biology and experience. Let take a closer look at how each of these factors can influence neuroplasticity.
Our genes play a role in how plastic our brains are. Some people are born with brains that are more plastic than others. This is why some people find it easier to learn new things than others.
Brain damage can also affect neuroplasticity. For example, if someone has a stroke, they may lose the ability to speak. However, if the part of the brain responsible for speech was not damaged, another part of the brain may be able to take over this function. This is known as neural plasticity or brain plasticity.
Our experiences can also influence neuroplasticity. For example, if we regularly use a particular skill, such as playing the piano, we will get better at it because our brains will create new pathways to support this skill. Similarly, if we don’t use a particular skill, such as speaking a foreign language, we may forget it because our brains will stop using the pathways associated with that skill.
In conclusion, both biology and experience play a role in neuroplasticity. Our genes influence how plastic our brains are, and our experiences can affect which skills we learn and how well we remember them.